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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - A Year in Review

Hello Internet People!  Happy New Year!  This is usually the time of the year that I sit down and make a list of my accomplishments for the preceding year.  My list this year is a little different than it has been the past few years, there aren't very many quilts on it.  I only finished 5 complete quilts this year.  I quilted 3 others that I had left over from previous years, but that was about the sum total of my quilting this year.  I did dye over 100 shirts and more than 100 yards of fabric, and I learned how to use my screen printing system, at least at a functional level.  Oh, and I have written over 200 Blog Posts, here and on the other Blogs.

Let's see, what the hell else did I do this year?   Well, I spent countless hours working for my husband, that's gotta count for something.   I even managed to do some work for me.  Not that it has paid off much, but hey, at least I keep trying.  I have done a lot of research and some experimentation in the world of art quilting, and I did learn a whole host of new techniques and tricks to use going forward.

I may not have a long laundry list of completed quilts this year, but its been a pretty good year anyway.  I made a few new friends and I had a lot of fun, so I really can't complain too much.  I don't know yet what this next year has in store for me, but I am looking forward to it more than I can remember ever looking forward to a new year, so bring it on.  As long as the neighbors don't blow up the house with all the fireworks they are lighting off right now, I think 2013 might just be a pretty good year too.            
                               
                                  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Organizing the Hoard

 Hello again Internet People!  Another busy day here at Mother's house.  I almost forgot to come put in my time at the keyboard today, but then I remembered, so here I am.  I spent the morning sorting out all my hand dyed fabrics, again.  So they are now all arranged in color groupings again.  These were the pieces without the fusible web on the back, I already organized those a few weeks ago.  Once I had all the fabrics straightened out I spent some time sketching up an idea for how I want to put together these new landscapes quilts I was talking about yesterday.  I am thinking picture window quilts, like you are looking out a window at the landscape.  Each one would consist of several "panes" with each pane showing part of the landscape.  I think this will make the projects more manageable, since i only have to work on one pane at a time.  

While I continue to mull this concept over in my head I went back to "drawing" patterns.  I think I have about 50 different animals done so far, pretty soon I will get started on some birds, then I just have to sort them all out into their various habitats.  Thank gawd for the internet!  It is going to make this project so much easier than it ever could have been without it.  Being able to just ask Google, what animals live in an area with what plants, is a whole lot easier than having to look that shit up myself at the library.  It also will end up providing unending assistance in colorations and other details on demand.  

We live in a fantastically awesome time for information and I am grateful every damn day for that fact.  Mother Loves information!  I have always been a collector of information.  I have multiple folders and two huge 3-ring binders full of recipes I copied by hand from library books and magazines, and I have a multitude of boxes full of patterns and designs  I have traced as well.  When I worked at the Print Shop I thought I had died and gone to heaven because they let me use the photocopier for my own personal use, and man did I use the shit out of that thing!  Then, my ultimate dream finally came true when my wonderful husband bought me my first scanner!  Now I can collect all the information in the world and not be buried under mountains of paper (except when I want to be).  And trust me, I have more information than any 7 people could read in their lifetimes, and I am always accumulating more.  I will admit it, I am an information hoarder.  It would be helpful if all that information was a lot better organized, but I am getting there, slowly.

In the mean time I am going to get back to drawing patterns.  I will be back again tomorrow, unless I forget.  Just kidding, I probably won't forget.                
                           
                           

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Working On Another New Project

 Hello again, I'm back.  Its been a quiet day at Mother's house.  Aside from some self-absorbed dumbasses who seemed to think that the world should revolve around their fragile sensitivities, its been a very nice day.  In case you missed the ruckus on Facebook earlier today, the latest influx of new "fans" brought along some uneducated folks who thought Mother should not be posting what she wants to post, but that she should only post what they might approve of.  If you have met me you know how well that went for them.  

I spent the day drawing up new patterns for my next project.  I got myself inspired by a master quilt artist yesterday and I had to start doing something more than just stitching back and forth in little scales for hours on end.  I have a vision of a series of landscape quilts filled with native plants and animals that I really want to start working on.  But first I need plants and animals, so I am trying to come up with some workable patterns.  I am cheating so I am not going to tell you how I am managing to get such great patterns, but a girls got to do what a girls got to do when she can't draw for shit.  I have lots of skills, unfortunately, drawing is not one of them.  

I have actually done so much drawing over the last two days that my finger is sore where the pen presses against it.  I used to have a large callous in that spot from writing, but since I have spent so many years doing most of my writing on the computer the callous is almost gone, and the finger freaking hurts!  I have it wrapped up in bandages to cushion it so I could continue drawing.  A normal person would probably take a break and do something else for a while to give the finger a rest, but I am not a normal person.  I am an obsessive compulsive person, and I am obsessing.  And I am enjoying the hell out of it so I do not care.  

It will probably be a while before I have any pictures of this project to share with you all though.  Not sure yet how I want to put the critters together, I am actually thinking to try doing it by hand instead of on the sewing machine, but that is probably a bad idea for me.  I really enjoy doing hand work, but it is so time consuming and my obsessive compulsive nature does not usually last long enough to complete a project the size of the one I am envisioning.  At this point I think I am just going to keep drawing patterns for a few more days until I decide what I am going to do with them.  Or, until I give up on this project and move on to the next one, which is probably what I will end up doing in the long run anyway.

For now I think I will sign out of here and go take a nice hot bath.  I have been freezing again the last couple of days, even with my awesome new quilty pants, and the best way for me to defrost is in a hot bath, so I take them a lot in the winter, and I am going to go take one now.  Talk at you all again tomorrow.
                                
