If You Think of it, Try it!

If you think of it, TRY IT.  Do not imagine how it will or won’t work – TRY IT.  –marianne burr

 That was Marianne Burr’s final advice to me, after my days of art lessons with her.  It seems simplistic, doesn’t it?  But she knew that that is many times what stops the forward movement of creativity.  So following that advice, I FINALLY sat down to try something that I’ve thought about, literally, for several years.   I had thought about adding beads to some of my quilts.  I had a book.  I had the basic supplies.  But I just was very unsure of how it all would work out.  I was almost afraid of trying.  And guess what?  IT WAS FUN!  And it was way faster than I thought it would be.

This picture shows the “bead rug.”  “Hmmm, this feels familiar, like something I might have at home?” I said to the lady in the bead store.  “Its a velux blanket.”  Oh.  I would have had 20 or 30 bead rugs if I hadn’t thrown that blanket out last year…


And a close-up of where I’ve started adding some beads to my little quilt sampler.

After I left the bead store, I popped into the furniture consignment shop across the street.  WHY do I do that?  I don’t have room for more furniture…oh, yeah.  I was looking for a love seat to replace the sofa so I’d have enough room to move it the big desk that I brought home from my dad’s…  Anyway, I saw a birds eye maple wardrobe as I walked in the door.  Birds eye maple is my favorite wood.  I was mildly interested.  I was just about to leave when a young man appeared and asked if he could help me.  “How much are you selling that for?”–waving at the wardrobe.  “I’ll let you have it for $50 as is.”  Well, how could I resist that?  Even if I didn’t have room for it.

Then the nightmare begins.  How to get it home without asking favors of anybody.  And WHERE to put it???  I thought I might put it in my closet and just use it for storage.  Then I looked in my closet.  Nightmare–too much to move and then to get it in there–I’d have to practically move every piece of furniture in the house to get it in there.  So I walked out and looked around the house.  HEY!   I hate that hall tree.  I’ll put it there and it will be like having a hall closet.  And then I can enjoy looking at it.  Plus, the only moving I’ll have to do is to unclutter the hall tree, and move it out, and it’ll be a straight shot (practically) to move the wardrobe in!

Okay, this is getting too long.  To make a long story short, I figured out I had enough room in my SUV to bring it home myself.  And then  I used my super powers (hey, all that working out at the gym has to be good for something, right?) to get it into the house all by myself!  I was pretty darn pleased about that!  Another example of ‘if you think of it, try it’ working.

Here’s the old hall tree.  I bought it out of a catalog, and of course, it didn’t look nearly as good in person as it did in the catalog.  Of course, its cleared off here, but it was usually covered with a bunch of junk, with leashes and collars hanging off of it.

Here’s the wardrobe.  It almost fits in this space.

The inside is almost better than the outside!  Lots of spaces to put stuff, and I can even use the tie rack on the door to hang the dog leases on!

I’ve been wanting to make a double wedding ring quilt out of a particular collection of fabrics I have.  I think I already wrote about failing one attempt at this.  So today I got out a different pattern and gave it another try.  FAIL AGAIN!  Either the pattern was not well done, or I was not following it correctly.  Either way, it didn’t work at all, and I did not enjoy the process at all.  But while I was working on it (and thinking about how I wasn’t enjoying it, and couldn’t I do this a different way that I might enjoy) a seed of an idea started germinating.  So I got out my box of 2 inch squares and gave it a try.  Voila!  A modern take on the double wedding ring block!  Those squares are just raw edge machine appliqued (read:  zig zagged) onto the backing fabric.  Another example of the ‘if you think of it, try it’ philosophy!

All this took quite a bit of time, and I noticed all three dogs snoozing and grabbed my camera for a photo op.


Of COURSE, someone just can’t sleep  when there is a camera in the area.

I cut the squares a little larger, and used the actual collection of fabrics that I had in mind for the double wedding ring.  I really like the way it looks, and I thoroughly enjoy this method of sewing.  And the reason I’ve been so determined to find a way to do this was so that I would have a machine piecing project that might be easy enough to work on while I am recuperating from my carpal tunnel surgery the next few months.

I made myself a little kit–squares all cut and ready to go!

Okay, this next can’t fit into the ‘if you think of it, try it’  mantra.  When I see a recipe that interests me, I will bookmark it.  This one’s been bookmarked a LONG time, and yesterday was finally the day to try it. Raw Double Fudge Brownies.   Oh mama, these are good.  Dangerously good.  VERY healthy ingredients.  But NOT low calorie.  If you analyze the recipe, it is very high in fats, because of the nuts and the avocado. Yep, that’s why its good.  This little baby is probably 1 1/2″ X 2″ and calculates out at 200 calories.  Its just not something I can have every day.  But for me, its still better than having a regular brownie because I can be relatively satisfied with just one.  Usually.  They are in the freezer now…

So that’s about it for now.  I don’t have any words of wisdom on how to lose weight or maintain that weight loss.  The longer this goes on, the less I think I know.  You start out so enthusiastic about your successful weight loss, and you just want to share the wonderfulness with everyone.  You want to encourage  people and tell them they can do it.  But it seems there’s nothing you can do or say to help people.  Its a very complex problem, with a multitude of ways to treat it.  There’s no cure.  That’s one thing I CAN tell you for sure.

