10 for $10,000.00

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8:27 AM
" What if, instead of climbing Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God, Moses had turned to the Israelites and asked, "Hey, what do you guys think we should do?"
Considering the Hebrews' bad behavior, with the coveting of neighbors' wives and murdering their own brothers, that might have been a disastrous idea.  But in our own more enlightened age, we're perfectly capable of crowd sourcing our own commandments -- or, at least, that's what a new project would have us believe.

Lex Bayer, an executive at AirBnB, and John Figdor, a humanist chaplain at Stanford University, delivered their own 10 "non-commandments" in a book they co-wrote: "Atheist Heart, Humanist Mind." Bayer said the book forced him to clarify and articulate his own beliefs, and he thought others could benefit from doing the same."
Enter the "10 'Non-Commandments' Contest," in which citizens were asked to offer modern alternatives to the famous ten. And, to sweeten the pot, the contest offered $10,000 in moolah to the winning would-be Moses.   Yeah, that's right - each one of the lucky ten individuals, received $10,000!   Wish I had known about it, as none of the ten selected,  looked that difficult to come up with!
The contest drew more than 2,800 submissions from 18 countries and 27 U.S. states, according to Bayer and Figdor. The proposed "non-commandments" ranged from the quizzical ("Don't follow your nature") to the quixotic ("Thriving in space is the ultimate goal").
A team of 13 judges selected 10 of the more sober and serious submissions, and announced the winners Friday.
There's nary a "thou shalt" among them -- nothing specifically about murder, stealing or adultery, although there is a version of the Golden Rule, which presumably would cover those crimes.  If they lack faith in the divine, the atheist "non-commandments" display a robust faith in humankind.
Bayer said humans are hardwired for compassion, and the scientific method and wisdom of crowds -- or the tribes that gather online each day -- will weed out bad ideas. In other words, this is an open-ended, and hopefully progressive, process, he said."

Luck of the Draw

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5:25 PM

Thomas Hardy

Many of the views of my 17-year-old self were formed around the novels and poetry of Thomas Hardy;  views to which I still hold onto, over 40 years later.   He was my favorite author then, as he is now.

Drawing from The Mayor of Casterbridge
Even though he wrote fiction, his novels represented stark and raw truth. It was a truth that overrode  any religious dogmas ever taught to me. 

Hardy never lied to me.    He had analyzed life meticulously, and through pure genius, come up with certain answers.   They rang so true to me, that I believed them, too.

 Thomas Hardy

These philosophies included: 
  • Nature is impersonal and a primitive force   
  • Chance plays a conspicuous part in the course of events
  • Any person's life can easily be derailed by unexpected bad luck
  • Inborn instincts and inherited traits are responsible, to a large degree, for a person's thoughts and actions    

Far From the Madding Crowd - read at 17 

 In Hardy's novels, irony of circumstance results in human suffering.   Throughout it all, nature remains unconcerned and indifferent.  

  But realization comes to the reader, that  social laws and conventions can be changed and cause an improvement in our human lot.  


      Through his novels, one learns that time is a great series of moments and incidents, some fortunate but others not so much so.   Even though fate does not take into account a person's aspirations and desires, a successful answer still exists, for happiness and meaning.

   Turning to human kindness and empathy for our joy in life,   is that answer.   Becoming a person that refuses to impart cruelty to our fellow beings, including animals,   defines a life well fulfilled.   Another conspicuous note that resonates, is Hardy's acknowledgement of the merit of loyalty in human relations. 

       I love Thomas Hardy for setting me straight and telling me things that were hard to hear, but in such a beautiful way.  

     I am in awe of the ability of any brilliant mind,  to capture nature's beauty and the depth  of human experience as coherently as Hardy did.      I truly admire his genius.    

Animals To Mark Your Page

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4:49 PM
Having fun making little bookmarks today.  Do you think these would be a cute present to give, with a favorite book?

The small ones are 1/2" hexagons and the larger are 3/4".  They are fast and easy.  Five hexagons are hand sewn together in a row.  The back side is felt that was attached around the edges with my sewing machine.   

Wouldn't they look cute tied in with ribbon on top of a present with a book inside?  or just tucked inside a birthday card?    Watch out though, it is hard to make just one!

Travel Organizers

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2:13 PM

     A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place - that is a great rule for not wasting time, right?   Nothing is more frustrating than frantically looking for an essential item - all the while knowing you will probably be late, because of that item being lost. 
    Often used items, such as scissors, pencils, eyeglasses and lipstick are worth buying extras of and keeping them in various locations.

    This is my quite old and much used organizer I keep in my car.  

It is an absorbent terrycloth roll that stays in my glove box, for "just in case".    It usually holds toothbrush and paste, sunglasses, emery boards and lip gloss.        When it looks a little dingy, I take out my items and just toss it in the washing machine,  along with the rest of my laundry.  Then I think for a minute if I need to add or subtract anything before replacing my items and putting it back in my car.    

