You can’t craft the blues away

31 01 2007

Have you ever had one of those days where you can’t stop shaking?  And it’s not cold?  I’ve had that kind of day for a few days in a row.  Admitting something to yourself is hard enough.  Saying it outloud to others is harder though.  It makes it real.

I have probably suffered from depression on and off since I was a child.  (Surprisingly, I never got post-partum depression though.)  It runs in the family.  I think every single person in my family has depression (we also each own a pair of glasses of varying strength.)  I’ve never admitted it though.  In the past few years, I have learned to craft it away (craft binges, I guess.)  If I stayed busy enough, I couldn’t think.  I guess it has finally caught up to me.  Its not working.  Its been almost a month and its only getting worse.  Anxiety attacks now feel as common as a sneeze.  It has started to affect my family.  So it was time to come clean.  I have never wanted to tell my husband, mostly out of fear.  But I did.  Because I need his support and understanding more than anything.  And maybe my level of freak-out was enough to make him be supportive and understanding.

So the next morning I woke up and called and made an appointment to get help.  The only thing is (and one thing that has held me back in the past) , we live in a very small community.  And our best friend works in mental health.  So when I called, he answered.  And I had to admit it to him as well.  I almost broke and started crying.  And I shook so bad after I made my appointment.  I guess one good thing about being friends with him, is that he cannot help me, so I skip a step and go straight to the doctor.  So here’s hoping I’ll get help and start feeling better, more like myself.  And maybe then, I’ll have more motivation to craft again.





WIP Friday

26 01 2007

What do you do with a scurvy pirate? Make them walk the plank! Cale loves the episode of Backyardigans where they pretend they are pirates.
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This is what I have so far for the invitations. The map is shaped like Sicily. The big skull is where Palermo is. Palermo is famous for its catacombs that hold mummified people. The little skulls are where the necropoli (ancient burial grounds) are. Even Mt Etna is represented. The X is about where we live. See the little specks by the volcano in the water? Those are the rocks of Cyclops. See the Roman numeral 2? Those are supposed to be temples.  😀 I think they are going to have to go. Same with Moby Dick there in the bottom corner. I need somewhere to print the info.
I’m going to trace this onto tracing paper, then scan it in the computer and add the info. It contains lots of witty pirate lingo. I’ve been cracking up. Then it will be printed onto tea stained paper. Then burned and ripped at the edges. It will be delivered in a bottle. I have a sink full of beer bottles right now waiting to have their labels ripped off.
Very fun stuff. Who’s more excited? Me or Cale? Its hard to say.  (His birthday is still a month away!)

Tshirts will be screenprinted, treasure chests will be made, the kids will be tattooed upon arrival. I think I’m going to give Cale a sleeve. His pirate name is Cap’n Cale Blue Eyes. It was kind of hard to think of names that weren’t offensive. I wanted to name one sweet little girl Angry ____ the Skull Crusher. But Kevin vetoed it. Names were finally decided upon and now I can get down to the important stuff like what to serve and presents for my big boy.

He loved the map though.  He even knew that it was a map, a pirate map.  That’s always the best, when his eyes light up and he says, “You made it for me, Mama!”

So I’m totally rubbing it in your faces, but I get to eat at my favorite restaurant tonight! So excited.  No rain means no snow and no snow means no snowboarding, so our weekends have been pretty dull.  Maybe I’ll get a whole day to craft.  Those are always great.

Hope everyone has a great weekend too!





12 Things that make me happy

25 01 2007

The beginning of this week started out kind of rough for me. Homesickness is hitting me. Doubts about myself. Feeling under-appreciated. Icky potty training situations. So I thought it would be nice to do a post about things that make me happy.

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1. There are tons of artists that I love at Etsy but right now I’m really loving Browntown. I want every single one of his prints. They’re even better in real life.

