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Sunday, March 10, 2013

First Spring Flowers

Hello again Internet People!  I am pleased to report that I am making good progress on the pussy willow buds.  I have all 90+ sewn together and clipped, over half of them are turned thru, and I have about 28 completed buds now.  I used 4 different patterns when I was tracing the buds out, and one of them is significantly smaller than the others.  It really doesn't look that much different in size from the others, but once it is turned thru there is absolutely no room inside to stuff them!  I trimmed the seam allowances as close as I thought I could get away with and they still fill the entire inside of the bud!  

Speaking of Spring flowers, I wandered outside the other day and found these Crocuses blooming in my flower bed and thought I should share them with all of you :

I need to get out there and start cleaning out the flower beds for the season, but that's not going to happen today.  Maybe later in the week, but definitely not today.   

Today I am going to go make some more flowers of my own.  And if I am ever going to get them done I better get started.  So, I am going to go sew for a while.  Until next time ... 


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Being Grateful

Hello again Internet People!  Happy Saturday!  (Or Happy whatever day it is whenever you happen to be reading this).  I mentioned in passing yesterday the concept of Gratitude and its role in my "recovery", and I promised to get back to that concept at a later time.  Well, I reackon it is later now, so let's get to it, shall we?

I don't know if Gratitude is really the correct word, but its close enough.  The whole idea is being "Grateful" for what you do have in your life, instead of worrying about what you don't have.  No matter how bad life is at the moment there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.  You are still breathing, be grateful, a lot of people don't even get to that any more.  No matter how bad your life may seem, there are MILLIONS of people on this planet who are FAR worse off than you can even imagine being, so fucking be grateful!

Maybe Appreciation is a better word.  Learning to appreciate the positive things in your life and not focus on the negatives is probably the shortest path to happiness.  I know for a fact that no matter how bad my life may seem at any given moment, it could always be way worse, and there are probably more people than I could count who are doing far worse on any given day than I ever could be.  I am damn lucky to have been born, even luckier to have been born in a first world nation to a family that didn't beat the shit out of me every day.  I appreciate that fact, very fucking much.

Our modern society thrives on making everyone feel like they are less than someone else because they don't have what the other person has.  Its Marketing 101.  That works great for the businesses trying to sell you shit you really don't need, but it seriously fucks with your psyche if you don't actively fight against those influences.  They are pervasive and destructive and it is so easy to get sucked in without even realizing what has happened.  Everyday we are bombarded with images and reminders that "You are not good enough, unless you buy ___________ you can never be happy."  We all know that they are lying, but we get sucked in anyway, because there is the smallest chance that maybe they are right.  They are NOT right, by the way, they are just lying.

Imagine the 4 people you love most in the world.  Now imagine that you will never see two of them again.  Do you focus your mental energies on missing the two you will never see?  Or do you focus on loving the two who remain?  If you choose the first option, I promise you will be unhappy.  I can't promise the second option will lead directly to happiness, but it is at least a possibility, happiness is not possible with the first option.  Instead of fixating on the fact that they are gone, try just being Grateful that they were ever there.

There is only one person on this planet that you cannot live without, and that is YOU!  You can survive without your parents, without your spouse, without your friends, even without your own children, but you cannot survive without yourself.  There are days when I feel like I have lost more in my lifetime than most people ever even get to have, and those are the times when it most necessary to remember how fucking lucky I was to have had the life I have led.  I could wallow in self-pity and whine about how bad life is, but I tried that for years and it didn't make anything better.  It just made everything worse.

I hope you all realize that I share my thoughts and experiences on these things because I hope they may be able to help someone who is struggling as I did.  I sure don't claim to have all the answers, and perhaps taking advice from a self-proclaimed crazy person isn't the wisest course of action for most people, but I share what I know in hopes that some one out there might benefit from my long history of fucked-upedness.  Its got to be good for something!

So, if you find yourself in a dark place in your own head, try turning on the lights and focusing them on all that you have to be grateful for today.  Like, ... finding ME!  There's something to start your list!  You all are certainly on my list.  I am very Grateful for every damn one of you who take the time out of your busy lives to come read the rambling nonsense of this old crazy lady.  I Appreciate You!  And, I Thank YOU!

