Tired of Feeling Helpless

 

It’s been way too long since my last post – this sounds vaguely like Catholic confession, but I do have a good excuse….I went camping, more to come on camping with a 4 year old and 9 month old.  But I caught the plague – or as the Dr. liked to call it – a serious sinus infection that needed antibiotics.  A few days into that, I started feeling slightly better, but got dysentery – or as the Dr. liked to call it – a bad reaction to the antibiotics.  All of this has lasted a better part of two weeks.

 

I’m finally going to make it and it’s about 4am in the morning and I just felt like I had to write.  This blog to me is mostly about my attempted various projects from crocheting to sewing to jewelry making, painting, general crafts and repurposing/salvaging old building materials and various other cool stuff and turning them into furniture.  I also like to throw in my experiences as a mom and our family happenings and then just to spice things up, I like to add random shit.  

 

So here is some random shit.

 

Right now, there are a group of Democrats in the government who have staged a 2 day sit in to bring awareness and ask for action in changing gun control legislation.  This is following up on a recent event where 49 Americans were killed in a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL.  It is the largest mass shooting in the U.S. to date.  

 

While I’ve always believed in stricter gun control laws, sometimes getting so angry to the point that I think all guns should be illegal, but I’ve had other things to do in my life and it just sort of slips through the cracks.  The older I get and having two children who are already growing up in an entirely different world than I did, I feel like I want to do something to change some of the bad.  I don’t want to have to worry about a shooting at school or out in a bar.  That’s not a world I want to see or have my children experience.

 

It seems that everyday people or rednecks as I like to call them think that the government is going to come in and “take all of their guns.”  Why someone really needs some type of assault rifle, I have no idea, and while I wish there was a 1984 type world just with the government being able to actually – in real life – come in and “take all their guns,” that just isn’t going to happen and I can try and live with that.  But to have instances where people don’t have to have a background check to buy a gun at a gun show or to allow people who are being monitored and/or on the no fly list to buy guns is just outrageous.  Let’s start somewhere people!  And I feel like the current sit-in, I’m hoping at least, will make something happen.  I love seeing them in their nice suits and shoes sitting on the floor, talking, singing, praying.  

 

I don’t pray and I don’t believe there is a god who would condone terrible acts of violence or even acts of judgement on the part of religious groups that feel like the shooting was justified and “those people got what they deserved.” It’s absolutely unconscionable to me that a god or people would say such a thing.  These were kids, or at least young people, out celebrating, singing and dancing.  Just because they love who they want to love doesn’t make them any different than anyone else.  There are so many times when these supposed god worshipping, moral people are found to really participate in heinous crimes.  I just can’t imagine their “all-forgiving god” sitting up there in judgement of the world and allowing “his people” to sit down here and tell everyone else what “he is saying.”  If that is god, then I definitely want no part in that.

 

We teach our 4 year old that we love everyone and when he decides who he wants to love when he gets older be it man or woman, that’s okay.  We watch shows such as Modern Family with a gay couple who adopt a daughter and he asks why she has two daddies and we simply explained that they love each other and he’s okay with that.  We go to a very liberal and open preschool where some of the kids have 2 moms or 2 dads and my son is okay with that.  He sees nothing wrong or different about it and that’s the way it should be.  We read him books such as And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson about 2 gay penguins in the Central Park Zoo.  Even in nature, there is nothing wrong with that!  Killing people on the other hand is wrong.  It doesn’t matter what your justification is or what your god says, killing is wrong.  Cutting someone’s life off and hurting those around them is wrong.
So where does that leave me?  I am a housewife who likes to make beautiful things and while I feel that I contribute positively to the world in that area, what can I do.  So I Googled it.  I can write letters to my representatives here in Utah and I can support the Democratic sit-in through social media and letters.  It makes me feel a little impotent, but I’m willing to give it a try.  Then I started thinking about other aspects in this world that need to change and I got so depressed about all the ugliness in this world and the lack of power I feel I have to change anything for the better.  So I want to think about something or maybe some things that I really believe need to change.  Off the cuff, human trafficking has become an epidemic worldwide and it has started to creep in everywhere.  But again, what can I do.  Maybe there is something on something closer to home that I can participate in.  I’ll have to Google it.  I just want to make this world a more beautiful place but a safer, happier place for everyone, especially people less fortunate than me.  I might have to start on a more local level, but there just has to be something I can do.  I’m tired of feeling helpless to change things and just moving on.  It’s time to act and I hope you feel the same.