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2. Peas and Carrots charm pack. By American Jane from Moda fabrics. These are so cute. I’m mentioning these because I actually have these in my possession. But I’m dying for these Dick and Jane fabrics! Among other things. (Psst. Husband, if you’re reading this – I want fabric for my birthday. :D)

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3. Tracing paper. I showed you the great pattern magazines that I bought. Well, some of the patterns would be more my taste with something either added or taken away. This is a great way of seeing if its possible. A few examples: A shrug with a ruffle thing would look better without it, a wrap shirt easily becomes a wrap dress when you combine the shirt pattern with another dress pattern, a jacket becomes one of those cute 3/4 length sleeve jackets, sleeves can be shortened, same with too long skirts.

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4. Jewelry. Making it is so easy and so much fun. Note to self: must make more jewelry in the future. The top one was made from a long necklace; the bottom one from a belt that I took apart a long time ago (with intentions on making it into jewelry.)

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5. Feeling like a good mom. Why is it that if you give your kid glue, crayons and paint, that you suddenly feel like you know what you’re doing. I have been seriously wondering about my parenting skills this week. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing some of those motherly genes that I’m supposed to have.

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6. Shiny stuff makes me happy. This is probably my favorite part of the whole house.

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7. Magazines make me so happy. Threads is awesome if you sew garments. This month has an article about copying your favorite garments and fitting shirts through the bust.

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8. The first picture is from Country Living, the second from Domino. The pink and aqua paired with the toile makes my heart skip a beat. Some day I will have a room in these colors. Even if its just a closet. 😀

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9. This lampshade. I foresee me ripping the fabric off of my lampshades and covering mine with a similar starburst fabric.

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10. Spring is near. Although we have had a very mild season (no rain and hardly any cold), the thought of spring is always a pleasant thought. Mornings filled with digging in the dirt with Cale along side me, just as grossed out when we find frogs, as I am. That’s my boy! He’s pretty excited and wants his own garden this year. My strawberry plant is already blossoming. New growth can be seen on most of my plants. So bring on spring!

11. Good music. I am currently in love with Fugazi. Who cares that my headphones suck? (One pair falls out of my ears, the other squishes the blood flow out of them) It blocks out every other noise so I can concentrate on my crafting.

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12. Recent sewing. The blue shirt was bought and when I got home, I noticed a hole in it. So I appliquéd little lapel things on it. The fabric is Denise Schmidt. I really love this shirt now.
The red shirt was made from a vintage pattern. Its the previously mentioned made-on-a-fat-day-shirt. Its still a little too big, I guess. I had to add a kick-pleat at the neckline to make it smaller. I think it needs a bow or two as well.
***Please note that its really hard to take pictures of yourself. Also, I look funny because the skirt I am wearing has a weird waistband. (Maybe I need to take more pics of my outfits so that I know how I really look!)





Last pillow post, I promise!

24 01 2007

I’m a little miffed right now because I made the best dinner ever* (scroll down to the tortellini salad) and my dear husband never came home.

* Great blog by the way!

Anyways I’m mostly done with my living room. (Okay I spiffied up and rearranged, plus made the previously-mentioned-too-many-times-pillows.) So I’ll admit that I’ve talked about them too much, but it won’t stop me from posting new pics today! Last time though, I promise!

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I was hoping to revamp this table, but I think its hopeless!

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I really need a new entertainment center. But for now, this is what I have to look at. 😦

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Hung pictures. I need a plate hanger to hang a small mirror to balance the other side. ANd a picture in the empty frame might look nice.
And I wish I could figure out what I want to do couch-wise.

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Cleaned my bookshelf and rearranged it. The phone shelf is always funky. Ignore it.

