Some Gratitude: Sudoku, Milan Kundera novel, sewing machine, Prismacolor pencils, Zentangle Inspired Art

A few minutes ago I went into the library to quickly grab something really important. So important, in fact, that I can't recall now what it was. The reason for that, of course, is that I got distracted by this little slice-of-life that was laid out for me on this children's drafting table I acquired a few months ago at Goodwill for $3.

Standing by the French doors, I looked around the room, pondering the reason for my little trek. And then I saw this, this ARRAY of deliciousness. All these items I've touched so recently that I didn't bother to put any of them back in their "real" homes. Just quickly laid them on the table to get them out of the main part of the house, the good intentions with which I'm so often filled, right there on the surface.

It's scenes like these that breeze right by the typical mental declaration of "Woman! Why can't you finish a cleaning project? Ever?!" and all the way into Serious Gratitude Territory.

What a fine life I have. In addition to The Very Big Love of this man of mine, an incredible family, a humbling number of truly amazing friends, and a career that makes me pinch myself - not to mention a new garden that gave me THREE fresh cucumbers today - I also have these toys! Shall we take a spin around the shot? Just to amuse myself, exercise my writing skills, and also stretch out the Gratitude Exercise a little longer! Some back stories. You know how we love the back stories around here!

I Present to You:

(With my apologies for the "misplaced" photos to your right. I wanted them to appear further down the list, but apparently you can't wrap numbered text around photo galleries? #firstworldwebchickproblems)

  1. Two in-process "Zentangle Inspired Art" projects. Apparently (if I'm understanding properly - you know, of course, that my reading on the subject is frequent but sporadic and brief, what with all that "organized doodling" I just can't wait to resume every time I carve out a bit of time for my new hobby,) actual Zentangles are tiny squares. They're done on small tiles. I've ordered some and expect them tomorrow, but truly this feels irrelevant to me. As does the instinct that sometimes I'm doing it wrong. This isn't me being self-deprecating OR putting myself down. There are just these "official" patterns that are considered "real" Zentangle, new-and-emerging ones coming along all the time, and then some other stuff that might just decide it wants to be in a piece of art. There's a lot more I think I'll have to say on the topic, but how 'bout we leave that for a future post, why don't we? Good to have incentive, no?
  2. My sewing machine. I'd given my old one away during the nomadic years, and last summer (ish) I met someone who was selling all her stuff before she moved across the country. This sewing machine was fairly new to her, but she wasn't keeping it. What a thrilling gift to me! I've recently used it several different times for tiny handy projects. Bigger goals await. I just know it's wonderful to have one of these babies at the ready, once again, just the way it always was. (I was reared by a woman who sewed all the time. Handy, that!)
  3. A zippered pouch overflowing with Prismacolor colored pencils. For the coloring with which I started out the year, followed by these little drawings I have been doing all year long. I tend to have several in process at all times, and have really loved having these at my fingertips at all times. And what fun it was to keep finding these little boxes and packets of colored pencils I'd packed away in this or that box or bag or suitcase only to find that, little-by-little as my stuff emerged from storage and my friend's attic and items became more and more consolidated, I have rather a lot of these! Besides that, there was that handy eBay find!
  4. My tiny tripod with an attachment that clips onto my iPhone. Having used it for the recent shoot of Talk of Teronus (new episode coming soon!) I realized I could use it to assist with my multi-tasking goals! So if I'm doing something with my hands - like drawing or coloring, perhaps - but my mind is free to watch a tutorial on how to do it better, why not clip my phone in and prop it up on the unextended legs of this tripod!? Voila!
  5. Milan Kundera's newest novel, The Festival of Insignificance, which I was soooo into last week. Then I completely forgot I was even reading a book and misplaced it. See?! I found it! (Never mind the other books I also didn't finish but which I had been enjoying. Sigh. It's a really bad habit I've got to get over very soon!
  6. On the 4th of July, we stopped into a bookstore. Where he bought me an actual book filled with Sudoku puzzles! One of my Seattle Friends (hey Rhi!) turned me onto this particular addiction in '06 and I'd forgotten that, too. Until a few months ago when I rediscovered it and downloaded an app on my phone. I'll tell ya: there's something seriously gratifying about doing a puzzle with a pencil on actual paper! As long as you have an eraser, that is. Which I always do. So far.
  7. A huge sketchpad in which I have been creating these huge colorful, geometric, circle-centric mandalas. See? I opened the book just for you. I've posted shots of two of them: one is incomplete and the other I finished a while ago. Way up there. Far away from this paragraph. Sigh. Still... Happy, Happy Circles.
  8. A ruler with a non-skid strip of cork glued to the back. Because sometimes you might want to draw a straight line!

And that's enough. Now I think I'll go see if that man of mine wants to dance in the kitchen. Or walk outside and check to see if we need to water the part of the garden that lives in containers.

What are YOU grateful for tonight?