Monday, October 31, 2011

Holiday Hangover

Since the school had their Halloween event this past Friday, I've been "over" Halloween ever since.  (By the way, the school's event was a "book character parade," and it never fails to amuse me the many ways they can celebrate Halloween without ever calling it "Halloween....")  My sister-in-law is currently out with my son trick-or-treating in our lil town's "shop downtown" Halloween event.  I'm so thankful for her, you have no idea!

My head has moved on from Halloween straight to Christmas.  "It's the most won-der-ful tiiiime of the year!" has been running through my head all day.  I actually love Thanksgiving, but we haven't really been "into" it the past several years.  Currently, I blame the lack of songs ;P  If there was an annoying Thanksgiving song, then it'd be running through my head, I'd probably be feeling more Thanksgiving-y....

Oh well...let's pull out the lights and wreaths and all those fun ornaments!!  (Not really, I will wait a day or two...maybe.)  One of the best things about having a fake tree is the ability to put it up whenever you want to, and leave it up for as long as you like.

While I'm debating whether the tree should go up tomorrow or wait til the weekend (ha ha) here's some pictures of Christmas past to tide me over:

2007, and yes that's a bow on my son's head, he seemed to think it appropriate and we've gone with it--every year on purpose now.  Don't you love family traditions like that?  I do :)

2008--I put fake things under the tree as place-holders for presents, like stuffed animals

Our first mantle in our home--Christmas 2008

2009--opening presents with Daddy I <3 this sooo much!

Let's get some red and green flowing through this house!!!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Harry Potter vs. Twilight

One of the benefits of having your own blog is that you can state your opinion on popular culture.  Both Harry Potter and Twilight have been on my mind lately because people keep comparing them.  And it's driving me slowly insane.

It's Halloween--time to dress up, right?  Be who you'd like to be, feel young again, whatever.  And lots of people are choosing Harry Potter costumes.  And vampire costumes are always fashionable--think "Interview with a Vampire," fangs, teeth, neck-sucking, all that kind of stuff.  NONE of which is in the Twilight movies or books.  People seem to think if they add glitter, then Lestat becomes Edward Cullen (and their costume from 17 years ago is suddenly relevant again.) 

Um, no.  And you know what?  This crap pisses me off.  This, for example:

the edward cullen vampire cupcake stand
has absolutely NOTHING relevant to Twilight, Edward Cullen or even the movie "Vampires Suck," which was actually pretty funny.  (My husband and I can't watch Twilight now without saying "Look, it's the Black Eyed Peas!")

The whole reason Stephenie Meyer has been and continues to be so involved with "The Twilight Saga" (aka the movies as opposed to the books) is so NONE of the typical vampire crap sneaks into her story.  She's been heavily criticized for it, but she HAS to be.  Why?  She wants her books to be accurately portrayed on the big screen, and she has good reason to fear otherwise. 

Some of the ABSOLUTE CRAP making its way around lately:
This quote from 2009 by a socially-irrelevant writer who sells the rights to his books as if he's a pimp on a street corner:
is suddenly all over both Pinterest and Facebook.  And this, which drives me practically INSANE with its ignorance:
 I would list a source here, but all I can find are links to the same picture, over and over again.
It probably wouldn't bug so much if I felt people had actually read all the books for both series and watched all 3 of the Twilight Saga films. 

Twilight is NOT just about having a hot boyfriend--it's about finding your soul-mate and choosing to be with them for eternity, something which should be appealing to all of us from divorced households growing up, and who are now old enough to realize just how hard marriage really can be.  It's about finding your "niche" in the world: Bella is clumsy everywhere, all the time.  Becoming a vampire suddenly gives her the freedom to walk down the street without breaking her leg or worse--my gosh, her own mother accepts the story that it's "normal" for Bella to fall through a PLATE GLASS WINDOW!!!

And in the end--if you would freaking READ the end--it's Bella's power that saves them all--she surrounds her family, their friends, and most importantly, Edward, from the threat of the Volturi.  She is not hiding behind Edward, waiting for him to save her--she does it, on her own, without him even knowing she has the ability to do so!  How does that make her a bad role model?  She literally becomes the SHIELD to protect her family in battle!!  What wife, what mother, would not do the same?