                                

Friday, December 28, 2012

Setting Goals And Other Thoughts

Hello again Internet People!  I am back here putting in my time at the keyboard like a good little Blogger.  I spent a good part of the morning listing Counted Cross Stitch patterns on Craftsy.  For those of you who have not heard of it yet, it is a website, rather like Etsy, but instead of being designed for selling finished handmade goods, Craftsy is designed for selling patterns, wporkshops, and classes.  I signed up months ago, and listed one pattern, but I hadn't taken the time to do anything else with it, until today.  Now I have about 20 patterns listed, only 277 more to go.  I am not really expecting a whole lot of sales from it, Counted Cross Stitch Patterns are not a huge seller anywhere for anyone.  But you never know.  It doesn't cost me anything to list them there, so it sure can't hurt to get a little more exposure.  I am even thinking about putting up some free patterns there, but I haven't decided yet, I need to spend some more time looking around and seeing what all is available there.

My main focus is just to get myself into some kind of a productive routine.  I am not good with routines, never have been.  My life is too unpredictable to allow for any kind of normal idea of a routine anyway.  So I am trying to find a way to fit an abnormal routine into my life.  There are a whole host of things I would like to accomplish with what I have left of my life and I have wasted far too much time already.  It is time to get serious, time to make a plan and start taking steps, no matter how small, to carry that plan forward.  While there are a great many aspects of my life that I really have no control over, there are a few that I do, and I can work on those while waiting for somebody else to decide on the rest.

So as the New Year approaches I am trying to actually make a few resolutions this year that I might be able to keep.  Nothing drastic, nothing extreme, just small, steady steps in the right direction.  I am going to take you all with me too, so buckle up and get ready for the ride.  I know that my odds of accomplishing any task increase exponentially whenever I write about it here, so I am going to use you all as one of my tools to get me motivated to keep going no matter how difficult it may get.  It may not increase the rate at which I accomplish anything, but as long as I keep moving in the right direction it doesn't really matter how fast I get there.

I have come so very far in the last year since I started this Blog.  I knew way back then that I was going to end up sharing some very personal and very painful parts of myself with potentially the entire world.  And I knew even then that someday I would put my own name to what I had written here, I honestly didn't expect to get to that step nearly as quickly as I did, but I have never been ashamed of who I am or the life I have chosen.  I am only ashamed that I felt the need to hide it for so damn long.  I am not perfect.  I have made a lot of poor choices in my life.  But I learned from all of them and I am a better person today because of the lessons I have learned.  I have no problem taking ownership of my life, insanity and all.  I am who I am, and I like me.  I put myself out here like this, not expecting other people to like me, but expecting that there might just be someone else out there who is also struggling and might just find some comfort in knowing they are not alone, and that maybe, just maybe, they might be alright after all. 



                   
                               
                                 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Time To Write Again

Hello again Internet People!  I decided I better start getting back into the routine of writing everyday if I am ever going to go forward with the whole idea of ever doing anything with it.  I knew going into Thanksgiving that I was going to have a rough time of the holiday season this year, and not writing during that time actually helped me get through it a little easier.  I have a nasty habit of fixating on things that bother me, to the point where I lose touch with everything else that matters and can only see the absolute horror and tragedy of that one specific thing (whatever the hell it may be this week).  That was my main goal this year, just to get through this damn season of "joy" without giving in to the fixations.  And I have to say, I did pretty damn good this year.  I still have one more day to get through, but it is the one I am most used to, so I don't expect it will be too terribly bad this year.

I don't really know how to explain just how incredibly difficult the holidays are for me.  It has less to do with "Christmas" itself than the other days around it.  Christmas is hard, but it has always been a day about disappointments more than anything else, so that's not really that big of a deal anymore.  No, you see my issue with this time of year is with the birthdays of real children, my children.  If you haven't been following along the short version is that I had three children with my ex-husband.  The first was stillborn on New Year's Day six months after we were married, the second was born 7 weeks premature three days before the next Christmas, and the third was born a year and a half later.  Due to circumstances beyond my control I have not seen or heard from the two younger ones in almost 7 years.  They are full grown adults now, my son celebrated his 21st birthday last week, and that was the day I almost lost it.  I wanted so badly to reach out to him, to let him know how much I miss him every single gawd damn day.  But I can't.  And knowing that I can't is the single hardest thing that I have to live with.

So, maybe you can see why dwelling on all of this is not fucking good for my fragile mental health.  Now that the worst of it is behind me for another year I need to focus on other things and get moving in the right direction again.  And that is why I am going to try to get back to this whole writing stuff everyday thing again.  I was doing pretty good before I shut it down for the holidays, hopefully I can do even better now.  

I need to figure out a long term writing project that I can start working on.  If I ever want to try to publish a book I would have to actually write one first.  The writing part doesn't bother me nearly as much as the figuring out what the fuck to write about part does.  Its as bad as the figuring out which art quilt project to work on next.  Too many fucking options and never enough hours in a lifetime to accomplish them all.  So, of course it becomes absolutely essential that I waste hundreds of those precious hours not doing a damn thing because I could choose one thing to do.  Yeah, that shit is getting kind of old.  I would really like to move beyond that and just get to work on stuff.  Until then, I am going to be doing a lot of rambling here on the Blog since that at least makes me feel like I have accomplished something, even if it isn't much.                  
                         
Speaking of accomplishing things, I did manage to get you all pictures of my progress on the Drake this morning, so I will leave you with these:


                            

Mother's Potato Pancake Surprise

Hello Internet People! Mother just finished her "work" for the day (other than the laundry - but that goes on forever around here), and thought she should stop in here for a bit before she gets back to stitching.  

I have a new recipe if anyone is interested.  Last night was a "Mom-concoction" dinner night, and this one was actually a success.  I was inspired by something my son was telling me his girlfriend made one night, and I had to give it a try.  Mine was of course nothing like what she made, but it was her fault I tried it so I thought she should get the credit anyway.

Here's the recipe (all measurements are approximations, I don't measure stuff when I make concoctions) :      

Mother's Potato Pancake Surprise

3 c. leftover mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1 c. crushed seasoned bread crumbs
1 c. finely diced ham
1/2 c. finely diced green peppers
1/4 c. finely diced onion  
1/2 c. shredded carrots
1 c. shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all the ingredients well, shape into patties and fry over medium heat until browned on both sides.  They were pretty sticky, you could probably add more bread crumbs to make it hold together better, but they turned out pretty well, and they tasted Great! 
                                    