Craft Stash Busting Self Challenge – Score 1 for Me

 

A couple of weeks back, I started a craft stash buster self challenge – which I failed miserably because a couple of days after I decided to use only craft supplies I had on hand, I broke down and bought some supplies that I thought I really “needed” to complete some projects.  So after that breech in my challenge, I buckled down and have successfully lasted almost 3 weeks without going to the craft store.  Score 1 for me!
During this time, I finished a pair of earrings, a bracelet and a necklace.  I am donating them to my son’s school for their fundraiser.  The pictures are a little bit dark because I am a night owl and I finished these around 11:30p last night and had to take a picture before my bead explosion crept back onto the necklace board.

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Everything I used, I had on hand.  My only hang-up is that I’m still wondering if I should make the necklace 3 strands instead of 2, but it’s pretty busy and getting heavy.
My creative process – total chaos:

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Finishing something feels like such a great accomplishment.  Now that I’ve successfully made these pieces, I can use the remaining beads (and I have way too many) to make something for myself, gifts and to sell!  Yay!  

Fishing Expedition

 

Sometimes the forays into parenthood can be hard, scary, wonderful and a host of other things from down right insane to calm and peaceful.  Here is one of my recent ludicrous moments.

I went on a field trip last week with my 4 year old’s preschool class.  We went fishing at a Trout Farm near Kamas Utah.  My husband was suppose to go because while I have been fishing in my life, it’s usually with my dad and I hand him my hook for the worm, he hands me the baited pole, I catch the fish and hand over my line again, he takes the fish off and releases it and we start all over.  It really is thrilling when you catch that fish.  Of course, the whole time in my adult life, I’ve gone so that my son can experience it and I’m muttering all sorts of things about incurring bad karma by killing the worms and hooking these poor fish.

Our sitter fell through on the day of the field trip, and Matt couldn’t go.  So now it’s me and four other moms and the teacher with 12 preschool kids.  When we arrived, I was glad that we would be fishing in a small pond stocked full of fish.  I was fully prepared ahead of time that I would have to rip apart worms for the hook (gagging again as I write this).  The worms which I thought would be little skinny earthworms were as thick as my fingers and about as long as my hand.  They were like earthworm snakes (gagging again here).  I don’t mind worms in general or touching them although I don’t especially seek out the activity of worm holding.

Trout Farm Beck Fishing

So here I am with my industrial, white bucket for the fish, each kid got to catch 2 and I had charge of three kids – all boys.  Then the teacher comes around with a small wooden bat and says, “now when you catch the fish, you’re going to use this bat to whack it on the head to kill it quickly so it doesn’t suffer.”  That sounds reasonable and maybe cuts down on some of the bad karma because you’re not letting the poor fish suffer, but then there’s the reality of the whacking part.  Have you ever tried to whack a 12 inch flailing fish on the head?  Well I have now.  It actually took quite a few whacks for those suckers to die.  Most were briefly knocked unconscious at which point you’ve tossed them into the bucket and they they would wake up and all the kids would squeal and jump around screaming, “it’s still alive – he’s still alive! Hit him again!”  Then they would grab the bat and start swinging it around.  The kids wanted to clobber their own fish, so there’s your hand pinning this squirmy fish down as you vehemently tell them not to hit you or your hand with the wooden bat.  So of course they hit your hand, arm, get a close swing near your head and once again, it’s up to you to torture this poor unfortunate fish further and hit him a few more times for good measure.

Whack-a-fish

After this horrible ordeal, it’s snack time for the class.  Even after washing my hands 3 times, I still felt a little sick and suspected I had fish blood and gut particles on me.

While we ate, the couple that owned the trout farm cleaned our fish for us – meaning the innards only.  We each got two whole raw, dead fish – heads, tails, skin and bones to take home with us in a white plastic grocery bag.

I thought I would quietly dispose of my fish – especially since I was still gagging whenever I thought about the whole fish catching experience, but I felt so guilty that I had killed these fish – they had to have died for a higher purpose, right?  Then of course the teacher told the kids she was going to ask them what we did with our damn fish and so I knew I had to cook them.  Beck wouldn’t lie – he would tell her we threw them out.

