Thursday, June 10, 2021

I Want to Make Art...and I Want to Make Trouble

Do you think of your projects of making art?  Sometimes, I do.  I love to create new things through my quilts and embroidery work.  Shhh...can I tell you a secret?  I also like to be a little mischievous at times, too.  Do you like to be a little mischievous at times?  


Photo Credit:  Disney Destinations

Last weekend Mr. Goofin' Off and I went to see Cruella at the movie theater.  The theater only had 10 people in it...and it just felt so spacious.  So happy to be back in an actual theater.  And, for the record, we LOVED Cruella.  I had suspected that I would...but was surprised at how much Mr. Goofin' Off enjoyed it.  

One of the things I enjoyed was how much of the emphasis on Cruella's backstory was on how much she enjoyed designing and creating.  She was extremely talented and creative...always keeping her eyes out and mind thinking of her next creative endeavor.  

And while I won't spoil the movie if you haven't seen it, I can say I did relate to this quote from Cruella herself:  

"I want to make art.  And I want to make trouble."  -Cruella

I can totally relate to this.  I love to create and am so glad to be getting back into the game with new and ongoing quilting and cross stitch projects.  But I do always feel like I've got a bit of a mischievous side to me.  I don't let it out very often, but when I do...it's usually followed by a lot of laughter by whomever I'm with.  

But the reality is, you're probably here to check out what I've been working on.  I don't blame you.  It's why I love to participate in link parties and blog hops.  So glad to be back!  

Current Quilt Project

My newest start of a project is inspired by my desire to spend my winters in Florida one day...you know, to be closer to Disney World.  Technically, I love the Pacific Northwest and can't imagine ever leaving here.  But the dark and gray winters really get to me.  So this project embodies my desire to move...

The focus fabric for this one is flamingoes.  I was enamored by the pinks and whimsical flamingoes in the fabric.  The light pink and black fabric make for the perfect accent fabrics.  

Selection of Flamingo Fabrics

I actually got all the initial cutting done this past week.  It is mostly strip piecing, so it went fairly quickly.  I did notice that it was time to replace my blade in my rotary cutter. So after I replaced the blade, things went so much more quickly.  

The flamingo quilt strips are all cut.

My goal for next week is to get all of the strips pieced together.  Fingers crossed I can find a few moments to get my machine out and working!


Current Cross Stitch Project


If you've followed my blog and have a great memory, you may recognize my current cross stitch project.  It's titled Mickey and Pirate Friends.  It makes me smile soooo much every time I work on it.  

Mickey and Pirate Friends - Update as of 6/10/2021

I have completed the first row of pages...five pages in all.  This is a huge project, and I'm pretty sure I'll do some rotating at some point.  But, for now, I'm really enjoying it.  

And because I've been enjoying catching up through link parties, I'm going to posting in a few myself this week.  

Link Parties:


Have a magical day!  


For those who expressed interest in my other non-project blog, I've linked some of my new content from there below.  If you're interested in the read (or freebie) just click on through!

Create Your Summer 2021 Bucket List
Create Your Summer Bucket List (free printable PDF to create yours)
See what's on my bucket list for this summer.

How Do You Define Fitness...as a Disney Fan?


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Goofin' Off First Project and News Updates of 2021

It's been a long time since I updated...way too long!  I want to give a very quick personal update...then on to a few projects...and lastly all the upcoming fun for the Goofin' Off family.  

I am happy to report that Mr. Goofin' Off and I are both healthy and strong.  

Mr. Goofin' Off has been working from home since the first of March 2020. At the start of the pandemic, he thought he would be only working from home for a couple of weeks. His company announced that they would having their employees work from home through June of 2021. Thank goodness we quickly figured out we actually enjoy being home together 24/7...and he loves the 5-second commute down the hall every morning.  

We were able to do a lot of travel during the first two months of 2020. We managed a trip to Disneyland and were honored to be a guest of a member of Club 33 (only you real Disney fans will understand what a bucket list item this was).  

Here is a picture of Mr. Goofin' Off ringing the secret doorbell to get into the club.  


And if you look closely at the picture below, you can see this is where I signed the Club 33 guest book.  Other guests that night were Demi Lovato, Andie MacDowell, and Stanley Tucci.  As guests, we were not allowed to take pictures or approach any other guests in the club.  When these books are filled, they are placed in the official Disney Archives. I guess you could say I am going to be a part of Disney history forever...or at least as long as the company is still around.  