Until next time ...


Friday, March 8, 2013

Let In The Light

Holy Toledo Internet People!  Can you believe it is finally Friday?!  I was beginning to think this week would never come to an end.  No. not really, but it sure felt that way a few times.  It has been a long week.  Yes, I know it hasn't really been any longer than any other week (actually I think its shorter since we skip an hour this weekend), but it felt that way.  And I don't know why.  It wasn't a bad week.  It has actually been the best week I have had in months as far as the business side of my life goes.  And it has been pretty good for my personal life as well, so I am not sure why this week has seemed to go on forever, but it sure has to me.

I didn't make a whole lot of progress on the basket yesterday.  For some strange reason I just couldn't get into sewing at all.  That's why we ended up with three Blog posts yesterday.  I probably should have churned out a few more, but I pretty much just spent the day wandering around inside my head.  It is a very interesting place, I can get lost there for hours.  I try not to, but there is so much to see and do, so many things to think about, sometimes I just can't help myself.

I used to hate it there.  It used to be a very dark and scary place.  But I did some remodeling a few years back, put in some windows, cleaned out the cobwebs, installed new  lights, and just brightened it all up so that it is a much more enjoyable place to spend my time.  I probably spend way too much time there now, but its so nice to have a place to go where I can lock all the hateful stupid people out and just be free to enjoy myself and the worlds I have constructed there. 

Once in a while I will still wander into one of the dark corners that were missed in the remodel project.  They remind me of where I do NOT want to ever go again.  

Light.  Light really is the answer when I think about it.  Depression is darkness, and there is only one way to dispel the darkness, with light.  Figuratively and literally, that is what I did that changed my life.  I turned the fucking lights on.  I opened the curtains and let the sunshine in.  I use "light therapy" in a big way without even realizing it.  Light, and Gratitude, saved me from myself.

I'll get back to the gratitude later because I think that is equally important but I don't want to lose my train of thought on the light issue because this is actually a new concept for me.  Not the idea of "light therapy", I heard of that years ago and knew then that there was some logic to it.  But the idea that I had actually been doing it all along and not realized it, that is a new concept.  

Okay, so, when I was a teenager was when my depression really kicked in.  Guess where I was living at the time?  In a dark basement.  I spent a great majority of my time down there, as much time as possible whenever I was at home.  And throughout my life, whenever my depression was at its worst was when I was living (or working) somewhere with extremely dim lighting and little to no natural sunlight.  

I was still early in my "recovery" from depression, if that's what you want to call it, when I met my husband.  When I first moved in with him, he had all the windows on one side of the house covered up.  The first thing I did when I moved in was make him take it all down.  He tried explaining his logic for putting it up to keep the blinding afternoon sun out, but that was not relevant, I knew then I couldn't live there with the windows covered up.  Curtains or mini blinds can cut down the brightness at the worst time of the day, but I need the windows clear.  And I need light.  I made him install more light fixtures throughout the house and I think I bought a dozen new lamps.  At the time I just thought I needed all the extra light to be able to see clearly, but now I realize it affects far more than just the way my eyes see, it also affects how my mind sees.

Even today, if I forget to open the curtains in the morning I will start feeling down.  The minute I let the light in I start feeling better.  I'd probably feel even better if I actually went outside and spent some time in the sunshine, but there is no point in pushing it.  For now, I think I will just sit here for a while, gazing out the window at the day, and wander a little bit more in my favorite landscape.  Until next time ...


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ode to Amy

Hello again Internet People!  I know, I know, I have already been here today, but I am back again anyway.  I just can't seem to get enthused about sewing today, apparently my brain needs me to write instead.  So here I am, writing to all of you.

Its Thursday evening here at Mother's house, and around here, Thursday's mean its "Big Bang Theory" night.  I freakin Love that show!  One of my absolute favorites.  And fortunately every body else in the house likes it almost as much as I do.  For any unfortunate souls out there who haven't seen the show, first, you have my deepest sympathies, and second, its a comedy about a bunch of super geniuses and the pretty (not super smart) girl across the hall that is often the smartest one of the group.  