I then had to figure out how to filet a damn fish.  So with my dullest knives – which in our case is ALL of them, I tried to cut up the fish.  In the end, most of the pieces still had those hair-like bones in them, but we breaded them and pan fried them.  I have to admit, bones aside and the recurring images of the worm mutations and fish bludgeoning, the fish were pretty good.  Beck, who lives solely on rice and pasta even tried it and said he really liked it.  
I’m know that once the bad memories and my gag reflex goes away, I’ll look back on this day as a great day.  The kids had an awesome time and my kid tried something new – both fishing and eating what he caught.  Gag.

Fish Head!

I Hate My Life Right Now

 

I hate my life right now.  

All I want is a little bit of time for myself.  On the one hand I feel like that’s a reasonable request and on the other, I feel like this is a selfish thought.  Like I said before, I’m 41, with two young children – one is 4 and the other is almost 8 months.  I find myself wondering several times a day, “what the hell was I thinking?”  On top of that, we have 2 dogs who don’t listen, try to mark up the furniture and come in with muddy paws.  Plus 1 cat who is as old as a goddess and walks around meowing (I secretly think she gets lost even though she can still see and hear).

Any time I want to do something from a simple act like using the bathroom to more complicated tasks like cooking or crafting, my 7, almost 8 month old starts screaming, my 4 year old needs something – like off the coffee table and wants me to get it because it’s too far away for him to reach from the couch, the dogs are barking or have to go out and there’s still housework that needs to be done.  

I hate my life right now.

I try to stay positive but sometimes my sadness and desperation spirals out of control and I just sink deeper into depression and hopelessness.  How does anyone manage to do this?  I see moms with 3, 4, 5 kids and they’re dressed, make-up on, shopping or just having a normal, calm day.  Do they go through this?  Do they look around and think, “what the hell was I thinking?”  This is just too much.  Plus while my husband is wonderful, he comes home tired from a long day at work and I just want to hand it all over to him and disappear.  I want him to cook and clean.  I just want to check out and I don’t think he understands how rough some of the days can be.  It seems like everyone turns into an angel when he walks in and mommy is just plain crazy, which makes me feel even more worthless.  He doesn’t think so and he never makes me feel that way, it’s just that imbalance in my brain – depression and bipolar feelings that take over.  I’m having one of those times right now.

I just want some time for myself.  A vacation, a room with no kids or dogs.  I don’t want to hear a fire truck toy or a mommy I’m thirsty or a screaming baby.  I tell my 4 year old son to calm down and take a deep breath when he’s upset and frustrated.  He now has adopted the same saying and when I get all worked up, he tells me to calm down, take a deep breath and I laugh and do as he says.  It’s really not all bad.  Everyone’s alive, healthy and loved, so I must be doing something right even on the bad days.  

Deep breaths, deep breaths.  Somehow we’ll all (womankind) going to survive – and our children too, I guess.  And I’ll try to endure this temporary feeling of hating my life right now because I know deep down that I really don’t hate my life, it just feels that way sometimes.

Mobile for Posey

 

A few weeks ago, I bought an old embroidery hoop at a thrift store – one of the ginormous ones.  I was going to run strings up and down in it, weave yarn through the strings and use it to display jewelry that I make.  But then I decided that I really wanted to try my hand at making a mobile for my 7 month old daughter, Posey.  I searched for mobiles on Pinterest and found an easy one I could make, and then I saw how much they sell for on Etsy – and I thought, this I can do.  I think it took me about 3 days to complete.  

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Let me go back a bit.  My mania has gotten me all fired up about making things – crocheting, jewelry, sewing, and therefore all of my craft supplies have sprawled across every flat surface of the house – totally on my way to the Hoarder Alarm System, I know.  But although I have some very cool projects in the works, I’m having a sort of creative paralysis.  Everything is out and ready to go, some of it even half put together, but I can’t seem to finish anything.  It’s like I have a fear of completing something – fear of success, fear of failure.

I envy people who can see the potential in old, beat up objects and create truly amazing things with them.  I have to see the end result and then use similar supplies to make my creations.  And I can’t pick out colors to save my life.  I have so much trouble when I crochet blankets trying to decide what colors go together, same thing as when I paint furniture.  Thank the gods for Pinterest.  I actually do use my boards for ideas I have found and pinned in the past and I update and delete pins as I try to use the ideas the pin gave me.  And you can find color schemes galore – I like www.design-seeds.com – the colors are nice and the pictures are so pretty and soothing.
I went to a small craft show here in Salt Lake City – miracle of all miracles, it was held on a Sunday – this whole town shuts down on Sundays, so it was nice to have something to do.  The other fun part was the name – Craft Sabbath!  There were some really cool vendors and all sorts of artistic creations.  I would have taken some pictures, but I’m not really sure how to go about asking people if I can take their pictures – with their wares for my blog that I’ve just started.  