And at the same time, when she could be sitting around playing with her daughter and letting the men protect her, Bella is off making arrangements for her daughter and Jacob to be able to run, to get away from the Volturi if the battle goes badly--again, with no help from Edward or even Jasper (who usually handles getting the necessary fraudulent documents for the Cullen family.)  So while she's learning how to harness her power, she's also doing what every mother does and preparing for the worst.

GOD, just give it up already!  Get something new to discuss!  I know: what's one way you can help this country out of its recession?  Or, how can we raise public consciousness about water conservation?  Or, what can you teach your child about tolerance by SHUTTING UP ABOUT THIS ALREADY???

In the end, they're both BOOKS, people.  And since literacy is one of the factors in determining a child's success later in life--let them read!  I remember when churches were telling the schools not to carry the Harry Potter novels, that they were about real "Witchcraft" and opened the door for Satan to ruin their child's life.  Now, ten years later, it's accepted, even assumed, that everyone has read (and loved) every one of the Harry Potter books and every Harry Potter movie.

I've read them all, and loved them all.  I read the last Harry Potter book with a pack of tissues at my side, and at times sobbing completely.  I read all of the Twilight books, in a row, staying up all night to do so in spite of having a 3-year-old to take care of all day. 

They are all wonderful books--go read them and be an example to our children that even as adults, we can understand how hard it is to be a kid in a grown-up's world.  Show them that true courage is not limited to warriors in the past.  Show them that whatever they choose, all you want is their future happiness.

So, this is MY OPINION on MY blog.  Disagree with me?  I don't care, life is too short and I have too much laundry to fold to think about this anymore!
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Treasures Old and New

We are blessed to have a large home.  We are also blessed to have family members who live in places too small for all their stuff.  Some of it was moved out recently, so James and I went to see what we could find that got left behind.  He found a soccer ball and that was good enough for him, lol.

I found a treasure!  A long time ago, in a galaxy in which I had a different last name, I L-O-V-E-D the Dog.  Well, before he sold car title loans anyway.
Reporting live from the scene...
"Don't give up!  Don't give up!!" and "It's a Stuffed Thing, I love Stuffed Things!" are my 2 favorite lines, and I will probably repeat them them until my family finds something new for me to obsess over.
Here is his 5 minutes of fame: on a You Tube video--my favorite quotes are at :30 and :45, but if you watch til the end, you'll see him as a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the reporters singing, it's funny.

Anyway, James adores this puppet!  It's so funny, what kids will suddenly be really into--he even slept with it that night (and yes, Teddy was jealous, lol.)

Before moving on....  I loved Jim Henson--from Kermit to the Muppet Show to his movies, they're all what I've grown up with.  I remember being in the movie theater in 1984 and watching The Muppets Take Manhattan! I remember crying at the marriage scene at the end, and in fact that may be why I love weddings sooooo much :)  Anyway, I saw this picture a few years ago and had it taped to my desk's hutch, but it ended up being lost as time passed.  I think it looks like Jim Henson and Kermit are talking to each other....
 and then I luckily caught this exchange as well:
I can't believe I managed to catch a similar moment between James and this puppet!  "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27  Our Lord's Mercy and Grace astounds me......

We finally hung quite a few pieces of "wall art" in James's room:
The "Command Center" is something I've wanted to have for a while now.  With James's school schedule, and his homework every night, we needed a way to keep up-to-date.  I made these 2 huge pin-boards out of cardboard and a twin-sized sheet--yup, that's it!  Easiest thing to do, without having to invest money in it in case we never use it, and we no longer have a twin-size bed, so the sheets were perfect for upcycling!
Command Center, reporting for duty, ma'am
I've collected these little Snoopy figures that come on the tiny boxes of Russell Stover candy, and because I love them, I've kept them away from James (and his habit to chew on anything, much like a dog, lol) until now.  So after showing me he is mature enough to take care of my collection, I made some display shelves and now they're up on the wall, free from the box they've been stuffed into for 8 years or so!
Here they are marching around my paint bottles, lol
He's standing on his bed, leaning over so his face is in the picture--I have a weird kid, I know :)
I should go take another picture now, to show the shelves when they're full--there's 22 figurines total.  One shelf was a matching game from Melissa and Doug, and the other was a puzzle box that held 3 puzzles.  The puzzle box severely cut my husband's hand right after we bought it, so I took that box and along with the Melissa and Doug one, painted them, attached them to fabric-covered cardboard, and added fishing line to keep the Snoopies (Snoopys?) on the shelves since they had a tendency to fall off when someone walked by them.