I really just Love every thing about the show.  All of the characters are awesome.  The kind of people I would Love to hang out with (with the possible exception of Howard) if they were real people.  Sheldon might be a little annoying, but the entertainment factor he provides is priceless.

But my favorite character is Amy.  Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, that is.  I freakin adore her!  She is so ...  , well, I haven't the slightest clue how to describe her now that I try.  I just find her hysterical.  The actress that plays her is fantastic!  Some of you might recognize her from other shows she has been on.  She was the star of "Blossom" on TV a few years back.  I never saw that show myself, or much of anything else that she had been in for that matter.  The first time I remember seeing her was on The Big Bang Theory.

 Here, let's see is this works, then maybe you can see what I mean :     

Hopefully those will play for you all.  Those are my two absolute favorite clips of her on the show.  Listen to the way her voice quivers in the second one, so freakin funny!

What makes her even more awesome is that she really is a super genius in real life, and a very pretty lady too.  She has an actual freakin PhD in Neuroscience for goodness sake.  And she Home school's her kids!  

Now, she does have flaws and failings (turns out she is devoutly religious), but they have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I Love Amy!  Those two clips above, I have probably seen each of them over 100 times, and they still make me laugh until there are tears rolling down my cheeks!  Every ... damn ... time!  To me, that is the only thing that matters.

Pussy Willows And Blue Balls

Hello again Internet People!  I was kinda surprised that I didn't have anybody bitch about the title on yesterday's Blog Post, I guess I will have to try harder.

I did spend about 10 hours playing with my pussy ... willows yesterday, nope, still not even close to done.  I have about 50 of them sewn together, about 20 of those have been clipped and turned through, and a whole 8 of them are now done! Yes, 8.  Out of 90+.  This is definitely going to take a while. I took pictures this morning for you, here they are:

The close-up gives you an idea of the scale I am working in here.  These little suckers are a pain in the ass to turn through!  It actually takes longer to clip and turn them than all of the other steps combined!  And stuffing them is no picnic either!

Now, onto a completely different subject.  I have talked to you all before about the weird little critters that share our home.  You may remember Jack, our sweet little dog who tries to tear me limb from limb at least twice a day.  I think I mentioned before that he is a freakin smart little shit, and I was not kidding.  I remember being taught when I was younger that dogs were color blind.  Apparently new research has proven that to be untrue, but my dog proves it to be untrue every damn day.  

Jack has dozens of toys in his bucket (he is as spoiled as the other kids), and he knows everyone of them by name.  Tell him to go get the "Crazy Chicken Lady" or the "Pink Poodle" and he will immediately set about searching until he finds the correct one.  Which is pretty impressive on its own, but what really impresses me is his ability to tell the difference between colors.  These are Jack's favorite toys:
They are actually sold as Racquetballs, not dog toys, but they are the only balls we have been able to find that he doesn't annihilate within 5 minutes.  He absolutely adores his balls!  And he knows which color is which.  If I tell him to find me the "Blue Ball", he will find the Blue one, and he will totally ignore all the other colors until he does find the right one.  Of course once he finds the blue one he then has to go around the house and collect all the other ones and herd them all into one spot where he can guard them.  He can get 3 in his mouth at one time (I can't get him to hold still long enough for me to snap a picture of that), and he will use his paws to hold the other ones.  Once he has them all together either my husband or I (or both) will start with this "Bwahahaha" laughter and the dog will absolutely freak out trying to protect all the balls thinking we are going to take one.  He is funny as shit.

Here he is with just two of the balls, he has one in his mouth and another between his paws.

Well, if I am ever gonna get these damn pussy willows done I guess I better get away from the computer and start sewing again.  I will be back again next time with lots more of nothing to say.  Until then ...


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Playing With My Pussy Willows

Hello again Internet People!  Yesterday was a busy day so I never made it quite this far but I did get a whole lot of other things done, so its all good.  I spent the afternoon tracing out flower templates again.  I screwed up all the crocuses and the pansies that I had traced out before, so I got to do them all over again. Which actually turned out for the best anyway because I changed the colors and configurations for them and I think they are much better than they were before.

I also traced out 90+ tiny little pussy willow buds, all of which will be double-sided and stuffed.  I started sewing them last night.  This is going to take a while.  