Craft Sabbath!
Craft Sabbath!

Sugar Space
Sugar Space

I did buy two necklaces from www.TangentsAndTentacles.Etsy.com .  They were so sweet and unique and the prices were incredibly reasonable.  

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Even though it was a very small craft fair, I hope to see them grow and can’t wait for the next one.  When I got home, it was like I had ants in my pants – not literally, but I went into a mobile making frenzy.  

I had my embroidery hoop and the silk flowers I bought last week when I broke my self challenge to not buy new craft supplies.  I had all sorts of sari silk scraps on hand that I bought like 2 or so years ago on etsy.  I wanted to use clear string – like fishing line to hang some shiny beads – which I also bought last week, breaking my no supply buying rule (that lasted like 3 days).  I almost broke down at this point…”can’t hang the beads without clear string, I’ll have to hit the craft store, but then going through my stuff, I found some bead stringing wire and used it since the sari silk was too thick to string the beads on.  Then I couldn’t find my ribbon stash – they’re in a box somewhere – I keep saying it but it’s definitely time to put my Hoarder Alarm System in place so that I can find all of my craft supplies since not being able to find something almost stopped me again, but the sari silk did come to the rescue this time.

I also bought some shiny beads last week during my no craft buying relapse, but then went through my bead collection and used some ones I already had as well as the new ones.
Other supplies were a hot glue gun, wire cutters for the flowers, scissors, something to string the beads on and rings for the end of the bead strings (jump rings) to tie some sari tassels.

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I’m pretty impressed with myself and the finished product.  Mostly because I made it.  I would love to make some to sell, but not this one because it was my first attempt and really I don’t know how well the glue I used will hold up over time.  That being said, here are a couple of things I would do differently next time:

  1. Use better glue.  I used a low temperature glue gun because I always burn the piss out of myself with the high temp ones, but like I said, I’m not sure how strong that glue is – some of the larger flowers fell off and I had to glue them back on.  They’ve stayed on since then, so I’ll have to just wait and see.  I’m not even sure what the best glue would be – maybe super glue?  I would need it to dry quickly, maybe I’ll try that next time, although knowing me, I’ll end up gluing my fingers together or glueing a flower onto my hand, which might not be bad – maybe I’ll start a new trend.
  2. Use a smaller embroidery hoop.  The one I used is huge hoop, approximately 18 inches across which made for a lot of leaf and flower glueing, but it was thrifted, so I used it.
  3. Glue the flowers on first.  As you can see from the pictures, I glued the leaves on first to cover the hoop, but then I needed to glue the flowers onto the hoop and the leaves were in the way.  I didn’t want to glue the flowers to the leaves – I felt like they wouldn’t provide a strong enough base to hold the weight of the flower.
  4. Possibly paint the hoop green or even white.  I ended up glueing leaves and a couple of flowers on the inside, and it covered the hoop pretty well.
  5. Hang more beads and crystals on shorter strings – maybe even ribbon or sari silk.  I had to limit the beads due to that huge hoop getting heavy.

Some ideas I had while doing this was that you could use burlap to wrap your hoop and incorporate it into the flower arrangement, or use ribbon, even fabric.  You could use real evergreens and pine cones, or pom poms.  The sky’s the limit.  Really, though, there is no limit!

Craft Stash Busting
Self Challenge Part 1

So in the midst of some rather large projects, I’m making some items for my son’s school fundraiser, and in the spirit of going through my craft stash to make the things, I’ve decided to do a stash buster self challenge.

In my head, I’m super creative.  I have so many ideas and no fear that I can’t do any artsy-craftsy thing I put my mind to, but when it comes to the execution of the projects – like finishing them, I fall apart.  

The challenge would be that I wouldn’t buy any more craft items unless it was something small and absolutely essential for finishing a project for which I already have the supplies.  I came up with this self challenge on Tuesday 4/26/16, it is now Friday 4/29/16 and I’ve already failed.  I knew I might have to buy a small thing here and there to finish the projects and that was totally my goal today when I hit the craft store, but I have a serious problem.