We arrived home to a snow storm...and a dreaded phone call the next morning. I received a phone call from my brother that my dad had been taken to the hospital and was in and out of consciousness.  When I arrived at the hospital, they said my dad had a bowel blockage and that my dad had opted not to have surgery. He was missing my mom and was ready to be with her again. The hospital gave him two to five days...but I knew he was not going to make it that long.  

I decided to stay with him at the hospital that night. They moved him to the hospice wing where he was just one floor below the room where my mother had passed away. After everyone else had left for the night, I sat next to him and said my goodbyes and held his hand.  He passed away very peacefully just minutes later.  It was a very beautiful and sorrowful moment for me.  But I am so grateful to have been there with him.  

My Disney travel agent business was thrown into a huge disarray when everything shut down for Covid-19.  I spent weeks on the phone on hold cancelling vacations...knowing that for all the hours I spent on the phone, I wouldn't be paid a penny.  Luckily, business has begun picking up again and I currently have seven groups on the books to travel to Disney in the next few months.  

If you want to know what I did to stay busy while there wasn't travel, you can find it at the bottom of the post.  I am not one to just sit around and do nothing.

Now for the project updates:  

Cross Stitch Projects


In my last update, I was working on this mystery project.  




I have now completed this piece and it's headed to a charity stitching group to be used as a block on a child's quilt.  I'm so happy with the way it turned out.  


In case you hadn't guessed, it's the outline of Eeyore with a picture of Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet inside.  The colors were so cheery to be working with...especially during the beginning of the pandemic when there were so many unknowns.  


The Quilt Finish

Although I've had several quilt finishes, here is a close-up of the most recently finished quilt top.  It's themed with World War II aircraft.  This has been gifted to a charity who makes quilts for those going on into the same hospice program both my parents wound up going into.  Did you know Walt Disney created artwork and films to inspire patriotism during World War II?  Just a fun little side note.  



Link Parties:

Other Updates on Me


When the pandemic hit and my business went quiet, I began to pivot and actually created a new Disney-inspired blog.  I had been sending my Disney clients games and puzzles I had created so that they could still get a little "Disney" in while the parks and theaters were closed.  

It was recommended I begin a blog on adding Disney magic into everyday life...so a new blog was formed!  If you're interested, you can find it at www.livelaughdis.com.  Currently, all content, printables, and downloadables are free.  I hope to keep it that way until I run out of space.  

Here is just one example of some of free puzzle books I offer:  


Feel free to click through and check it out if you enjoy brain puzzles like sudoku.  I need to reorganize the site so the puzzles are easier to find.  

I am hoping to get back into quilts and cross stitch blogging.  My goal is to post here on Goofin' Off Around the Block a couple of times a month.  I've missed you all sooooo much!  

Have a magical day!  

Andrea


Monday, December 30, 2019

Goofin' Off and Getting in the Zone

Have you ever heard anyone talk about being "in the zone"?  I feel like the past few weeks, as I have been focusing more on my personal goals and projects, I have been able to get "in the zone" more often.  For me, getting in the zone means a nice focus on the project at hand--everything else around me seems to disappear.  I set my timer and get to work...or maybe it's get to relaxing.  When the timer goes off, I can look at what I have been working on and smile at where I have finished my session of stitching for the day.


Getting in the Stitching Zone with Music

I know everyone gets "in the zone" differently.  What helps me get "in the zone" is listening to music.  I enjoy most types of music, but when I am working on a project, I enjoy listening to movie soundtracks and movie scores.  Can you guess what type of movie scores I like?  Ten guesses...anyone,  anyone?

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you can probably guess that I love to listen to soundtracks and movie scores from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, etc.   I even got a few new ones for Christmas this year.  My family knows me so well.  I got the music from the new Lion King movie that was released...as well as Jumanji.

I am sooooo excited I got these.  I have already ripped them onto my laptop and added them to my MP3 player.  They are now mixed in with my playlists and I am excited to have these added to my collection.  More music means more stitching...right?

My question to you is...

HOW DO YOU GET "IN THE ZONE"?


Let me know below in the comments, if you like.  I'm always looking for new ideas and ways to be more productive and get in the zone.  I love it when my friends share their ideas.  

Christmas Fun

I had a really nice Christmas this year.  The gatherings were a bit small, but the time spent with family was priceless.  I spent Christmas Eve with me and my boys.  Two days before Christmas Eve, Mr. Goofin' Off decided he wanted to prepare Christmas Eve dinner.  My plans for dinner went out the window, but I was more than happy to let him do all the work.  He was in the kitchen all day long preparing food and washing dishes.  What a Christmas treat.  You know what I did while he was doing all the hard work?  I was upstairs in my office/craft room doing some stitching.  Yay for me!!!

