Bettering, Not About Quilting or Sewing

Editing

“A lot can change in the editing room.” Diane Lane

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This post could have gone two major ways – been a recap of one of the most demoralizing and difficult days in recent memory.  Bad news at work. Many steps backwards in trying to correct my health issues.  And I saw a raccoon.  That is a pretty bad day for me.

After dinner I was feeling the pain associated with one of my “chronic” conditions.  I have had several friends send me pick-me-up messages after I shared that I needed them… probably clue 1 that I needed to edit today.  Despite the inflow of support, I was feeling very low.  I took two Advil PMs, crawled into bed and was going to cry myself to sleep.  Suddenly I decided I could give in or I could get up.

So I got up.  And my husband and I took a walk.  Just 1/2 an hour – but it did the trick.  I stopped crying.  My pain left.  And I found the energy to sew a bit and write this.

I am trying to do 7 specific things every day for 44 days.

  1. Wake up at 5 am
  2. Eat a salad for a meal
  3. Exercise at least 30 minutes
  4. Post a blog
  5. Take care of my skin before I go to bed
  6. Drink 100 oz of water
  7. Sew for 30 minutes

Today is day 20 for eating a salad.  For the rest it is day 4.   Well, for waking up by 5 am it is day zero.  I have yet to do it.  BUT I am waking up earlier,

If I were to give into the despair, my steak for exercising, sewing, taking care of my skin, and drinking water would have ended.  My will to not have it end was stronger than my will to give up.  Barely stronger, but stronger.

So today could be edited as strength over retreat.  Will over despair.

I still saw a raccoon though.  I really hate raccoons.  They are my spiders, my snakes, my high places.  I’ll take all of those a million times over before encountering a raccoon.  So I will need to edit out the raccoon to make today a winner.

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In Progress, Project Linus, Ta Da Done

WIP update

I had lots of goals in April and got taken away by some new projects.  I only got 3 things done, but I did reduce my backlog to 22 (from 23 at the end of March).

Here is what I got done:

Blue and purple project Linus quilt completed.  I am not completely in love with this one, but it is done.

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And I completed this embroidery project.  Probably the toughest one I have done to date. I am absolutely in love with it.  Pattern is by Namaste Embroidery.

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And I also finished this embroidery project.  The wreath pattern also is by Namaste Embroidery.  I took the phrase from The Secret Garden.  This one was fast and fun, compared to the succulent embroidery project.  I love all of the vines in all of the different greens.  I used some silk floss in this project – what a dream to work with.  I think it could be very addicting.

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This one really is a message I need right now.  I need to make myself stronger in so many ways.  Work and perseverance and my own two feet.

I started one new project in April… that I should have gotten done in April.  Oh well.  May needs to be the month of baby quilts – 2 for friends and 2 for Project Linus.  I just need to not completely get sucked into my Long Time Gone quilt.

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embroidery

I’m 44!

A month ago I turned 44.  Never in my life have been worse off in regards to my health or my finances.  It’s bad, ya’ll.

But I am happy.  I love my job.  I have a great family.  And I love all of the crafty possibilities.

And I had a great birthday!

I got lots of flowers and treats.  And I worked on an embroidery project using the most luscious silk thread from my friend Marsha.  All in all it was good.  And my finances and health can only get better.

arting, Color Crush

Blue and white

My husband and I took a quick trip to Lincoln, NE a week ago.  It was the penultimate weekend before Ken Burns’ quilts were leaving the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

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I am so sorry we waited so long to go, because I am going to gush about this exhibition and now it is too late.  BUT!  Here is a video of the exhibition that you can watch.  It was really moving for me.

Many women in my family have quilted.  My great-grandmother, my great aunt, and my grandmother all quilted.  I am lucky to own a quilt my great aunt pieced and my great grandmother quilted.  All by hand.  And for my college graduation, my grandmother made me a gorgeous wall hanging representing the beginning of life.

IMG_4826After college, when I was flailing and sad, my mom taught me to quilt.  It was an oasis in chaos – and started me on 20+ of creating as an escape.  I went through many different phases, but being back to quilting the last 4 years has been my oasis again.

I love the exhibit – loved seeing the craft I love elevated and lauded.

When I came back home, I craved a project that would echo the work and style of what I saw.  Because blue and white are his favorite colors in a quilt, I decided to pull out my blue and cream and white stash and work through it for a sampler quilt.

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I am making Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell.  It will look gorgeous in the blues and creams – and the name is absolutely perfect – evoking the quilts and women who came before me and their gifts to me.

 

Bettering, Not About Quilting or Sewing, Uncategorized

Marchenings

Yesterday, I posted about some crafty sewing progress in March. Today is a very brief look at some other March happenings.  Marchenings, if you will.

BLOND! (and it is ok that I wrote “blond” instead of “blonde”, per this.)

Most of my teens and 20s I spent with blond hair.  And suddenly one night I wanted it back and I found a stylist to play along.  I LOVE it!!  And I still am learning how to apply lipstick, obviously.

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Fixed bathrooms!