These would be nice for a college dorm room, sleepovers, camping or to throw in a your suitcase for your next business trip or vacation.  
Toiletries are one use but they are also fun for tools or sewing kits.  It could also keep an MP3 player, cords, a charger, headphones and phone all in one place.

Hexie Love

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11:30 PM

  Do you sometimes find your hands idle and wish you were creating something?   Maybe something to do while waiting at the doctor's office or watching TV?  

    I personally like working with hexagons because of the immediate reward they give.  It is very self satisfying to spend just a few minutes basting - and ta-da, you have something cute!

If you have never worked with hexagons before, they are easy peasy. 
The blog, PrettyByHand, has such a nice tutorial.  If you need hexagon templates, you can find some different sizes here.

Hexagons are the perfect "grab and go" project.  I like making up zip lock bag kits ahead of time, to throw in my car's glove box or behind a couch cushion.  Then, I just grab it to start sewing while I watch CNN or waiting in my car for someone or something.  

Would Make A Lovely Gift

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2:18 PM

    So almost everyone has a heating pad, right?  They come in really handy for occasional aches and pains. Sometimes I even wrap mine around my feet when I have Popsicle toes.   They are also  handy to put under the covers when you are cold and your partner is not! 

  The problem is that they have an ugly cover.  One side is really not too bad usually being plain blue but the other side has got little ugly writing all over it, which is hard to read and can't bring anyone any joy.  

  So I have been making cute covers - a kind of little pillowcase out of fabric that makes it fun to keep your heating pad out  in the open instead of stashing the ugly thing behind a cushion.   It is nice to slip the cover off and throw it in the wash every week or two.

    To the left, is a picture of the first one I made.  My sweet husband made it a point to "eww" and "ahhh" over it, which made me want to give it to him the next week when he got a muscle spasm in his back.  It sits like a pillow on his chair in our bedroom.  Since the colors go with our bedspread, it looks like it fits there.

Then my Dad became sick with pneumonia so I needed to make him one, too.  I hope it sends a message of love and caring when it arrives and he opens it. 

Then my savvy girlfriend called from back East and asked what I was up to.   She suggested they would sell well on ETSY.com.  I promptly made three of them out of the pre-quilted fabric below. They worked up really fast.   I opened up my little online store and much to my surprise, one promptly sold!
The next one is King Size and uses more fabric.  It was made for my husband's boss and his adorable wife.  It is also a thank you present for all the times they have invited us over for delicious dinner parties.  They like the out of doors, and have snow mobiles and a 4-wheeler.   It is also  out of a flannel material.    I hope they like it this winter, especially when they take their motor home out camping.

There Is Something About A Hexagon

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8:21 PM

 humble little hexagon thatTT
 the isTTnchanting.  There is something about the creativity
begins when you decide on the  y color and  size combination    
Many tutorials exist on sewing with these little darlings.  But it is basically asTh easy as putting your paper template on the fabric, and basting around it.
Fussy Cut Hexagons

The wonderful thing about sewing up hexagons is that they are so portable!  Everything you need can fit in a sandwich size zip lock bag.  It is handy to have in the glove box of your car in case you have to wait somewhere.  

It is lots of fun to "fussy cut" a hexagon; to target cut a specific area of the fabric to include it or center it. Here is a sweet little bookmark I whipped up today.  It was fun, but I now wish I had added a little tassel at the bottom.


Color Attraction

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2:15 AM
What makes a person find themselves attracted to certain colors while at the same time, disdaining others?   I wonder why.    
     My mother recently redid her condominium and chose the colors green, grey and purple.   It sounded strange and I was not so anxious to see how it turned out. 

When I finally did visit, I liked it much better than I thought I would.  At the same time, I knew I would never choose the same color palette.  There is just something about green and purple used together, that does not appeal.

I  have always loved  white and the color green together.  But lately I have been attracted to the color scheme of blue and pink, especially in a bedroom.  It seems to be popular now, especially in Scandinavian countries.  I am attracted to the simple look they have adopted.     

It use to be that a couple would save up, and purchase a "bedroom set".  The bed posts, armoire, nightstands and dressers would all be made out of the same wood, stained with the same shade.   That mode of decorating has somewhat  gone away.  I say, "Good riddance"!  

 Cath Kidston, the English designer, has been responsible for some of the changes made in home decor.   She goes for bare wooden floors,  flowers, birds and little chippy cups.  Her way of  thinking, is mine, too.  Her items bring a little ray of happiness, wherever they are  placed.  

        I once read that when decorating, think of your home as a landscape.  Just as you would look out of a window to see a beautiful scene in nature that feeds the soul, so should the inside landscape of a house be.  

    Ikea is another huge success story and has changed the landscape in many households.   Their philosophy consists of, "change it up and make it yours".   It is fun to have a home reflect the love and interests of the owners who occupy it.  In our home it consists of quilts,  many books, animals, vintage samplers and items brought back from England, our favorite place to travel.

    William Morris said,   'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.'  If you believe that life is short and meant to be enjoyed, this is an important philosophy.