***A note about garment sewing: Never start a new project on a fat day! You will end up with a tent, not the cute little square neck shirt that you envisioned. Thank goodness for creative pleats.





dyeing and bleaching

19 01 2007

Thanks to everyone for suggestions for my pillow. I loved the ide of buttons but I know my husband would complain. I also loved the idea of appliquing something in the middle but its only about 1 1/2″ wide. I went with the idea to change the fabric to a color. So I ripped it apart and decided to dye it. I have fabric similar to the color that I wanted but I thought dye would be fun.
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All I had on hand were a box of Rit Kelly Green and Yellow. I filled the sink with hot water, added tons of salt and then the dye. The darker green fabric was put in the plain green first, then I put it in the yellow-green mixture after that. I then rinsed them with vinegar and water and then washed them in the washing machine. I love the color that came out, but its a little splotchy. My striped for the pillow came out well though so i sewed them back on.
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Dyeing was so much fun! I think I need to buy the good stuff next time though. So from there, I remembered this article from Martha Stewart on fading fabrics. I think Jennifer posted about it once. I have tons of fabric that Kevin brought home for me once. They aren’t exactly what I would have bought. So I put them to the test.
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These are before shots.

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Here’s a during. I forgot to take a before pic of this. It was very bright red, yellow, and blue. I absolutely love it now. Its my favorite.

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And here’s the results of a bottle of bleach, burning hands, and a few hours spent inhaling bleach and vinegar.
The top 2 turned out nice. The next 3 hardly faded at all. I had high hopes for the plaid. The next 2 are now bearable. The bottom 2 barely faded either, but it made enough difference that I might use them now. They kind of remind me of old sheets, in a good way.

This is a project that has been on my to do list for a while. It was immensely satisfying! I highly recommend finding one project that you’ve been dying to do but also dreading all the work involved. You’ll be happy that you did.





If it looks like trash and it’s by the trash, its probably trash

18 01 2007

I rarely write about life here, so indulge me here.  (Trust me, I wanted to write a whole post about how excited I was when Applebee’s opened!)

So for those who may not know, I live in Sicily.  My husband’s in the military and we live in base housing.  Normally I love our neighborhood.

Last night about 5 minutes before I was going to head up to bed, the doorbell rang*.  Kevin went and answered and talked to whomever it was for like 5 minutes.  He came in and say, “You’re really going to love this.  We have to leave.  Suspicious package.”

Um, its 10:00!  My baby is sleeping.  He’s been sleeping for a while now.  What the hell is their problem?

Our house is right next to the recycling bins and the “suspicious package” was a plastic suitcase by the… you guessed it, plastic recycling bin.  So we had to evacuate our home just as we were about to go to bed, because someone is too freaking lazy to put their trash in the bin, instead of beside it.  Annoyed was an understatement!

Luckily, we were allowed to drive, so we drove to our friend’s house who was out of town.  We fed their fish and sat there waiting.  She had a copy of Metropolitan Home on her table, so I looked through it.   The last article was about Todd Oldham.  It showed his weekend home.  Oh, I was in love.  I love Todd Oldham.  In fact, we are considering giving up buying an Italian couch to buy one of his from Lazboy.  There was a sectional in his home that he designed.  Maybe I’ll ask my friend if I can scan her magazine.

So that was the highlight of the evening.  I was hoping to come back and see a plastic bubble and a black scorch mark like on Mosters Inc.  No luck.





More on pillows & pattern magazines

17 01 2007

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So here they are all together. The circle one is based on the one in In Stitches by Amy Butler. I say based on because hers was for a 28″X28″ pillow. The bottom 2 aren’t stitched up yet. The first out of laziness, the second out of unhappiness. I am just not happy with this pillow. I was going for crazy quilt stripes, but it looks so boring. Kevin suggested embroidering something in the white stripes, but I’m not sure that will fix it either. Any suggestions???

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These are magazines that I picked up in Germany.  They’re pattern magazines!  What’s better than a magazine?  A pattern magazine.  The last one is for kids.  The Ottobre design one has very simple basic designs.  What I like most though, are the realistic models!  Check her out!  Its so refreshing.  I often see magazines and catalogs full of beautiful clothes but its hard to imagine how they would look on a woman who weighs more than 90 lbs.

The Burda pattern magazine is amazing!  I’ve seen it here too.  The only problem is, these are in German!  I’m hoping to figure them out by myself.  Surely patterns are pretty similar no matter where they’re from right!  I’ll probably pick a project from each one to work on next.

PS.  Thanks to everyone who stopped in to say hi!  It makes it a lot easier to blog more when I know people are reading.  😀