We also decorated a pumpkin with these Harvest Costumes for your Pumpkin.  I tried to find a link online but I can't.  So, imagine a Mr. Potato Head-type set, only with small sharp dowels to stick into the pumpkin.  No cutting involved, very child-friendly, and we had a blast:
See how the pieces go in?  And excuse the hubby's feet there.....

And of course, the Dog showed up just in time for an interview:

That look of pure happiness is what keeps me going every day.....
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The Fallen 1 by ThomasE. Sniegoski

The Fallen 1: The Fallen and Leviathan by Thomas E. Sniegoski is actually 2 books in one, and I've only finished the first book.  I have to say though, I absolutely LOVE the characters in this book.  The interaction between Aaron and his dog Gabriel make this book!  Also, let me make this clear: this is not a teenage love story of doomed lovers, so it cannot be compared to the glut of teenage supernatural romance books flooding the genre.

Aaron is a typical kid until his 18th birthday.  Things happen, I don't want to ruin that part for you....  Understand that Aaron is part angel, and one of his angel powers is that he can understand ANY language; not just  Portuguese or Italian, he understands all animals too.  Anyway, Gabriel is hit by a car, and another of Aaron's powers is to heal, and he is able to save his dog--but Gabe is more connected to Aaron now, he can share dreams, he speaks in full sentences, his intellect is amazing. 

I've greatly enjoyed The Fallen 1 so far, so I'm trying to keep going and finish Leviathan soon; however, I've gotten an ARC to review for the LibraryThing Early reviewers group called Tempest: A Novel (Tempest - Trilogy) by Julie Crossthat I really want to start, and I'm reading The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch which has the perfect amount of "creep" factor that I enjoy without being really scared.  (Another book called 7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando scared the ever-loving crap out of me back in July 2010, and I've tried to stay away from books that are that scary since then!)

So, all things considered, I do recommend The Fallen 1--and I'm giving it a rating of 4 stars out of 5.  The pacing is a bit slow at times, and while some story-lines are obvious, others are very loose threads at the moment, which almost feel like distractions rather than set-ups. I'm excited to see where the story goes, and that makes it a good book!
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Upcycling At Its Finest!

I took an old corkboard and 2 iron grates that my mom was going to throw away and made something I just love!

My mom originally had these iron grates just hung on her wall showing the paint color behind them.  I don't know if they are even iron, or if grate is the correct term, but that's ok.  The point is, she got married and combined households, so I got all kinds of cool things, these grates being one of them.

My initial plan was to turn one into a pinboard and the other into a ribbon-type card and photo display (but without the ribbon)--and then I found my ugly spray-painted corkboard along with my "good" stack of unused fabrics and inspiration struck!

Before Pictures: this is one of the two grates; it's leaning on the back cushion of the loveseat in the playroom that is hideously ugly, which I think increases the value of this "before" picture, lol.
1 of 2 iron grates

Horrible, isn't it? 
FYI: Metallic paint shows every s.i.n.g.l.e. imperfection--so it's not a good choice for anything unless you're going to spend time repairing and sanding, which I was not aware of and not willing to do for a $5 corkboard.  I had the same problem with Metallic Blue Turquoise on a picture frame.
My stack of fabrics I bought in August and had yet to use, in spite of designing a whole room color scheme around them!
I cut foamcore board so it would fit the inside of the grate.  I then trimmed and wrapped the fabric around the board.  So technically, they can still become pinboards.  So...this is a kind of an "in the middle of a project" type picture:
Here they are laying flat on the bed, with just a bit of my patterned fabric showing.
and the corkboard is now made...
And this is my final reveal--there are several because one picture kept throwing a glare:

 I had to do a close-up of the pictures--my baby, back when he was a baby and then at his 1st birthday party.  He's 5 going on 15 now.....  I hot-glued flat thumbtacks to clothespins so my pictures wouldn't get holes in them.