                      

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Post Holiday Updates

 Hello Internet People. I hope everyone made it through the holiday without too much family drama.  We had a very quiet, and very pleasant day, just my husband and I and our two youngest children.  We had one of the neighbors over for dinner, he just went through a nasty break-up and has no family in the area and I didn't want him to be alone on Christmas.  It was nice to have company without the stress of wondering when the conflict will start.


I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we had already decided not to do the whole Christmas presents thing this year, so there were no presents to unwrap, except a few for the boys from their oldest brother.  The boys also each got a little Tablet computer from Dad, and I spent a week putting games and books on them, but that was the grand total of our Christmas.  And you know what?  Every body was just fine with it.  There were no groans, complaints, or whining of any kind, the boys knew it was going to be that way and they really didn't mind at all.  I sure do have some great kids.  And you know what else was really quite amazing to me?  Not once during the entire day did I ever hear either kid say a word about being bored!  Every Christmas for the last 20 years somebody has uttered those words to me before the end of Christmas day, but not this year. 

As for me, I managed to make it through (so far) without any major breakdowns or emotional collapses, so I am calling it a successful holiday season.  I finished most of the stitching on my Dragon that I have been working on, he still needs some work on his eye, but I think I will need to do that by hand to get it to work out right.  He still needs to be framed out and mounted, but I have rolled him back up and put him away again for now to start on my next project.  Here are a couple of pictures of the Dragon:




                             
                                     
I had so much fun stitching in all of the scales on this guy that I decided I needed to spend some more time practicing my machine stitching control.  So, now I am working on a Drake.  I didn't feel like trying to "draw" something to work on so I found a picture in my library that I printed out on a laser printer transparency.  I took some of this awesome stabilizer stuff that I found and traced the pattern onto it.  The stuff I used has an adhesive on one side, but is totally water soluble.  So you can stick it to any fabric, stitch thru it and then squirt it with some water and its gone!  I originally bought the stuff when I was trying to embroider on some vintage hankies, instead of hooping the delicate fabric of the handkerchiefs I just hooped the stabilizer and then stuck the hankies down on top with the adhesive. This is what I use:

Ken's Sewing Adhesive Sew N Wash Embroidery Stabilizer

I think I found a similar product at an online discount sewing supply place last week, but this is the brand I am using, and I do love the stuff.  I have found dozens of uses for it since I bought it, and this is yet another one.

Anyway, I traced the pattern using a pencil because I wasn't sure what the liquid in a pen might do to the stabilizer, probably would have worked fine, but I didn't feel like messing with it, so I used a pencil.   Then I just peeled off the paper backing of the stabilizer and laid it down on the fabric.  I put another piece of a tear away adhesive backed stabilizer behind the fabric for additional support since I plan on doing a LOT of stitching on this thing, and I actually put the whole thing in an embroidery hoop, which is something I don't generally do, but I wanted to try it to see if it would help or not.  So far so good on that, it does give me a little more control I think, and it is definitely keeping the fabric from puckering, I just need a bigger hoop.  Here are a couple of pictures of the stuff I used, the Drake pattern drawn out on the stabilizer, and the fabric he is being stitched on:




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next time I will try to get you all some more pictures of him in progress.  He is stuck in the machine (not "stuck" really, but I am in the middle of stitching something) and I can't take him out yet, so you will have to wait for those.  So far he is coming along pretty well, time consuming as all hell, but that was kind of the point.  He is another project designed solely to keep my mind occupied so that I don't go off fixating on all the negative thoughts that I have to battle at this time of the year.  And he is doing his job very well.

                 
                              

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I Was Born This Way

I wasn't raised to be independent, I was just born this way.  

I was talking to a friend and this was my reply when she told me she was raised to be politically independent.  The moment I finished typing those words they struck me as being very profound, and very important, and very true. 

Everything I am as a person.  Everything I believe, and everything I hold Dear to me as a human being, are counter to the world I was raised in, the things I was "taught".  How do conservative christian republican families end up with radical liberal independent children?  It sure ain't "nurture", it's got to be "nature", right?  And, why oh why, do the people who claim to believe so strongly in "God" always have to be the ones who despise nature?  I thought He "created" everything, why do you despise what He created?

If you ever wondered why I speak out so adamantly for LGBT Rights when they have no direct effect on my life, this is why.  I have been made to live most of my life hiding in the corner or "in the closet" because of who I am as a person and what I believe, just as some people would have them do.  Because of the way they were born.  You can argue genetics, biology, or choice till the cows come home, it does not change a fucking thing.  People ARE born the way they are born and some things just cannot and should not be changed.  I may not be gay, but according to most people who I am is rather "queer" and my ideologies are as great a threat as the gays have ever been to their comfortable little delusions.  So, of course, I have no choice but to stand up for LGBT Rights, I mean, its not like I could ever stand up for my own.


                            

Monday, December 17, 2012

Time For Some Straight Talk on Guns

Along with what I hope is the majority of my countrymen I have been doing a lot of thinking this weekend.   I posted on Friday on my Mother Has Issues Blog about how I believed that Friday's tragedy was more representative of the problems in our mental health care system than our gun laws, and I still stand behind that assertion.  There are no laws that could have prevented Friday's tragedy, except perhaps the complete criminalization of all private gun ownership, and as much as a few people might be campaigning for that, I really don't think that is ever gonna fly in this country.  And I am still convinced it wouldn't stop the horrendous acts of mass violence, there are too many ways to hurt people, anyone determined to do so will do so, guns or no guns.

That being said, I do believe it is way beyond time for some reasonable and responsible gun laws in this country.  My husband is probably gonna be ticked off at me if he reads this post, but this is where I post MY thoughts, not his, so he will just have to be mad.  If you have followed my writings for any length of time you already know that I have always been a fervent and adamant supporter of personal freedom, and I have always backed that with a firm demand for personal responsibility.  To me the two concepts are dependent upon on another, you cannot have one without the other.  And I think this is where we got lost as a nation.