Since pussy willows are supposed to be fuzzy I am making them out of a flannel fabric that I colorized myself.  It was a white fabric, but pussy willow buds are kind of a greenish grey color, so I used my water color ink pencils to change the color of the fabric  without losing the fuzziness.  That was fun!  You get the fabric wet first, then rub the pencils randomly all over the fabric, then add more water to blend them together and wash the color through.  

I am going to use the same process for coloring the petals for my Jonquils.  They are white right now, but I want them to be a creamy yellowish color, so I will use the same pencils (in different colors of course) to color them.

I am planning to use a whole bunch of my art supplies on this project at one point or another.  I have all these really cool oil paint sticks and fancy crayons, and pens, and pencils, along with a thousand other embellishment type products, and I want to put them to use.  Some of this stuff has been sitting around being neglected for months, if not years, it is time to use them.  

So, no matter what I am working on, I set my project up here on the bed where I can just look at it all day, and I think about where I can add a little color here or there to make things better.  I haven't touched it yet, but I am staring to develop a plan of action.  Can't rush into these things you know, that is a good way to guarantee my fucking it up.  So I sit, and I look, and I think, and I think some more. 

Today, I am going to go play with my pussy ... willows.  (Sorry, I couldn't resist - I thought it was funny)  I have about a dozen of them sewn, and one of them is turned and stuffed (its so cute!), so I only have another 7 dozen or so more to go.  I mentioned that this is going to take a while.

Until next time ...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Sneak Peak

Hello again Internet People!  I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  I had to take a couple of days off from here to catch up on some other things, like grocery shopping, housework and laundry, and catching up on a whole bunch of overdue emails.  Now that I am all back on track I can get back to our established routine again.

Of course I have been sewing, in and around and between doing all those other things.  I am making pretty darn good progress on the Monumental basket.  Just a few more leaves and stems to sew down and I will be ready to start adding flowers.  I am amazed at how quickly it is all coming together.  Especially since I cannot sew for more than two or three minutes at a stretch before I have to stop and stretch myself out.  And after I hyper-extended my left knee on Saturday it became even more of a challenge to get comfortable for any length of time.

Anyway, I promised you all a picture when I got this far, so here you go:

 There is still much to do, of course, but it is coming along quite nicely if I do say so myself.

On a totally different topic, I would like to introduce you all to the "Tater Queen".  I am not sure if she is trying to hatch them, or bake them with her body heat, but she sure has developed an attachment to potatoes.  The potatoes were all inside that bag she is laying on, she pushed them out of the bag and made a nest out of them all by herself. I believe I have mentioned before that the critters at my house are as weird as the people, sometimes more so.                                       

 Well, it appears I have reached the end of having shit to write about for today, so I think I will head on out and get to work.  Until next time ...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy March!

Hello again Internet People!  Happy March!  Spring is right around the corner, and Summer cannot be too far behind.  I, for one, cannot wait!  I hate being cooped up inside all winter, I am so looking forward to being able to work outside in the sunshine and fresh air again!

In the meantime, my wonderful husband did build me that new frame I asked for, and it is awesome!  Of course, me being who I am, I gave him the wrong measurements so it is a little narrower than I had originally hoped for, but I think it worked out for the best.  If it had been as wide as I had wanted I think it would have been too damn big to handle.  

So, I mounted the background fabric to the frame and actually got to start stitching stuff down last night.  I have five leaves sewn down now, and the side of the basket handle that I had sewn down and then ripped out again is now sewn back down again.  

I also received the new silk threads that I bought online yesterday.  Not bad, two days from purchase to my mail box, halfway across the country.  So now I have 27 new colors of Kimono Silk thread to play with and oh my gawd it is heavenly!  Talk about invisible stitches!  I have been having problems telling where I have sewn something and where I haven't because I cannot see the damn stitches!   

So, now I am going to go get back to sewing and see how much I can accomplish today.  Maybe I will shoot you all a new picture for tomorrow's post so you can see the progress and how absolutely gorgeous this is starting to look.  It is amazing the difference just taking out the basting stitches and pins makes in the look of the project. 

Until next time ...