So, there it is--and this is my first ever link-up to a party!  I have loved "Crafting With the Stars" over on Sew Dang Cute Crafts!  I loved all of the round 3 projects using fabric, too--they were a.m.a.z.i.n.g!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thyme for Courage

Wow...just wow!!  I've been thinking and thinking of what to name this blog.  I brainstormed on paper, wrote down all kinds of words.  I read some inspirational books and even poems from my favorite Rumi book (plus, it was handy, a lot of my books are in storage bins right now....) 

Rumi's advice, by the way, was:
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you.
When actions come from another section, the feeling disappears.

Speak the clearest truth you know, and let the dis-ease heal.  
(And here I thought dis-ease was a phrase made up by all the self-help hippie gurus, lol.)

And my favorite:
Love is a river.  Drink from it.
which may end up being my new motto.  But no blog titles jumped out.

I knew I wanted something to do with courage, since that's something I feel I lack, and this blog and my art journal group both are helping me feel courageous again.  Plus it's part of the Authenticity pledge from Brene Brown:

And all this time, the answer was already on my Pinterest page:
"love the words" is all my pin said

The image is from here: The Urban Farmhouse Shoppe
"Herb Crates
This is a wonderful set of herb crates as seen on Layla's blog.  I love these.  These are distressed and no 2 sets are alike.  They do contain wear marks and markings to make them looked aged.  Hurry, these sell out fast in the shop and online!!"
They're having a sale right now--go check their site out!

I did a web search to check for any other blogs with the same or similar names, and found this article called "Eat This!"
Since ancient times, thyme has been associated with courage and has been used as a natural antidepressant.   
The Scottish highlanders drank wild thyme tea to muster courage and to ward off nightmares.  
Thyme was sacred to the Druids, who used it to treat depression and ward off negativity.  The passage ends like this: The next time you're feeling depressed or need that extra courage and energy to face the day, try smelling a bit of thyme.

Could there be a better title for my blog?  "The Intersection of Crafts and Recovery" sounds more like a subtitle.  "An Insomniac Who Worries Constantly" isn't good either, lol.  "Crafts and Therapeutic Writing" sounds more like a schedule at a Recovery Hospital.  "Kimmy's Ramblings" doesn't tell anyone anything helpful....

I even searched with my name and found so many Kim Davises that I got really creeped out.  I also read an article a few months ago about craft blogs that carelessly toss around words that have negative meanings ("crafty" has synonyms of cagey and devious, for example.)  So, taking all that into consideration....

Thyme For Courage sounds pretty freaking awesome to me.  :)
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Title

I'm 99.99% sure I'm going to be changing the name of this blog soon.  When I started it, I was planning on it being a combination of book reviews and jewelry projects.  It's morphed into a whole different creature entirely, one I like but I feel the discord between the title and content.

Changes are good.  The URL is going to be the same, though.
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Choices...and Shame

I've mentioned I read a life-changing book this past summer by Brene Brown called I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power.  I love her website, and she published this article the other day.  I was honestly on there this evening trying to remember if I had left a comment, when I saw another person's comment that broke my heart.  So, this is my response to another person over at Ordinary Courage.  I'm re-posting it here for this reason alone: it's strange that I feel I can comfort a stranger when I refuse to comfort myself....  I think this is an area I need to look at in myself.  My "self-talk" has gotten a little too hateful lately, so I need to think of myself in this manner:

Ms. Brown, I'd like to address "ashamed" from above who left this message.  Please feel free to delete my response if this isn't appropriate....  I am just another woman, and my advice is definitely more "streetwise" than educational.  I clicked on her name but it was unable to email her back.