Personal Responsibility. I think most people have lost sight of just what those words mean.  According to those on the political "right" - it means that if you are poor, that's your fault, or if you get sick, that's your fault.  "You are responsible for your own misery".  According to those on the political "left" - it means every individual needs someone else to tell them right from wrong, no one is responsible for themselves, but we are each responsible for everyone else.  And as usual, reality lies somewhere in the middle.

So I am trying to find a way to balance the reality of the world in which we live today with the ideologies that each of us hold so Dear.  We currently have close to 8 Billion people on this planet.  Over 350 Million people in the United States alone.  So how do we protect the freedoms of more than 350 Million people while still protecting the lives of those 350 Million people?  If you look at our country today it becomes pretty clear that we can't.  Not the way we have been doing it so far, that is for damn sure.

I have mentioned before that I have lived around guns for the majority of my life, most of which were easily accessible, and often loaded.  Most of the members of my family are either members or supporters of the NRA.  All of them own guns.  NONE of them have ever been either the victim or the perpetrator of gun violence.  NONE of them have ever had a weapon stolen, or experienced an incident where one of their children even touched a weapon without permission.  But you know what, while they are perhaps more responsible than many gun owners in this country, they were NOT responsible gun owners.  Not a damn one of them.

I have suffered from severe chronic depression since I was 12 years old, in recent years I traded the depression for the insanity that I now enjoy.  I should NEVER have been allowed access to a fucking gun!  I was extremely suicidal for many, many years, no one even thought to lock up the guns. Now, I am NOT ever going to use one, but there are very fucking good reasons why I have never allowed myself to learn how to use one.  Whether anyone besides me wants to acknowledge the fact or not, I DO suffer with mental illness, and people who suffer with mental illness SHOULD NEVER HAVE ACCESS TO FIREARMS!  Now, according to the law, I am probably perfectly legal to go out and buy any gun I want, but I really shouldn't be, ever.  And if I, as a person who would NEVER use a gun to hurt someone (they make a fucking mess, I cannot do that), and as a person who is able to take personal responsibility for my actions, can see that I should not be allowed to buy a weapon, what the hell is wrong with the rest of this country?         

Those who advocate against any gun control laws often use the argument that more people are killed by cars than by guns every year.  The problem is, we do have lots of laws regarding who can or cannot operate a motor vehicle, and when or how you can do so.  And while those laws may not prevent every death, they sure do cut them down don't they?  Those who advocate for strict gun controls try to say that no one "needs" this automatic weapon, or a cartridge that holds that many bullets.  And they are absolutely right.  But no one "needs" a hundred billion dollars in assets, no one "needs" a six hundred dollar pair of shoes either.  What everyone "needs" is a home to live in, food to eat, and access to medical care when they are sick.  Since when does what someone "needs" have anything to do with our laws or our society?

I do find it terribly difficult to comprehend how the same people who demand the "freedom" to own any weapon they choose are so hell-bent against everyone else's "freedoms".  I will never understand that.  They want to force woman to be assaulted and abused in order to obtain the medical care they need, but heaven forbid they might have to show they are mental stable enough to own an assault rifle.  

I will tell you where I think the first place to start with any "new" gun control laws should be.  I think that the gun owners should be held 100% responsible for the weapons they own or sell. They should be held accountable for the murder of innocent people when the gun they let get stolen is used to commit the crime.  I also think anyone who sells a gun should be responsible for who they sell it to.  If you sell me a gun, and I go kill people with it, you should go to jail with me.  That responsibility should probably be time dependent, like for crimes committed within 6 months of sale.  Not really fair to hold you accountable for something that happens 20 years later. And if I later re-sell the gun, then your responsibilities also end, and mine would begin (as a seller - I would have already been responsible all along as the owner).   Simple things like personal responsibility really could be pretty damn effective if we required them of EVERYONE, but especially of gun owners and gun sellers.

I know I don't have all the answers, no one does.  But we do need to start doing something.  Expecting other people with mental illnesses to be able to know when they shouldn't be having guns is more than a little naive, its just fucking stupid.  And telling every other citizen of this country that your freedom to own a gun is MORE important than their freedom to live a life free from the threat of your guns, well that is just asinine.  If you want the freedom, then you will take the responsibilities, ALL of them.  Now that is fair.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Finding Comfort in a Dragon


 Hello Internet People!  My wonderful husband is setting up the new computer he just got for me (That virus the other day really screwed up the old one) so I have vacated the area for my own safety.  And since that means no sewing until he is done, I am here to ramble away at all of you for a while.

I have been hard at work on that Dragon picture I showed you all last time.  I probably have 20+ hours of stitching into it, and I might be 1/3 of the way done.  All the pieces are stitched down, and the sky is pretty well done, but I just started the detail work on the dragon, and I am still trying to decide what to do with the stitching on the foreground.  I am sure glad I pulled him out of the U.F.O. pile, this is turning out to be a lot of fun.  

I am especially grateful that I had something to focus all of my energies on given the effect that the recent events across the country would have had on my fragile psyche if I had not had somewhere to put my emotions.  My heart is still aching, for all of us.  The tragedy in the loss of all those innocent lives is overwhelming, and the loss of all those hopes and dreams is just devastating beyond comprehension.  I could never cope with the physicality of this emotional assault without somewhere to release it.  And I have poured every ounce of it into him.  

Since he has done so much to help me cope with all of this, I thought perhaps you all might want to see how far he has come.  As I said, he still has a LONG way to go before he is done, but progress is being made ...


This is a close-up of the neck which I spent almost 9 hours just stitching on the scales today!  I think I may have mentioned that I get a little obsessive - this would be yet another example of that.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Found My Motivation in a Dragon

Hello again Internet People!  Mother is back and doing much better today.  I finally decided on a project to work on this morning, so today has been a much better day than the past few were. I am absolutely unable to deal with having nothing to do, it drives me fucking batty!  My biggest problem is usually having too many options and being unable to decide on any one thing to do.  So I spend days driving myself up the wall and back down again until I finally land on something that I can focus my energies on for a while.  This is what I finally landed on this time:          
                      

I started him last year around this time I think, but this was as far as I ever got.  This morning I finally layered it with a batting and backing fabric and started stitching it all down. I have gotten all the way around all the parts of the dragon now and I just started on the background.  

