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.

IMG_20160517_222447 IMG_20160517_222439 IMG_20160517_222454 IMG_20160517_222502

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:

IMG_20160512_165639 IMG_20160512_165652 IMG_20160428_131728 (2) IMG_20160426_104340 (1)

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.  

joannes1 etsy1

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.  

IMG_20160504_175802

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.

IMG_20160429_152936 IMG_20160429_130031

IMG_20160503_083722718

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!