Christmas morning we had my son over and opened up stockings.  Santa still delivers Goofin' Off Jr.'s stocking gifts to our house.  Maybe he hasn't received a change of address yet?  Not a problem.  We love having him over.  About noon the boys headed out to pick up my dad.  It was his second Christmas without my mom, and it seemed to go a little better than last year.  He told me he didn't want a Christmas dinner; he wanted a Christmas brunch...so Christmas brunch it was.  We opened gifts with him and he and Mr. Goofin' Off watched some TV shows about cars while Goofin' Off Jr. and I took a little nap in the chairs next to them.  It was absolutely perfect.  

This Christmas was packed with lots of stitching and quilting gifts...all the more reason for me to get my act together so I can have more time for relaxing with my projects.  I received five 3-yard quilt kits from Fabric Cafe.  Their quilt kits go together really quickly and are the perfect size for Project Linus quilts...and each kit comes with their own pattern.  These was a fantastic sale for Black Friday, so I think Santa did a great job picking these out for me.

Star Trek 3-Yard Quilt Kit

Fishes 3-Yard Quilt Kit

Forest Animals 3-Yard Quilt Kit

Vintage Aircraft 3-Yard Quilt Kit

Floral 3-Yard Quilt Kit

Santa brought me this Ott light...well, technically this was my mother's Ott light that she had in her sewing room.  The lights had been broken out at some point while it was at my dad's assisted living facility.  Santa's elves got new light bulbs for it and got it working for me.  It will be an eye saver for me because the days are so dark here in the Pacific Northwest during the winter.  

Standing Ott Light

My last gift was from my dad.  He gave me money to purchase gifts for my family and wrap them up.  I chose for my dad to buy me the fabric and about one-third of the thread needed to get started on my Randal Spangler Sundae Delight pattern that I purchased from Heaven and Earth Designs several years ago.  My dad was tickled that he got to watch us open the gifts he gave us rather than just giving us money.  I hope to get started on this piece in the very near future.

Fabric and About 1/3 of Threads Needed for Sundae Delight by Randal Spangler
Sundae Delight
Sundae Delight by Randal Spangler - Charted by Heaven and Earth Designs
The past few weeks, I was actually able to get a jump start on 2020 and do some tweaking to my schedule.  I found a bit more stitching time and was able to make some progress on my newest stitching project.  Here it is:  

Last Update on Mystery Project - December 16, 2019
Current Progress on Mystery Project - December 30, 2019
Any guesses on this one?  I really am enjoying all the pretty colors of this piece after working so long on my Mickey and Pirate Friends piece that is full of browns, dark grays, and oranges.  These purple, pinks, and greens are just what the doctor ordered for me.  This pattern is four pages, and I will rotate after I complete a page finish.

Now it's time to step away from the blog and prepare for our annual New Year's Eve party.  Thank you all for being such a big part of my stitching world.  You all make the world a better place for me.  

I hope you all have a fun and safe New Year's Eve!  

Monday, December 16, 2019

Goofin' Off and Tapping Into My Strengths

I apologize for a partial hijacking of my normal stitching and quilting blog to mix in some time management stuff.  I am working through time management on my own so that I can get back to the activities that give me the sanity I need to get through the other "stuff" that goes on in my day-to-day life.  I have a great life and am not complaining--I just feel like the past year has gotten away from me.  Feel free to read through if you think you're interested or just scroll on down to the day-to-day fun stuff with quilting and stitching pictures.

Still Life, Lamb, Stuffed Animal

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. 

We only have today. Let us begin."  --Mother Teresa


There is so much truth to this.  I can't worry about what time is past.  I can't recoup the time I've lost.  I just need to reorganize myself and my time so that I can just begin with today.  

Tapping into my time-management strengths

This past year has come and gone.  I wasn’t able to accomplish many of the things I would have liked to.  Recognizing I want to get more done in 2020, I’ve realized that I’ve got to treat my time like an investment.  If I want to make 20 charity quilt tops in 2020, that means I’ve got to invest my time in gathering fabrics, rulers, rotary cutters, and other quilting supplies; cutting out shapes; and sewing these precious squares and triangles to create completed tops.  That precious quilt top is the return on my investment…and the interest on that return is knowing that children, families and seniors will be able to enjoy a warm quilt that was made with my time, sewing machine and love.  (Isn’t love the most important investment to include in a quilt?)  