She said: "I love the advice that you offer. When can we discuss the fear and shame involved in the decision to not become a parent? How do I face that without judging myself or having others judge me?
10.17.2011 | ashamed"

Dear heart, I have no clue who you are or what challenges you face, but I'd give you a hug if I could.

The decision to have or not have children is such a personal choice, yet it is considered an integral part of our PUBLIC identity.  The reasons for both choices are infinite, yet they don't really matter--know that on BOTH sides of this "coin" of parenthood, judgement is constantly being faced. 

There are always going to be those who disagree with our decisions, so if your choice is to not have children, I don't think it's shameful at all.  Embrace your identity!  I sincerely say that to you--embrace it.  Make peace with yourself knowing that you are doing the right thing. 

We are all criticized constantly, for what kind of car we drive and how well we maintain it to what we wear to the grocery store to how we decorate our homes for the holidays to whether we contribute money to buy a birthday cake for some co-worker when we don't know him and we're on a diet to even being on a diet (or not!) or being on a tight budget....  It is endless!!!!! 

One of my favorite books is "I Don't Know How She Does It," and in spite of the fact that I read it once, about 8 years ago and well over at least 350 books ago, I remember this so vividly: She's a working mom of 2.  She orders PLAIN cupcakes from the grocery store and ICES them herself, so she is not criticized by the other mothers at her child's school for "not loving them enough" to bake for the bake sale.  She also buys a pie and whacks it (like, with a rolling pin, and I think she throws some flour on it too) so it doesn't look purchased either.  Talk about being afraid of judgement!!

What I learned from Ms. Brown's book this past summer is that the SHAME separates us, when in fact, it's a UNIVERSAL emotion.  I'm so ashamed of the selfish reasons I had for being a parent, I really am.  There have been many times when I've wondered what on earth made me think I was qualified to reproduce, much less raise a child.....  The fact that I even worry about whether I'm a good-enough parent is (I've been told) a good sign--so wouldn't the opposite be true?  It's the SHAME we need to try to heal from, not our decisions!

I'm still working on letting go of my SHAME.  (I'm a little afraid I'll be doing the same on my deathbed after living a long and fulfilled life 65+ years from now.)  So for tonight, you let go of yours and I'll let go of mine, and we can both go to sleep tonight knowing we're not the only ones, ok?
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unexpected Honesty (Authenticity)--A Day Later

As I was getting ready for bed last night, I had a thought:  God often has to clear out the old before He can bring in something new.  There's a saying floating around Pinterest:

So, for today, to comfort my broken yet faithful heart, I'm going to believe--no, I'm going to KNOW that everything happens for a reason.  I'm willing to make the leap and remember that God has a plan for me, a good and perfect plan.....
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Make Something! Round-Up

OK, I had this written in one of the craft round-up articles, but I was having a hard time with uploading pictures.  So....

The Amazing Adventure of the Pink Fleur-De-Lis and the Particle Board
I've been saving for years, and I mean since before I was married, approximately 6 moves ago, YEARS, pieces of laminate particle board.  They were mostly from desks, which tend to fall apart when moved, but I've been absolutely positive I could use them for...something!  Art...a frame...another shelf...a rocket to the moon, who knows, lol.

So, with my crafty homemade Mod Podge and a piece of board, I sat down to make an art piece using papers from a scrapbook stack in a beautiful toile black-and-cream theme.  All was going well:

and so I set it aside to dry before I added the final touch: a perfectly painted, perfectly trimmed, perfectly pink fleur-de-lis.  And then, when I went back to the piece, much to my dismay (yet also amusement) the paper slid right off the darn board.

If I had PLANNED for that to happen...not in a million years.  But it did, so now I have a beautiful kind-of French themed POSTER!

Also, a tip: when doing a project like this, it is NOT the time to throw a book page into the mix.  Book pages are thin, cardstock is heavy, and when mixed with water and glue, the book page wrinkles, becomes practically translucent, and just generally messes things up.