We no longer have  adorable, horrible, evil pedestal sinks in either of our bathrooms.  We found this little darling cabinetthat fits the tight space of our upstairs bathroom.  AND we got the shower fixed in the downstairs bathroom so we totally have one shower with first-world(ish) water pressure.  We have painted since this picture was taken, so imagine a better color of paint.

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Exercise train.  CHOO CHOO!  I exercised a lot more – not enough – but a lot more.  And I have been feeling the benefit.  There is nothing better than the sore feeling from working out.  These bad boy Mary Lou Retton calves still are kickin’ and looking forward to turning 44 in a couple of weeks. Oh, and HAI! one gold toe that really accentuates the Mortonish of it all.

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embroidery, In Progress, Ta Da Done

March ta-da done

I had a lot of aspiration for March – stuff to get done.  LOTS.  12 projects – 3 per week.  That may have been a TAD unrealistic.

I did make progress on some things…

  • I made the first row of my ombre tessellation quilt.  Here is Toby really inspecting my work.  His tail is a little, um, missing parts.  But he isn’t self-conscious about it at all – I don’t think anyone ever told him.

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  • I got the batting cut for 2 of my project linus quilts, along with finding space in my studio to store a GIANT roll of batting.  And I am pleased as punch that I saved so much money by buying in BULK!

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  • I got the quilting almost done for another project linus quilt.
  • I got the big succulent done on this embroidery.  In love with it.

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And I got four things on my list done done done…

  • My wool Easter eggs.  I made 10 instead of 20.  But 10 is enough.

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  • The never-again scarf.  I need to mend because one of the tassels has already fallen off.  I’ll do that this week so that it still feels like a finish.

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  • And I bound the 2 giantish quilts I needed to bind.  This one feels like a HUGE win – it has been on my to-do list every week for many weeks in a row.  I am just so happy to have the quilts in use.  One of them – pictured below – is a queen size quilt on our bed.  Love sleeping under a quilt I made every night.  And I don’t at all obsess about what I would have done differently while making it.  Not at all. #sane

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There were 3 projects that I didn’t even touch that I had planned to finish.  BUT, I did finish one thing that I didn’t even plan to start – this adorable doll house quilt for my aunt who makes the most amazing doll house / tiny stuff.  Well jeal of her talent, and happy to add to her little amazing universe.  Those little pillows are maybe the most happiest thing I have made all year.

And I did pretty darn good about not starting new projects  – that is my biggest issue with making progress on my backlog.  I started a little English paper piecing (EPP) project that will be the center of a fourth of July / summer wall hanging I am imagining I want to hang in my dining room.  I can’t decide if I love or hate EPP.  But I think I can stay committed to it long enough to finish this sort-of lone star.

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At the end of March, my backlog went from 26 to 23.  Uh, woot!!!  That is progress in the right direction.  I do need to catch up on my scrap blocks for sure, and I need to set my goals for April… and…

Bettering

Dance

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Two weeks ago I had a really bad meltdown.  I became overwhelmed by the “fact” that I could never be anything but a mess.

Let’s go backward a bit.  Many years ago, I saw a therapist who specialized in body image issues and eating disorders.  I don’t want to brag, but therapists love me.  #dontbejel I have pretty crippling body image issues.  They have gotten better over time, but fat is fat.  She was a good therapist and a lot of what she helped me with has stuck.  The memory most prominent in my mind was that she commented on how I was one of the most self-assured fat people she had met.

She said it differently, of course, but that is what she meant.  Most people with a lifetime of fat have self image issues that bleed into their sense of worth in other areas.  I am fat.  But you can bet your bazooka I also am smart, tough, funny, kind.  There is not much anybody could say or do to convince me otherwise.  That shit is hard-wired.

BUT – remind me that I am fat and I remind myself that I am pretty worthless despite being smart, tough, funny, kind.  What kind of moron doesn’t stop being fat?  A colossal moron.  What type of dumb dumb is fat for 30+ years?  A ginormous dumb dumb.

Yet fat I am.  And I never stop being fat.  Every day I am fat.  Every day without end.

Yeah.  So – I’m f’d.  And then breakdown.  That moment when I just couldn’t be in my skin anymore.  I couldn’t survive one more moment with the failure that is me.  No matter how loved I am, I don’t deserve to exist.  No matter how smart, tough, funny, kind I am, I don’t deserve to exist.

Uh, hi, self pity, crazy, irrational train?  Yes, one ticket please.  Sigh.

Luckily I have a wonderful husband.  Who never stops dragging me out of the ditch.  We can do this.  I can do this.  I am worth all the love and the gifts I have been given with my brain, heart, soul.  He forces me to believe it.  (sidebar: I love marriage.)

The journey has been tough the last 2 weeks.  I haven’t kept all of my eating commitments to myself.  I have kept my exercise commitments to myself.

I have signed up for two dance classes.  They seemed like such a good idea when I signed up – exercise + inspiration from Dr. Dance.  But actually going is hard.  But went I did.  Afro aerobics earlier this week.  Ballet tonight.  I am proud.  I am tired.

Baby steps.  Baby ballerina steps.  Bad-ass baby ballerina steps. I’m fat.  But I am alive.  And I dance.  And I am smart, tough, funny, kind.  And I survive.