Saturday, February 1, 2014

"Needful Things" List for Craft Swap

I'm participating in my first Swap!  

I needed to list 20 things I can't live without...

1. Rain.  Nothing starts out a day better than the steady thrum and pitter-patter of rain.  Best way to go to sleep, too.  Throw in some rolling thunder and I am in my happy place.  Since I live in scorched Tucson, Arizona we have a thundering rain storm CD that gets LOTS of use.

2. Speaking of wet things, I can't live without my clothes dryer.  When we lived in Ohio I would toss in dry blankets and coats right before stepping out into the winter cold- so cozy!  I also throw a damp towel in to dry while I mix and knead dough for bread.  By the time the dough is ready to rise, the dryer is good and warm- works perfectly every time.

3. And after taking the baked bread out of the oven, I have to enjoy it's steamy yumminess with a tall glass of milk.  I have always loved milk.  I lived in Spain until I was 9.  My mom is German, so we made fairly frequent trips to Germany, where they believe giving a child cold milk will make them sick- they absolutely refused to serve it cold.  yech.

4. And speaking of Germany, while it doesn't happen often, I can't live without trips to that beautiful country.  Being in the military we have access to free flights on military planes, so we've made a couple trips.  I love the food, the weather, the beautiful forests and rivers and hills and mountains.  I love how timeless it feels.  And I love how the German I spoke as a child reemerges.

5. Childhood memories are one thing I cherish most.  My family and I love to reminisce about wonderful, hilarious, crazy times we've shared.  I also love sharing them with my children.  My family is pretty quirky.  OK, right out weird. So we've got tons of inside jokes and love to tease by endlessly quoting each other.

6. But quoting doesn't stop at family members.  If I couldn't quote and reference movies ALL day, I would be virtually mute.  A few years ago my family started this crazy tradition where we compile an enormous selection of quotes and string them together by starting one quote with the last word of the previous quote.  It usually ends in laughing so intense we're reduced to squeaks and tears.  I once visited a family member who doesn't watch many movies.  I got stumped so many times trying to share some insight or illustrate a point.

7.  Speaking of illustrating, that is another passion.  I absolutely NEED paper and pencil.  I've tried my hand at digital drawing and have the tools to do so, but I love the feel of the wooden pencil in my hands, the smell of fresh pencil shavings, the soft grainy sounds of pencil on paper, adjusting the paper so I can lean in and get lost in my work.  I have enjoyed doing commissioned work, but most love drawing for others I care for.

8. While I draw I love listening to books on CD.  I discovered it when the military started moving us and I had to drive one car by myself.  Lately I've been absorbed in the world of the "Outlander" books by Diana Gabaldon.  The reader has such fun inflections in her voice and I love the stories and imagery.  Of course stories like Harry Potter are great, too.

9. Another thing I enjoy doing while listening to books is to sew.  My sewing machine ranks VERY high on my list of needful things! It's ironic since, despite my mom's efforts, I had absolutely NO interest in the hobby until I was married.  Now there's always some project (or 2 or 3) in some state of completion on my machine.  I recently opened up an Esty shop to sell original handmade items, mostly for rambunctious little boys, although I get so many random ideas it keeps branching out into other themes.

10. And while we're on the topic of themes, I've noticed a theme in my movie selections.  I need chick flicks- the funnier, wittier or sappier the better!  When I don't have a book to listen to, I pop in a movie, which often ends up being something like "27 Dresses", "You've Got Mail", "Mona Lisa Smile", "Confessions of a Shopaholic"...  I also really enjoy a good suspense or drama, but I love the cheeriness of a good chick flick.

11. What better way to enjoy a good movie than in comfy fleece pajama pants?  I so very much NEED them.  In fact, I'm wearing the pair my hubby got me for Christmas as I type this up.  At 4:30 in the afternoon.  Yup.  I'm all about the creature comforts!  Which extend to include..

12.  My Jelly Crocs!!  I can't even begin to describe how comfortable these shoes are!  I wear them everywhere.  And they're even cute!

13.  But not as cute as my girls' hair.  I need the tote brimming with hair things I use almost every morning to do up my little princesses' tresses.  My 8-year old used to pull out her hair, to the point that she was almost bald.  She inexplicably stopped when we got her tonsils out 4 years ago.  Since then it's grown in so beautifully I just HAVE to play with it.

14.  Something else I HAVE to play is my piano.  I'm no accomplished pianist, but I love to play.  I often play a bit right before delving into a new project or preparing a presentation, to stimulate my creativity or just sooth my nerves.

15.  Maybe this is uninteresting, but my Kindle also does a great job helping me unwind, mostly at bedtime.  First I use it to read scriptures, and if I'm still too perky to sleep, then I play Spider Solitaire until I nod off.  I don't use it for reading as much as I thought I would, but it's a life saver at church when the kids are all squirrely.  I also love using it to peruse that popular website... what's it called again?... oh yeah

16. PINTEREST!  I know it's not that original either, but how else would I have learned that you can mix 2 parts corn starch with 1 part hair conditioner to make the most amazing, light, good smelling playdough ever!?  It's my main spot to find amazing hair styles to try out on my girls, the best ways to applique, ideas for products to sell, fun gift ideas, and always lots of laughs.

17.  Something else that make me laugh every day are my 2 cats.  Lapiz, the black one, is this lanky, mischievous fiend.  She likes to provoke the other kitty and is only affectionate when she obviously wants something, like food or to wake you up for no apparent reason.  We named the calico Serena because she's just so serene. My brother calls her "Pillow" because she's just so dang plump and soft.  She likes sleeping in the bathroom sink, has the funniest scratchy mew, and she's constantly trying to sneak nibbles of our food.

18.  I can't really blame her, though, especially when it has "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter" spread on it.  yuuummm.....  yeah, I need that stuff every day.

19. My days also need something resembling organization.  I am so NOT type "A", I'm pretty sure I'd be a type "Z" if it existed.  In an attempt to achieve some semblance of order I have cork boards in almost every room.  I pin up permission slips, recipes, photos, ads, the kids' homework and good grades, project ideas, keys, bread, apples, very small rocks, cider, grey gravy, cherries, mud, churches!  oops.. I slipped into a quote.

20.  And finally, rather unrelated to the last "need", I need mountains.  I need to see them, from majestically towering before me, to lovely and steady far away.  I dream of living on one, thick with fresh trees, jagged rocks, wildlife, silent except for the music of rustling leaves, the songs of birds and the gentle thrum and pitter-patter of mountain rain.