That’s what my 2020 is going to be about…taking back control of my time so that I know that I’m spending it the way I need to so that I can feel fulfilled and still be of service to others.  I’ve come to realize that even though I don’t always feel in control of my time—like when a Disney comes out with a new discount promotion and I have loads of vacation requests coming from clients unexpectedly OR the dishwasher breaks two months after the warranty runs out and all dishes need to be washed by hand during the holidays OR a family member is having an emergency and I need to go spend a large chunk of time at the hospital—despite all of that, I really am in control of many aspects of my time.

In order to take back control of my time, I need to take a deep dive into my life and look at my tasks and see how I can restructure them and put a new schedule in place.  I know this will me to take a self-examination and be honest with myself about some things.  In addition, I’ll need to some tools to help me along.  I have read more than my fair share of self-help books, so I need to go back over my notes and thoughts that stood out to me and see if I can recognize what has helped me in the past.

Assessing my strengths (and weaknesses)

I have reached a point in my life where I have begun to discover my strengths and appreciate them for what they are.  
  • I am a great listener.  
  • I accomplish the most when I am using a checklist.  Some self-help gurus say not to make checklists.  Without my checklists I would not get much accomplished.  
  • I am organized (although that organization may occasionally look chaotic at times to an outsider).  There is a method to my madness.  
  • I have a love and compassion for people and a desire to help them.  
  • I am good with numbers and enjoy looking for a good bargain without sacrificing value.  
  • I believe in quality over quantity—once I have mastered something to the point I can produce great quality, the ability to produce more quantity follows suit.  
Like any investment, I need to figure out which of these brings the greatest returns towards my end goals for the coming year.  I really missed the mark for my goals in 2019, and looking at the list I can see how not leveraging those strengths changed things.  I need to remember that I can’t try to do everything…or I’ll have time for nothing.

Now that I’ve talked about some of my strengths, I guess I should admit to and come to terms with my weaknesses.  
  • I try to do too many things.  
  • I try to please too many people and often don’t leave enough time to do things for myself.  
  • I sometimes suffer a little too much FOMO (fear of missing out).  For example, I want to join a quilt-a-long because I see so many of my friends doing them…except the projects that I really want to work on like a charity quilt don’t fit the guidelines of said stitch-a-long.  

It's time for me to set some guidelines for meeting my goals in 2020 and recognizing and embracing which of my strengths will help me accomplish these goals.  It's also time for me to diagnose which of my weaknesses are hindering me the most so that I can work towards eliminating them or improving them.

What are your strengths?  I am glad we don't all have the same strengths.  The world needs a variety of talents and strengths to create balance that helps us function as a whole.  Thank you to all my fellow bloggers who share their strengths, tips, and talents.  I have grown so much because of you and all that you so willingly give impart!

Elf-ing Around Last Week

I was able to attend a work conference last week for my travel business.  It was held at the Sheraton Grand Seattle.  Since the conference included complimentary valet parking, Mr. Goofin' Off and I decided to carpool in together for the day.  He starts work at 7:00 a.m. and the conference didn't start until 10:00 a.m., so that gave me about three hours to do some reading, catch up on emails, and visit the gingerbread display at the hotel.  You could actually see his building from the room where the conference took place. 
Mr. Goofin' Off's Building is the One With the Large Diagonal Beam

The theme for the gingerbread display this year was "ElfLife".  Often, the lines for the displays can get very long.  Fortunately for me, when it opened at 9:00 a.m. in the middle of the week, I was the only person there.  I got to spend quite a bit of time enjoying the gingerbread displays.  Here are a few shots of my favorites: 

Gingerbread Display Inspired by the Movie "Elf" - (Santa, I know him!!!)
Inspired by the Keebler Elves
Santa's Workshop and Elves--Wait, Is That Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks as an Elf?
Aren't they just so delightful!  

Goofin' Off With Update from the Week of 12/08/2019

Okay, so it wasn't much...but it was something.  As the winter begins to wear on, I needed to work on something with color.  I went to Etsy and found a design I fell in love with.  I made a new start and will be rotating this with my Mickey and Pirate Friends piece.  This new project's pattern is only four pages...and three of those pages are partial pages.  I'm not telling you what it is just yet.  But here is my start.  

Progress on New Project as of 12/16/2019

This may not look like much stitching to you, but for me this was a real win to sit down and work on this.  I am so excited to see how it will turn out.  This will be a block that I will be sending and donating to Love Quilts. 

Any guesses yet?  It's hard to tell from this picture, but this is going to be loaded with lots of purples and pinks...just what I need to beat the winter blahs.