The Superhero Known As Gel Medium
I had the gel medium out because I was using it in my experiments on Jason's birthday present.  While waiting for paint to dry (literally) I looked up my brand of gel medium online.  And was I AMAZED at all the things it could do--but the most important: it works as decoupage!!  Who knew, right????

So with nothing to lose, I followed the instructions and what do you know: gel medium makes cardstock adhere to particle board!  You can see it in this photo of my last big project...

Using the same canvas I'd been playing around (I mean, experimenting) on for Jason's birthday present, I layered papers until I found a final layout I liked.
I started out with a stack of some things...most of which didn't make it on the final project.
Layers upon layers...  I'm pleased to announce that homemade M.P. does not ruin glitter or flocking, as some of these papers had those details.  It DID ruin my printed inkjet paper, but at that point I already knew the mixture was too watery, so that may not happen again.
layers and layers and layers--lol
I also made this little heart out of 2 pipe cleaners and some twine.  It was inspired by something similar but I can't link it right now because Pinterest is down.  LOL
So, here's the final creation, ready to hang:

Soooo...go make something!

Oops, one more!  Literally, a sheet wrapped around a huge piece of cardboard, for decoration and organization in James's room.  (We have Sight Words now, every week!)  I actually ended up making 2 of these, about the same size.  I'm really hoping this is the last we'll be seeing of Thomas for a while!

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Unexpected Honesty (Authenticity)

There is a huge, I mean H-U-G-E event going on this month all over Blogland called 31 Days of Change.  I mean it's this kind of big: there are 746 different ones to choose from.  Holy Blogging, Batman!!  Here's a link to the full list.  In essence, each of those blogs has undertaken a challenge to write 31 tips, one each day this month, to help someone else improve their life.  With 746 to choose from, you're bound to find one or two that are perfect for you!

I've been following Organizing Made Fun's 31 Days to {Cheaply} Organize your Home which I've enjoyed in spite of already being a regular reader.  There's several others, but this is the one I wanted to write about:

I happened to find Faith Barista's 31 Days to Feed Your Soul through the list of topics and blogs, and I'm so glad I did--my soul does need feeding!  One of my favorite art journal pieces is titled "struggling to hear the whispers of my soul."  I've really enjoyed each day's topic, but as with any series, one is special to me, as if written directly to me from the Lord when I need His guidance:
Feed Your Soul :: { Day 5 } When You Can’t Fall Apart (Grace For The Good Girl Book Giveaway) hit very close to my heart, following right along with my choice to be more authentic in my life; this is me, to a T:
I managed life, managed myself, and hid my emotions.
When you don’t allow yourself to fall apart, something slowly happens.  Your heart becomes sensitized to your inadequacies and the fear of people not liking you.

You stop taking risks.  Your world becomes smaller and dreams become a distant memory.
Do you know, even in this daily journey I'm on, to be real, authentic, and not let perfectionism or the shame of not being perfect ruin my life, I never recognized the truth of these words.
My world has indeed become very, very small.  I don't take risks.  I'm so positive that people will not like me that I don't even try anymore.  My dreams and goals have been whittled down to almost nothing....  

This breaks my heart: I realized, the last few weeks but especially the past few days, that one of my BIG dreams, one that I've imagined for myself and my family since before I had a family, was to spend a week at Yellowstone National Park.   I've watched documentaries on the wildlife, the history of the park, how it was our 1st National Park....  I know all kinds of useless but fun facts about it.  

I was close to the Park itself back in 1999, with a different husband and no plan for children, we were in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on a business trip and drove through the Grand Tetons. It was close enough to whet my appetite, to plant the seed of a dream vacation in a place where some of God's best work is on display.  But.....
The Truth: it's not going to happen.  For many reasons, all too personal to even write about in this very personal blog, but it's just not going to happen.  I feel like a part of my soul has died with this realization.  I'm  trusting (well, trying to) that God has some purpose for me, but right now, I'm simply broken inside.  Your world becomes smaller and dreams become a distant memory.