I even managed to get both the little Christmas trees decorated and put up today.  That is a pretty damn good day for me.  I have been putting it off for two weeks, but it is finally done now.  I am still contemplating putting up more decorations, but somehow I doubt I will get very far with them this year.  I just can't get into it.  I don't even want to try.  I just want the whole bloody mess over with already.  But since I can't have that, I will just keep plodding along until it is over. 

For now I think i will get back to my sewing machine while I still can.  I still have a couple of hours before bedtime, might as well get put it to good use.  Talk at you all again next time.                             

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Who Stole My Motivation This Time?!

Hello Internet People!  Mother is still stuck in that not doing shit rut again and I am not having any luck getting out of it.  I have killed the entire morning again on Facebook and I still have no clue what I want to work on.  I just cannot find any motivation anywhere, no matter how hard I look for it.  I think someone stole it.  Yeah, that must be it!  Someone stole my motivation.  Unfortunately, it was probably me.

Hey, maybe if I set my sights to spending the day here, writing, then maybe I will find my motivation hiding somewhere between the keys.  I reckon it is worth a try, nothing else seems to be working.  Now all I have to do is figure out what to write about.  Aw, fuck.  There is always a catch!  Well, damnit, now what?  I guess I could just ramble away at you about nothing like I usually do, or I could sit here staring at the screen and not typing a fucking thing, which I often do as well.  But neither of those things sound like very much fun for either of us at the moment, so I will have to keep working on finding something to work on.

This is yet another reason I hate this time of year.  I have no room to work when I am confined to the indoors.  At least in parts of the Spring and Summer and Fall, I can work outside and spread out as much as I want, in the winter that is NOT an option, at all.  Unfortunately there is so much "stuff" in our house that it leaves very little room to actually do stuff when we are confined to the indoors.  I keep telling my husband that our "ideal" house would actually be a warehouse with a couple of little rooms separated off with walls for sleeping and bathing.  Just one huge 4000+ square foot room for everyone to spread out in.  To me, that would be the perfect home.  Although I still think I could use up the whole space all by myself and still feel crowded.                   

Oh well, not like that is gonna happen anytime soon, so I need to quit fixating on things that I cannot do anything about, and figure out something that I can do.  Like, go make lunch for the kids.  Now there is something I can do.  And I reckon I better get about doing it before the little creatures take a page from the dog's playbook and start gnawing on me!  I shall return, later.                      
                             

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Hello Internet People!  I am so totally freakin lost at the moment I have no clue what to do, so I figured I might as well come here and type at you all for a while until I figure this shit out.  Thanks to some stupid jackass with no life of his own who thought it would be great fun to infect innocent websites with nasty maliciousness that they then spread unknowingly to any unsuspecting visitor, I now have a fucking virus in my desktop computer.  My husband is diligently working away trying to get rid of it, but it is not cooperating, so I cannot use my main computer until it is fixed.  And of course all of the things that I had wanted to do today require the use of that computer, so I have been floundering around all damn day trying to figure out something else to do that I don't need that computer for.  Of course, because I cannot use it, I cannot think of a single thing I want to do that doesn't require it.  It is a little fucking ridiculous.  Hell, I have even resorted to cleaning my damn house because I cannot figure out what else to do!  This must be stopped before someone gets used to it!                
                 
In other news, I suppose I should apologize to you all for that last "Negative Nelly" type Blog post.  I usually delete those rather than posting them, but I thought maybe, just maybe, it might help somebody else out there to know they are not alone in this kind of insanity.  I know I am not the only one who does this counter productive crap to themselves, and if I can help even one other person to realize that they aren't either, then maybe that can help them.  Not sure how.  Hasn't helped me much.  But I am trying, at least you could give me an "E" for effort or something.

So I have been sitting here trying to type this post for well over an hour, and this is all I have come up with so far?  My gawd my brain is just frazzled!  I hate not having something to do, or more usually, lots of things to do.  And I do actually have lots of things I probably could be doing, and way more things I probably should be doing, but there is nothing in particular that I really want to be doing at the moment, at least not that I have the capacity to do, so therefore I am fucking losing my mind!  See how that works?  I swear I am going to drive myself clean off the deep end one of these days.

I suppose, before I reach that point, I should decide on something that I can work on until the other computer is fixed.  Don't know what the hell that might be, but there has to be something.  I guess I will go work on some art for a while, even if it is bad it is better than doing nothing any longer.   Back to work!

                       

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mother is "Down" For The Count ...

Hello Internet People!  I wasn't planning on writing today, but I just finished putting the binding on my third quilt of the weekend and I am really not feeling like starting on anything else at the moment, so here I am.  I only have four more quilts left to be quilted, at least that are pinned and ready to quilt.  Two of those are big ones, so I am not in a hurry to get around to them.  

I have been running ideas through my head for designing the rest of the quilted clothing I want to make.  And I have been playing with some new ideas on what I really want to do with my art.  I have given up on the idea that I will ever be able to sell any of it anyway so I might as well just do what I want to do and not worry about whether or not anybody else might fucking like it or not.  The idea that I might be able to make a living at anything that I could actually do is just fucking ridiculous no matter what I try to do, so I am not even going to fucking try anymore.  Yeah, I still have to work for my husband, and hopefully I can help him get back to being able to make a living for us, but on my own I am just fucked, so there is no point in fighting it anymore.
                       
That would be what I refer to as my "down" swing of my ego, it is usually the one that is based in reality anyway, so I should probably learn to just go with it.  Unfortunately an "up" swing is just around the corner where I will start thinking that if I just tried a little harder, maybe someday I could do something worth something to someone besides me, that ain't gonna happen of course, but I will start thinking it might, only to crash back to reality when I finally remember it won't. 