Don’t be alarmed.  I’m not giving up.  In fact, I made it to the gym three times last week, for a weights workout and a swim each time.  And I am walking more than ever, in spite of the dust.  I’m currently (still) keeping track of the calorie count of what I eat, and also tracking to make sure I get a well rounded diet with enough protein.  Still minimizing sugar (life is so much easier when I play by this rule.)  I still go ‘off track’ sometimes, like Saturday when I went to the movies and had popcorn and M&M’s.  I don’t have that much trouble going back to my healthy eating ways the next day.  Trying to be aware of the foods that I know give me trouble, but not giving those foods super powers any more.

I guess I’m just saying that I don’t feel like I have much to add to the weight loss/maintenance blog world in the way of advice.  But I guess you guys knew that already LOL.  I know a LOT more about living with dogs, and quilting and cooking and reading….

16 thoughts on “If You Think of it, Try it!

  1. You don’t have to have advice all the time. I see you living “life” as the maintainer of a significant weight loss. You are not perfect in that and would like to lose a little more, yet you enjoy the loss you maintain, you enjoy food, you understand your limits and you encourage those of us still struggling. THAT is why your blog along with several others just like you are my inspiration.

  2. I love the beading! It makes a pretty sampler spectacular! What a bargain you got on that wardrobe…. however DID you get it home safe and sound?

    I’m with you on the no advice and that longer I do it, the less I seem to know. Also on the not giving up. One day maybe, but not now 🙂

  3. That Healthy Skeptic article is really good and confirms my belief that each person has to find what works for THEM.

    I’m excited about your beadwork!! I think it’s going to add a whole ‘nother layer to your creativity. And I love what Marianne said – I think that extends far beyond quilting. 🙂

  4. So much to comment on! I am loving the beadwork – especially the little clusters – on the one section with the whites, blues and greens, it reminds me of seashells caught in a mermaid’s net (why yes, I have a highly active imagination, lol). For waiting so long to try this, you are a natural! Your piece just gets more and more amazing…one of these days, you should do a post with all the pictures, from start (with the gold outlines) to finish, just to watch the evolution.

    I cannot believe you got that wardrobe home and in your house all by yourself!!! Although I’m sure Noah helped – he looks like he’s giving it a final inspection, lol. Great idea for your “hall tree” – with all of the shelves and hooks, you are going to be super organized! Quite the beautiful piece, and what an amazing bargain!

    Paco does the same thing as Sophie – I swear, he knows the little beep sound that turns on my camera and always has to pose. You can tell she’s not really awake because her ears aren’t up, though. Noah is crashed! Dang, I wish I could sleep as soundly as he looks like he does!

    That brownie? OMG. I am not EVEN going to click on the link. It looks too good. Dangerously good. Not belonging in my house, even in the freezer, good.

    And as for advice, I know what you mean. Sometimes I wonder if people get bored with what I write, especially since I’m not actively losing weight…but I’m like you – just feeling my way through this. I like coming here, and reading whatever you write. So keep on keeping on…:)

  5. Just by being here and being your lovely authentic self, you assure us that it’s possible to manage our weight and still live a rich and full life, knowing when to indulge a little and when to rein it back in.

    Love that wardrobe! If you angled it a teensy bit, I’ll bet it would fit that corner perfectly. Of course, then the door might not open all the way, but you could probably squeeze through. (Can you tell I spend way too much time watching HGTV?) 🙂

  6. I love reading about your quilting. I like Marianne’s advice. I going to try that I get so stuck in a rut sometimes. The best piece of advice I got for quilting was make visual decisions visually.

  7. Quilting with bling – I love it! I love sparkly things.

    Love the Healthy Skeptic blog and that post really was such a wonderful summation of weight loss. Funny how we all think there is a right and wrong way to go about it or why we are overweight.

    I had a sigh of relief with the brownie because it has avocado in it, which I don’t like. I was worried I would be running to the kitchen right now to make these LOL.

    • Lori I thought of you since they are grain free. You absolutely cannot taste the avocado, I swear. Just smooth chocolatey deliciousness LOL.

  8. I love Marianne’s quote! Good advice in many situations. And the beadwork is truly lovely. Aren’t you glad you branched out?

    OK, now I need an update on your sheep rug!

  9. Debby, you are AMAZINGLY talented!!! The beading is GORGEOUS!!! Hats off to you for getting that wardrobe in, and I have to AWWWWWWW at your lovely dogs again. I love your blog..please don’t feel you don’t have alot to add, I see you as a healthy living inspiration!!! All the best for your Wed. Give those dogs a scratch behind the ears for me.

  10. It’s nearly 11 p.m. at the end of a mostly-good-but-long week, but I just had to pop in and say “hello” and “ditto” to just about every comment. I love reading your blog, probably because it IS about your life, and the things that bring it joy and meaning, not just a single aspect of it. Or maybe it’s just because I too like hearing about dogs, food, books, and fiber arts…

    Love the quote from Marianne and am SO happy you got to learn from her in person!

  11. Let me tell you how excited I am right now. First of all I see a golden sharing your avatar space, then find out that you are artistic, and the icing on the cake? Why, that would be the photo of the brownie with icing! Where have you been, oh Golden, chocolate-lover, artsy chick? LOL
    Beautiful quilts!

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