For example, I got these really cool beads a while ago at a Gem Faire that comes through every few months.  I love boho inspired jewelry and thought I would make a set of earrings, necklace and bracelet for the school fundraiser.  Of course I bought enough beads at the time to make myself a set as well and maybe even one or two for gifts or to sell.  

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But after searching through my hoarded stash:

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And there is a lot more, not pictured.  I realized that I didn’t have enough chain to make a necklace.  I know, I know, I’m sure there was something I could use instead, but like a broken record, my psychotic mind kept looping, “I need chain, I need chain.  Can’t finish this project without chain.”  So I went to buy the damn chain.  I had coupons, after all.  Here is what I left the craft store with – and this is like the lightest load I’ve managed in a long time.  See those two small packs of chain on the far left? Yep, that’s what I “needed.” The flowers and shiny beads are for a mobile I want to make for my 7 month old daughter.  And of course I needed a new bag – so I paid $1.59 for a new bag – I only have like 10 of them.  In my defense, they’re all different and I keep different crochet projects in them.

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So I texted my husband after this trip to tell him I had a serious problem.  He didn’t even ask.  I told him about my recent debauchery in the craft store, but I came up with a brilliant plan for my craft supplies in the meantime AND when I put my plan into place, I’ll need even MORE supplies.  

Here’s my idea:  

The Hoarder Alarm System™

And not just any old hoarding system.  I would organize all of my craft supplies in a usable fashion starting right inside the two doors leading outside of my house.  That way when someone tries to break in, they’ll be like “what is all this shit?”  And I wouldn’t stop there – I would organize my things all along the walkways – so you have to step in certain places to make it into the house – like the hot lava game you may have played as a kid.  I know – awesome idea, but now you’re wondering what you would do if you’re home when someone tries to get into your house?  But the brilliance of this plan is that all of your craft supplies are organized so each section has its own weapons.  For example – the sewing section has scissors and needles, the crochet section would be similar – small scissors, needles, plus you can use the yarn to tie your intruder up.  If you have spray paint in the house, you can use it like pepper spray, but your burglar will leave with a pretty color on his or her face.  And if all of that fails, you can just start throwing things – think about the damage a well aimed mason jar would do to someone’s head – although you’d have to have pretty good aim, which I don’t.  But by this time, the intruder would be so freaked out both by your house and your amazing use of non-conventional weapons that they’ll just say – forget this crazy bitch and run for their lives.

My current work surface (one of many in my house).
My current work surface (one of many in my house).

This is just to let you know that if you’re like me, you think better surrounded by total chaos and that those nice, neat pictures on Pinterest and on other blogs are all staged.  No super creative genius works in a clean, clinical setting.  Let loose your inner genius and hop aboard the hot mess express!!  Let’s create people or is it let’s create, people?  Anyway, the new Stash Busting Self Challenge starts now.

The Apocalypse

Today I was going to write about some of my projects in progress – and let me tell you, there are a lot of them.  I love finding things I want to try, even better when the project has a tutorial that is easy to follow with nice, clear pictures and then I buy whatever the hell I want (kind of following the plans) and do whatever the hell I want and just hope that it turns out alright.  I wouldn’t win any prizes for my finished projects, but I do manage to pull most things together – if I finish them.  But something else is really on my mind and I thought I would write about it instead. 

The Apocalypse

I am a totally open, ambiguous and equal opportunity passenger when it comes to the apocalypse.  I don’t really have a preference on how the world is going to end.  I think some people have set beliefs on what will happen to us one day, but I have absolutely no opinion or leanings on how our world will end.  It’s like going on a super mysterious fun ride that you have absolutely no control over, so just sit back and enjoy the ride, or not.  You may be wondering what brought all this on, well, let me show you.  I was driving along the other day and saw this in front of me:

Prepper Con Baby!
Prepper Con Baby!

PrepperCon baby!  You should know that I take pictures on the move, not while moving literally, but through my dirty windshield with my dirty phone, so my pictures aren’t going to be nice and pretty and clear.  Just deal with it.