So, fuck it.  I am just gonna go back to making whatever the hell I want to make with no concern to whether or not anybody might possibly ever want to buy it.  I could be a better artist than Leonardo da Vicni and no one would ever want to buy what I made so it really does not matter what I do.  Besides, I will probably never fucking finish any of the "art" pieces I ever start anyway.

Yes, I know how ridiculous I sound, but the sad part is it is totally true.  I will never be anyone, or do anything.  To believe otherwise would be to feed the delusions and at the moment I am just not up to it.  Don't worry, tomorrow is another day, and by then I may have swung in the other direction, in which case of course I will be invincible and capable of great feats of delusional thinking.  Until then, I will be sitting here beating myself up for ever thinking I had a chance at doing something productive with my life.                     

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mother's New Pants Redux

Hello again Internet People!  Mother is back again at the end of another long and fairly productive day.  I did make me another pair of those comfy warm quilty pants today (these even have pockets!), and I put the binding on another quilt so it is also finished now.  And I even put in a few hours working for my husband this morning!  I am almost halfway through round three now!  Yippeee Yahooie!

Anyway, I am getting stuff done which is helping me put thoughts of that freaking holiday out of my head at least for a little while.  And I am staying warm for the first time since September, so that is freaking awesome!  I downloaded a pattern for some slippers I found online that I think I can work with, and I found the slipper gripper fabric that I bought 20 years ago and never used.  I think it is time to fucking use that shit!  I have a lot of things like that.  Supplies that I bought decades ago, that I have hauled around through at least 12 different moves, many of which are still unopened in their original packaging! 

I am a collector of supplies and patterns.  Hoarder might be a more accurate description if I was being honest here, but we will stick with collector.  I have enough scrap booking supplies and papers to make more than 100 scrap books.  I haven't touched 95% of it, other than to pack and unpack it to move, in the last 7 years. And No, I could not sell it to someone who might actually use it, because then I would not have it anymore, and then I would need it.  This may be where that "crazy" thing I talk about fits in again, but one can never really be sure.

I have this issue with my creative pursuits, when I want to make something, I want to make it NOW.  I do not have time to wait until I can go to the store and buy the stuff to make it, so I need to have every possible supply I could ever conceivably require, here and available whenever the urge may strike.  And this goes for every possible creative pursuit I have ever had.  I think it all goes back to when I decided to learn to sew.

I had been doing hand embroidery since I was around 8 years old, but I hadn't done a whole lot of actual sewing until my first child was born.  I wanted to make clothes and toys for him, but I didn't have any fabric in my house.  I ended up cutting up some of my old clothes and using the fabric from them to make the first things for my son.  I guess that may be part of why I have always had this need to have plenty of supplies, I don't ever want to be caught without whatever the hell I need to do whatever the hell I want to do again.  The obsessive/compulsive thing is just an added bonus.                   
For now I think I will head off to bed and try to figure out what other supplies I can use up tomorrow.  I am sure there are more than a few out there calling my name.  Until next time here is a picture of my newest Awesome Warm Comfy Pants to tied you over ...       

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mother Has a New Pair of Pants!

Hello! Hello! Hello Internet People!  Mother just finished making herself the most awesomest pair of warm and comfy pants!  It only took me two fucking years to get around to doing it, and less than a day to actually put them together, but they are done, they are comfy, and they are warm!  They don't even look half as stupid as I thought they might, in fact I think they look pretty freakin cool if I do say so myself.  But more importantly, they are warm!

What I did was take one of those quilts I had in the pile to be quilted, and I did the quilting much closer together than I normally would and then cut a pair of pants pieces out of the quilt.   I did an overcast stitch all the way around the edges of both pieces before sewing them together so the seams won't ravel out.  I put rib knit cuffs on the bottom and elastic in the top and they are done.  And, as I may have mentioned previously, they are warm!  And here they are:

Aren't they cute?!  Well, I think so, and since I am the one wearing them, that is all that matters to me.  Sorry folks, that's as close as you are gonna get to a picture of me anytime soon.  And yes the pants probably make my ass look fat, but fortunately I don't care.  They were designed and created for their warmth, and since the back of the quilt is flannel, they fulfill that requirement very, very well!

I am thinking to make myself another pair of these, and then maybe some new slippers and a jacket at some point.  I need a new purse too, but I think I am getting ahead of myself.  It took me two years to get around to making these.  I have a whole freaking list of things I want to make, that could be useful and practical but I seldom take the time to do any of them, especially if it is something that I think of as being "for me".  Now I have no problem at all wasting hundreds of hours dyeing fabrics, or even cutting them up into little tiny pieces, but actually putting them to use in something that serves a useful purpose?  Now why would I want to do a silly ass thing like that?  I am being sarcastic here, please don't try to help me get over my aversion to doing practical things for myself, I am perfectly okay with it.  I do get them done when I get around to it, and as I am sure my husband will be more than happy to attest, I spend way more time on myself than I probably do on anything else, so I am good.  Truly.

I sure am happy with my comfy new pants though, and I do think I will make another pair from the other quilt in the pile that is like the one I used for these.  It is all ready to go so it shouldn't take too long, especially now that I know what the heck I am doing.  As a matter of fact, I think I will go get started on them now ... 
                

Monday, December 3, 2012

Progress and Regress

Hello there Internet People!  Mother is back to try this whole writing a Blog post thing again.  I spent a couple hours here doing that last night, but all I ended up with was paragraph after paragraph of me either bitching and moaning or saying shit that I probably shouldn't be saying in public, so it never got posted.  I am feeling much better at the moment, so I thought maybe I should try again.

I have mentioned (repeatedly) that I have been working for my husband for the past week or so (could be less, seems like way more).  I am officially 2/3s of the way through round one as of a couple hours ago.  I have no idea how many rounds there will be before I am done, but I think this is the biggest of them, so getting through it is a major accomplishment for me.  The work I have to do is mind numbingly tedious, boring, and repetitive, so I have to celebrate the milestones whenever possible or I would lose my mind completely.

