Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Out of the Fog

What can I say about blocks to creativity that has not already been said?  I have been in a funk for a few months now.  ...Too many cares, too many others to see to.  That is often the way of it for caregivers.  ...Issues of change, ...getting older, ...not enough rest or "ME" time.  Well, slowly I have been pushing up and out of the fog of oblivion and grabbing back some of myself, and what better way than to make something fun to wear?  I love clothing and adornments.  It's not so much about how many clothes I can squish into my closet and drawers, because I certainly have plenty, but it is about a love of color and texture and how I express myself.  I guess you could say that I am like a chameleon (except that I am certainly better looking), feeling it's necessary to change with my moods ad surroundings.  Anyone that knows me well can see at a glance how I am feeling at the moment just through a look at what I am wearing.  Years ago, when my first marriage ended, I spent colorless months in browns and gray and black.  Ugh!  Now I am much more fond of whimsy and bright colors.

Jane Thornley's Bloom

Getting back to knitting!  Last week I started a new shrug (I think).  ...Never quite sure of what something will turn into!  The pattern I am using is Jane Thornley's Bloom.  Jane's last few patterns have all been based on those wonderful free-range semi-circles that seem to shout out happiness and whimsy to me.  I do better with shrugs than wraps however, so shrug it will be.  I am feeling very limey and have almost nothing to wear in lime and greens.  That's a good excuse to make something don't you agree?


Sewing too!  I have had a "too much thought" period and I had to burst out of that too.  Too much mentalizing over a project can kill it deader than a doornail.  The project in question is the tunic top with the embroidered fabric.  Anyone who has done serious sewing knows that there is often a fear of cutting into a precious piece of fabric, and this has had its grip on me since I conceived the idea.  I have to keep reminding myself that if I don't go through with this project, the fabric will be back in storage and who knows what will happen to it?  Anyway, to get up my scrapping/patching courage, I have begun on a less invested piece of work.  I had an old bed-sack of still good muslin, and for some time I have bee wanting a painterly kind of frock.  Going through old patterns, I found just the thing for a Lagenlook style frock.  I am sure that I will be making all versions before I am done with this pattern!  I have combined the bottom middle one with the top right.  Mine will be center front opening but with closed ruffles in the skirt.  ...Or maybe it will open all the way.  We will see.  All the pieces are cut, and I plan to add applied design that will have a theme of some kind.  I am currently in the mood to keep the colors in the close natural hue of the muslin, but that can change.  Really, nothing says "paint on me!" like an empty canvas!

Next time be prepared for a mantel surprise!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Oh My Achy Back!

Well, it has been a long while since I spent much time crawling around on the floor, but I have been
doing plenty of that lately.  Back to the bathroom that I began to paint after we had to put in a new shower and added a new floor too.  It was a gorgeous remodel all thanks to a shower pan leak, and I was gung-ho to get a whole new bathroom.  However, I ran into painting problems right away.  It was too humid (even with air-conditioning) and was not drying properly and the process upset me so that I gave up once the walls were finally done and behaving themselves.  It has taken me 2 years to get back to it.  Funny how that happened:  I was cleaning the bathroom, and those funky cabinets stared at me reminding me that they were still waiting their makeover, when the doorbell rang.  There stood a young man trying to sell me gutters, and asked if there were any other repairs he could do.  I smiled sweetly and said "no," knowing all the while that I had PLENTY of repair chores needing attention!  When I returned to the bathroom cleaning, I suddenly and impulsively grabbed a screwdriver and my drill and promptly removed the doors from the cabinet.  Now there was no going back, I had committed!

My plan was to add black gel stain and just significantly darken the boringly average fruit-wood stain that had had over 30 years of wear and spruce it up.  Well, more paint problems!  ...The curse of the un-drying paint struck again!  So after gagging on fumes for a few days waiting for it to dry, I wiped it all off and started over.  This time I painted with oil base black paint that gloriously dried to the touch in just one hour.  I was in DIY heaven!  After the second coat was good and dry, I sanded off the high parts for a distressed look and then coated with polyurethane.  Yesterday, I took a deep breath and tackled installing the new hardware.  Before, one of the knobs had been uneven and so  I was determined to use handles and avoid the previous holes which I had filled.  The results of my labor are so worth the aches and pains and inconvenience of the past week.  I love my new cabinet!  Next bathroom project?  ...Framing the mirror!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why Am I Going So Slow When Life Goes So Fast?

 I have been in a slow mode for several weeks now.  It's not my style pr preferred pace, but about two months ago life got more complicated and so I have been meeting those time eating demands with "have to-do's" rather than the things I would rather be doing.  I even got behind on the Mantel-a-Month challenge I had posed for myself.  Oh well, I kind of liked the birds and birdhouse.  Still, I couldn't shake that guilty feeling and so I did update the mantel for July.  I kept the birds and added an old cage.  There is a mason jar inside for water and the real flowers were simply inserted through the top of the cage.

I did just finish a new necklace.  I was inspired by some artwork my sister did many years ago, a simply beautiful bouquet of pink poppies.  I came up with a short phrase that was meaningful to me:  "Like the flowers of the field, I am Wild, Free, and Beautiful."  I long for a life with more simplicity and nature has always been what I need to restore my spirit.  Sometimes a small bouquet of flowers gives me a lift in my day.  Wild and free allows me to be who I am with no permissions or apologies: and Beautiful is how I always want to feel the Inner Me is.  Knowing that what I hold inside myself, (without guilt, shame, fear) is positive and goodness, a sense of virtue, is very important to me.  I painted the phrase and added it to the back of the pendant.  I also machine embroidered it along the ribbon ties.  It becomes a wearable reminder and affirmation of purpose and my philosophy for living.