I've posted earlier that my husband's birthday is this month, and his dad has planned a party, (albeit without consulting me first....) and I can tell you now that I will not be there.  I know myself, I know where I am emotionally inside enough to know that if even a phrase is spoken with an un-intended tone, it will break my heart and may sever my already-too-thin ties completely with extended family.  Your heart becomes sensitized to your inadequacies and the fear of people not liking you.

My absence will be noticed, most likely misconstrued as ill feelings towards his family, and may have long-term effects that I'll regret.  Jason has already let his dad know I won't be there, and..,well, it's hard for anyone in my husband's very-social family to understand me....

The truth: I can craft until the cows come home; I can create something cute/useful/"artful" out of just about anything, but in the end, nothing has changed.  To use the phrase from this article, I'm too concerned with not losing it, with keeping these nasty fear-based based emotions hidden inside, to be able to let myself fall-apart.  But the REAL truth is that everyone else DOES see it, they DO know, and everyone except ME knows I HAVE fallen apart.

Anyway, I wrote this in the comments on this article, and this is what I wrote--it surprised me what emotions I was feeling....  I'm ending my blog entry here, so the rest of this was written in response to the Good Girl article.

This past summer, I read "I Thought It Was Just Me, But It Isn't", a book about perfectionism and this drive women like me have to ALWAYS have this "perfect face" out for the world to see, when inside we are so ashamed of feeling imperfect that it ruins all the joy in our lives.  I highly recommend it!

Feeling the pressure to be "a good girl" is something I've felt my entire life.  As a child of divorce in the early 80s, one of a generation of "latch-key kids," I grew up torn between being perfect for mom, being perfect for dad, being perfect at school, and failing miserably at all of it.  I didn't realize then that my parents problems, the cause of their divorce and the ensuing acrimony, was about them and their relationship, and had nothing to do with me.  Only as an adult, and being a parent has given me further insight, can I see how much of my childhood I wasted trying to be what no one BUT me expected: the perfect daughter, girl, student, sister, friend.

I so wish I could go back in time and hug that little girl, and let her know that she's free to play, to get messy, to laugh too loud with friends and to make mistakes.  God's Perfect Sacrifice had already been made, I didn't need to fulfill that role within my family.

I'm very much enjoying your 31-day series, and I'll be looking for Ms. Freeman's book.  Thank you for this outlet as well, I'm surprised at these emotions--I didn't realize that I still felt this way.
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Other Recently Completed Pieces

The Hello Kitty Duck Tape Wallet
My new sister-in-law asked my to make her a duck-tape wallet using this cute Hello Kitty tape.  I said no problem, their site has directions to make all kinds of things.  Umm, no.  The site gave me instructions on how to make...a RECTANGLE!  Woo-hoo!  Now what, I thought?

So after much thought, the creation of a paper mock-up, and consultation with 3 "real" wallets, I was able to make a wallet with a cash pocket, 3 credit card slots on the left and 2 on the right.  I used red and white felt to break the pattern up, since the tape ends up going all sorts of directions, but that turned out really well because Nick, my husband's brother, is an artist and was able to draw and decorate the inside, and the result is a really cool lil thing.  That I never plan to make

The Little Lamp
I had two of these lamps given to me, well, left in my garage for 2+ years, by my mother-in-law.  They were very Victorian, complete with fringe, but the insides of the shades were cracked all to pieces, and only one of the lamps would work.  So, I took this:
and made this:
out of an old pair of capri pants.  I did not know ahead of time that the flowers and such would GLOW like they do, so I got very lucky for my first attempt at making a lampshade!

The Iron Grates and a Bulletin Board
These two iron grates are yet another part of the stash of goodies from my mom's move to the farm.  They are beautiful and were originally open-backed, but seemed to serve no other purpose, such as a photo-holder or anything like that.  My idea as soon as I saw them was to put cloth behind the scrolls and hang them on the wall.

I used my "good" turquoise and lime material and wrapped foamcore to fit within the lip of the grates in the back.  They will nicely flank either side of my bulletin board, made using....
 you guessed it: my "good" fabric!! I love how this turned out, and I believe I'll love it even more with a couple of my favorite pictures and "memory" items on it.

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