I am having a hell of a time figuring out what the fuck I am going to write about today.  I have started this paragraph and deleted it 7 times in the last hour and still haven't gotten anywhere.  My ego is in a down swing on the whole art thing, so I don't want to talk about that at the moment, and I think I have lost touch with what the hell else there is in life that I can talk about.  I have been doing some baking, but most of it was from boxed mixes off the shelf and not too exciting. 

I have mentioned that this time of year just fucks with my head.  In years past I managed to block out all the negative crap in my head by obsessive-compulsively making presents for people who never appreciated them or me.  I am not doing that this year, so I am kinda lost.  I can't decide whether I want to finish some of the projects I have already started or start something entirely new and different and so I end up not doing anything at all because I can't decide what to do.  I am driving myself batty.  Good thing that is a short trip.  For now, I guess I will go make lunch for the boys.  At least I will be doing something, even if it is only for a few minutes ...         
                   

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My "OCCD" - Obsessive Compulsive Creativity Disorder

Hello Internet People!  Mother is still alive and as well as can be expected given her particular life.  I have been keeping busy working for my husband and being extremely obsessive-compulsive with my art.  You know I joke about that all the time, my being obsessive-compulsive about things, but it occurs to me that you all have no clue how accurate a description it really is.  So I thought I would show you a small example ...

                      
This is part of what I have spent countless hours doing for the last several days.  Cutting thousands of teeny tiny shapes from my fusible backed hand dyed fabrics.  Why? You may ask.  Frankly, I have no fucking clue!  I had absolutely no plan in place for using them when I started cutting, I just needed to do it.  And the more time I spent doing it the more I needed to do it.  I even have two more like the larger container in that picture that have the same shapes in them, one in all greens, the other in flesh tones.  As well as another, bigger, container containing just slightly bigger pieces in the same shapes. I have literally cut tens of thousands of these teeny tiny shapes, just because I had a need to cut them.  This is what I mean when I talk about my "OCCD" - Obsessive Compulsive Creativity Disorder.

I don't get nearly this bad about anything else.  Just creative things.  Unfortunately, I am this way with pretty much ALL creative things, and I have been from the beginning.  I guess I am kinda the same way about learning things, but the two have always gone hand in hand for me anyway so that isn't really surprising.  I have always heard about other people who are OCD about cleaning, or stuff like that, yeah, I don't have that problem.  Sometimes I wish I did.  But I get over that fairly quickly.  

Now, before you all go off thinking I have lost my mind entirely (which I have, but that is a different story entirely), I have had some thoughts on what to do with all those teeny tiny pieces.  Granted, most of them came after I started cutting, but that really doesn't matter.  I even used a whole bunch of those pieces up already on this ...

"Family Values" - a work in progress

 It is not finished yet, of course.  There is much to be done on this piece before it is finished, like the quilting.  I am working on the wording for that, but I don't have it all figured out yet.  The quilting will all be words if you hadn't figured that out from my convoluted attempt to explain it, and the words will be an explanation of the quilt's meaning.  Does that make more sense?  I hope so.  Anyway, there will be more embellishments than that added as well, but, all in due time.  Wouldn't want to rush into anything now would I?  Nope, not me.  I never do shit like that ...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Just Checking In ...

Hello there Internet People!  Long time no ramble at.  Mother took several days off from writing for the Thanksgiving weekend.  And I will probably be pretty spotty with the postings for the next month or so.  This is always a really tough time of year for me, and this year its promising to hit me hard.

And then you throw in that my husband finally gave me that work that he wanted me to do for him and I think that is gonna shoot the shit out of a whole bunch of days before I am done.  

Mostly though I just don't feel like writing right now.  I know that anything I do write is going to turn out being full of either self-pity or self-loathing, and I really don't need to be dwelling on either of those things right now.  When I am ready to face myself and the world again I will get back into writing more faithfully, but for now I am not going to push myself.
 
One way or another I will come out the other side of this holiday season and get back to getting on with life.  In the mean time I will just take it one day at a time, or one minute at a time as necessary, until the new year gets started and hopefully life can begin to get back to normal for a while.  I will write when I can, but don't expect too much from the old crazy lady for a while, just making it through the day is all the challenge I can take right now.              
 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It Was Definately A Tuesday ...

Happy Tuesday (or whatever day it happens to be when you read this) Everybody!  I spent the day doing housework and laundry and man am I tired!  I did manage to finish phase two on that new art quilt as well, so it has been a pretty damn good day as far as getting shit done.  Tomorrow I will have to spend the day in the kitchen doing the prep work for Thanksgiving.  My husband does the actual cooking on Thanksgiving (and most other nights as well), but there are some things that are left to me and it is much easier if I get them done ahead of time so that I am not in his way.

Hey, maybe I can even remember to take some pictures  and share some more recipes.  Its been a while since I posted any recipes, I should probably get back to doing that for you all again one of these days.  There are a lot of things I should get back to doing, unfortunately most of them will never get gotten to.  While I have been doing better at not throwing my time away as much there are still not even close to enough hours in the day, and there never will be.  And while Blogging is a priority that is high up on my list, there is only so much time I can put into this shit no matter how much more I might want to do.

Oh well, it is what it is I suppose.  We will just keep on taking it one day at a time until we figure out a way to squeeze a few more hours into each one.  If any of you all figure that out please do let me know, I would greatly appreciate it.  In the mean time though I think I am going to go cut up some more fabric into little tiny pieces again for a while.  I used up a whole bunch of my tiny pieces today so I am going to need a whole bunch more.  Talk at you all again next time ...

 


                       
                       

Monday, November 19, 2012

Abstract Thoughts ...

Hi There!  Me again!  Not sure who the hell else it could be, but it is still just me.  I had a pretty good day today, even managed to get the vacuuming done, which is an accomplishment for me.  And I started a new art quilt project.  Yes, another one.  No, I didn't finish any of the other ones yet.  One has nothing to do with the other.

So, anyway, the new project is an abstract.  I mentioned yesterday I was going off in a different direction in my art, that was the direction I was going.  Giving myself permission to just play with shapes and colors and themes in this way is a whole new experience for me, and so far I am thinking I am going to enjoy this immensely.  I don't know if anybody else will like it as much as I do, but I sure hope so.

