Saturday, July 18, 2015

Share A Book - Getting Things Done

One of the things that has always plagued me as a knitter/fiber enthusiast is an ever growing pile of unfinished projects (UFO's); items I committed to make for someone, either to myself or personally, sweater's I just put down and never picked up again, and designs I started, but gave up on...I know I am not alone here; many in our fiber community have blogged, tweeted, and pinned about the same problem. With that in mind, for the very first post in my 'Share A Book' series, I'd like to recommend a book I am currently reading called 'Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity' by David Allen.  I first heard about this book from watching Miss Trenchcoat in her 'Plan Like An Entrepreneur' series.
I have been praying about my struggle with accomplishing tasks and feeling so overwhelmed all of the time. This book has truly been an answer to those prayers, and that's another reason I wanted to share it with you today! 
My prayers have gone something like this: " Lord, why am I not accomplishing anything that really needs to be done? I feel so overwhelmed and helpless.... Please help me not to feel so anxious and exhausted."  I thought my problem was fear, worry and lack of faith. With that, comes guilt; for what I am not doing that I should be doing and fear that my future is in my hands, but my hands are weak. That's how I felt. Overwhelmed and with little ability to correct it.

But Mr. Allen's book has really helped me to turn that around. First, he thoroughly explains the problem:

"A paradox has emerged in this new millennium: people have enhanced quality of life, but at the same time they are adding to their stress levels by taking on more that they have resources to handle....the plethora of options and opportunities brings with it the pressures of decision making and choices. And most people are, to some degree, frustrated and perplexed about how to improve the situation."

For me, I also have and overextended life situation with my husband's illness, which has added to what is stated here as well as the normal, everyday activities and responsibilities most people have.

The solution begins with getting everything out of your head and onto the page, and continues with tips that will help you to organize tasks into do-able next steps, and begin to move items into the 'completed' category. Amen....finally!

I must say, I have felt so much more clear headed and calm, just in taking his first suggestion of 'capturing' every task, real or imagined, every promised action, every 'should' or 'I wish', no matter how small or trivial, on paper. Now having all of that 'stuff' out of my head and in a trusted place has done wonders for my sanity...truly!

I am particularly impressed that these techniques can be partially or fully implemented with immediate results and are very forgiving in their presentation. No need to dive in head first and commit to a complete lifestyle change. Just use what you can and feel good about that.

If you've never read this book, buy it, anyone can benefit from his down-to-earth techniques or, if you have already read it, get the latest edition. Mr. Allen has updated his methods to include tools which are available today which were not when the book was first published. I have a provided an Amazon Link on my sidebar. Just click through and purchase the digital or paperback edition. I also have a link for the Kindle Reading App on the sidebar. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wow! Hard to believe it has been close to a year since I posted an update to this blog. Life moves pretty fast, doesn't it? There have been some changes chez Angelarae, but I am sure most of you could say the same.

My husband's brain injury has pretty much had the usual impact on life, but I am happy to report that over the last 6 months we have finally found a helpful resource. The Brain Injury Association of NC has been invaluable and giving Hal and our family the support we have needed for so long, but just didn't know where to look.  We finally have answers to and validation for many of the behaviors and difficulties we have dealt with over the past several years and have also joined support groups which are useful for me and beneficial for Hal, especially helping him to understand and accept his limitations and weaknesses.

Emma and Will are growing quickly:0)

Will is 17, now, a senior at Cary H.S. and Emma is 14, just starting CHS as a freshman...

As for me, I have finally decided I need to get serious about my blogging.  I miss writing and interacting with all of you!  Social networking is fun, too, but it really hasn't taken the place of blogging for me. So, I am glad to be back! 

Now to brainstorm some cool blog posts! Got some great ideas, already!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


     What a wonderful last couple of months I've had...many challenges, but blessings along the way, as well. I have acquired new work, secular, so-to-speak...that is, not fiber related in any way...though I will admit to spinning on my drop spindle whilst I wait for work. Shhhh...don't tell anyone!
Also, Hal, my DH, has been dealing with some pretty severe health issues which, by nature, bring additional challenges for the rest of the family. The good news is, he is now somewhat stabilized and since I can work from home, I don't have to worry about leaving him alone and I can also schedule around his doctor appointments...another blessing.
And, finally, there are the projects! The first and most interesting of these I'd like to share is this one:

This lovely bedspread is 80 years was crocheted by a woman and her granddaughter has asked me to repair it. It has been such an honor. Can you imagine all the work and years it must have taken to create this piece? All the torn seams have been repaired at this point and all that is left to do is re-crochet various squares that have come undone over the years...a labor of love, I assure you!
Next, I am knitting with my handspun. This will be a shawl knitted in a wool/silk blend I spun up on my wheel. The lighting in this picture does not show the true color of it. This fiber is really a pinkish grey....
It's a fir cone shawl, a pattern I adore and have wanted to knit up for some time. It is a Shetland pattern, isn't it? Some of you may know. At any rate, it has been very enjoyable! A pattern may emerge from it, depending on what I do with the edgings and whether or not I am happy with the result. 

You know how much I love shawls! And, you know, I really want one for the cooler weather just round the corner. I want it to be wool and warm and I really don't care about making anything to be patterned or sold in any way, just something I can enjoy. The color here is pretty close, though I think the blues are a good deal brighter. I love Plymouth Mushishi...lots of yards and beautiful color changes.  This is now my reward for getting my work done during the day...I get to play with this project every evening until it is finished! I leave you with a mouth-watering picture:0) Go and get some for yourself and do what I'm doing...a decide as you go never know, it could be the best thing you ever knitted!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New Crochet Along - Ogle House Throw

Hello Everyone!

Wanted to let you all know that the Designer Crochet Along for the Ogle House Throw starts today at the Crochet World Group on Ravelry.  We will be making our first square today and I will be offering designer insight, tips, charts and video to go along with the crochet along, so definitely join the group, if you aren't already a member, and crochet with us.
We will be using Premier Yarns, Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted. You can order yours here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Plying and Spinning

Plied the last bits of my Woolgatherings Superwash BFL today. The drop spindle is a very hand tool, along with my makeshift Andean Bracelet...

Just to free up a couple bobbins for this...

The oatmeal BFL from Paradise fibers...the plan is a nice 2 ply to knit a vest. We shall see if 8oz. Will be enough...