I love Doomsday Preppers and I’m not sure if it’s just Salt Lake City and Utah or if it’s everywhere and I just never noticed it before, but we have a plethora of “Emergency Supply Stores.”  Now I lived in New Orleans for quite a few years and if there’s anywhere that would need an emergency supply store, it’s there.  Even if a major hurricane isn’t about to hit, it always floods when it rains and you can usually count on the power going out for every storm, high wind, calm sunny day, etc.  

I read a lot.  You might wonder how I read with two small children, well, I go to bed when they do.  That’s right, about 9pm each night, I read to my four year old and we lie down together and I read my book till he falls asleep, then move to my bed and read till 11pm.  Okay, if it’s a really good book, I’ve been known to stay up till 3am, but then I’m total shit the next day.  And when I say I read a lot, I mean a lot, like a book every couple of days and no I don’t skim read like my husband accuses me of doing.  Furthermore, I’ll read almost anything – from non-fiction to sci-fi to fantasy to murder mysteries.  I know I’ve been reading too much of one genre when I read a series of let’s say apocalypse books and I quickly start making my list for how much water, food and emergency supplies we’ll need to last us until, well I’m not really sure how long our supplies will need to last if it’s the end of the world.

I live in Salt Lake City and yes, we have a lot of Mormons here.  They have a short term food supply and then they build up their stores with staples that will last up to 30 years.  Let me tell you, they’ll be prepared.  But would I really want to live through all of that – watching everything fall apart and all the rest while sitting in my living room looking out our window all the while stuffing my face with food?  I guess it would be like watching tv, but it would be real.  Now the Catholics believe that if you’re not raptured when God calls it, then you have 7 years of “trials and tribulations.”  That still seems like a lot of supplies to have on hand.  And let me tell you, I don’t believe for a second that any of these Christians are going to share with heathens like me.  And I start to worry, but then I’m like, squirrel, and I’m on to something else.

So all this rambling about the end of the world and food storage is really about some good books I’ve come across about the end of the world.  An aside, I had to take a break from post-apocalypse books because I just get too freaked out and panicky, so I’m reading sci-fi right now.  I’ll have that book list in a bit.

So if you want to go on an adventure about the end of the world, here are some fun books to read:

Zombie Apocalypse:

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series by Carrie Ryan

Alien Invasion:

Extinction Point Series by Paul Anthony Jones

Children of the After series by Jeremy Laszlo

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Post Apocalyptic World: (or loosely based post the world as we know it)

The Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld

Last Survivors Series by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The Testing Series by Joelle Charbonneau

Partials Series by Dan Wells

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Totally Whacked:

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

Then there are the usual suspects:

The Hunger Games Trilogy

Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

Ender’s Game Series by Orson Scott Card

The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner

 

New ‘do, New Me!

Blonde and Magenta!
Blonde and Magenta!

New do – new you – right?  I feel like I might be a little too old for my new hair do, I just turned 41 and have 2 small children – a four year old and a seven month old, but my husband (my ever faithful cheerleader – in a manly sort of way) told me to just do it, so I did.

 

Quick side note, I loathe selfies.  I don’t understand why people take so many pictures of themselves, but out of all the pictures my husband took later in the day, this one was definitely the least embarrassing:

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Okay, my face on this last one is the worst.  So anyway…..

Yep, blonde and magenta hair.  My friend and hairdresser told me that since it’s a totally new look, I needed to get off my bum and finally start my blog.  The blog, my husband reminds me, I’ve been planning to write for like 5 years now.  For some reason, people think my projects and antics are worth reading about.  I feel like anyone is capable of doing what I’m doing, maybe it’s just that I seem to jump in head first without checking to see if there is water at the bottom of the pool (fictitiously).  I’m always trying new things – whether it be sewing, crocheting, painting, cooking and recently furniture salvaging.  I’m not especially successful in all my endeavors, but man are they fun and exciting.

A little disclaimer about me:  I am bipolar (yes, officially diagnosed years ago), fight a constant battle with depression and anxiety, so when I’m up, I’m up and when I’m down, I’m down.  But when I’m up, man, I get shit done!  Of course, the down part is not pretty, but I’m doing the best that I can.  The reason I’m telling you about this part of myself is that it seems to be something that people feel should stay hidden and in the shadows.  It’s an awful illness and it really is a battle just to get out of bed and get moving.  But I believe that when I have my stuff together, I can do amazing things and whether you battle mental illness or are just a little bit afraid of tackling new, big things, think of me and just dive in!  So, c’mon, hop on this roller coaster with me.  Bonsai!