I also learned something today that I was extremely disappointed that I didn't already know.  Remember the pictures I shared last week of the "art" that I did a few years back, the pen and ink drawings of the squiggly lines?  The "gel pens" I used for those and much of my other "art" over the last decade and a half, it turns out you can use them on fabric too!  I am so pissed at myself that I never even tried it before!  Most of them don't even bleed the way other fabric markers do.  And they seem to be pretty colorfast even after washing.  I have only washed my test piece once so far, but since I am wanting to use them on things that aren't meant to be washed anyway, I think they will work really well.   And, if it turns out that they do hold up to multiple washings, I have some other ideas I might want to play with them on later.  Of course, now I need to go buy new pens since I just threw out half of mine because they didn't work anymore, but that can wait.  

At this point its gonna have to wait anyway. Sales have sucked too badly lately for me to spend any money that isn't absolutely necessary.  I am hoping when I get my "Top-Rated" Seller status back on eBay tomorrow sales will start to pick up a little bit.  I know it made a difference last time, the increased exposure they give to the listings of "Top-Rated" Sellers at least gives me a chance at getting seen, and that is the biggest part of the battle.  Well, other than getting someone to actually buy something, but that is much easier if they can SEE it.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hate eBay?  Some day I will have to write a rant about that.  If you have never tried to make a living selling on eBay, you would be amazed at how difficult they keep trying to make it.  (By the way, in case I haven't mentioned it before, I am not bitching in an attempt to get you all to buy shit!  I have, however, learned that the more I bitch about bad sales, the more likely it is that sales will improve.  It's kinda like a general karma thing, putting the message out to the universe for a share of the energy or some such shit.  I don't know, but it usually works, so just go with it, Okay?)

For now I think I will sign out of here and go back to playing with my new art piece.  I have over an hour left before bed time, might as well put it to good use.  Until next time, Namaste.
               
               

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Learning a New Way of Thinking

Hello Internet People!  I just finished cleaning up my work area in the bonus room and thought I would pop in here and fire off a Blog post before my game starts this evening.  It sure feels good to have all my tools and supplies organized and accessible again.  What I really need is just a huge open space with lots of tables and shelves so I could have everything in one place, but that is not gonna happen, so I am making due the best I can.  

I put away all of the projects I had started.  Each one in its own box so I can pick up where I left off whenever I am ready.  I found a new wave of inspiration yesterday and I am looking forward to riding this one for a while.  I was telling you all yesterday about the concept of "writing from what you know" and I got to thinking about some other things that I know that I hadn't been taking into consideration previously.

Although I have always been severely lacking in confidence I have actually been creating my own art for decades I just couldn't acknowledge it as being "art".  They were "doodles", "time wasters", not "art".  "Art" is what other people do, not me.  And by thinking that way, I made it true.  Now, I am trying to learn a new way of thinking, and let me tell you it is not so easy.

I have been fighting this exact same battle with myself for most of my life.  And every time I think I have risen above it and moved on, it shows up again to knock me back "down to earth".  And that right there is my problem.  I am not supposed to be having my feet planted firmly on the ground as was drilled into my head my entire life, I am supposed to fucking fly!  But no one ever let me fly before, much less showed me how.  Everyone around me has always tried to keep me firmly tied to the ground for my "own safety".  Giving myself permission to fly is turning out to be pretty fucking difficult.

The funny thing is I have thought I have done just that a thousand times in my life, but I have never actually even tried to leave the safety of the ground.  This Blog and the Facebook pages were my first real concrete steps towards releasing myself, but they are just a tiny baby step in a journey that I know is going to take paradigm shift in my thinking.  I am trying.  But this shit ain't as easy as it should be.  We are talking about 4 and a half decades of flawed programming that are needing to be over come here, it ain't gonna happen over night.  Just identifying the dysfunctional thought processes as being dysfunctional is a pretty big accomplishment when you consider how many of those there are in here.  

    
               
                     

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Finding The Art In Me

Well, I started out doing pretty good today.  I managed to write two Blog posts before the waves of pain took over and I couldn't focus on the words any more.  I think they are starting to subside again now, so I am back and trying this shit again.  We shall see how far I get this time.     

I spent some time earlier today looking through my "Me" book that I made a few years ago.  I started it during the months leading up to leaving my ex-husband.  I was trying to discover who I really was after a lifetime of trying to be what everyone else wanted me to be.  It was a very fulfilling exercise in art, and thought processing, and I still find comfort in the pages I created whenever I take the time to open it.

The binding has given up on the idea of holding the pages together, but most of the pages are substantial enough to support themselves so I have left them unbound.  There are dozens of pages of collages created from cutting pictures out of magazines, some with captions or quotes tying them together.  There are also dozens of pages of collages done with stencils and gel pens, many of them with wording as well. A few pages of my own drawings and sketches are thrown in for variety.  And there are dozens of pages of inspirational quotes and messages, all hand written in a multitude of colors.  It was never meant to be seen by anyone but me.

As I flipped through the pages today I think I finally may have found the key to pulling my artistic vision out of my head for others to enjoy. I think my tendency to set myself up for failure has been guiding my ambitions lately, and taking a moment to genuflect on my self, on my life and its challenges, has given me some probably much needed perspective on how I want to go forward.  I have been trying to force myself into being able to do things that probably cannot be done, at least not by me at this point in life.  I need to get back to what I can do, and focus on what brings me joy so that I can share that joy with others.

The hardest part of any of this is finding the faith in my own abilities, and then holding on to it.  We end up right back here battling that "Bi-polar ego" thing I have talked about before.  My gawd I have been sewing for nearly 40 fucking years and I still have days where I feel like I don't know how to do shit.  Which is totally untrue, I probably know more than 90% of the people who actual make a living doing it, but I still feel inadequate.  I always feel inadequate.  Except when I don't.  At those moments I can do anything, and there is nothing that can stand in my way.  Except for me of course.  I can always stand in my way, I am really good at that.