Saturday, October 22, 2011

Snailing Along

I am not sure if I have mentioned it or made it clear, but I was just thinking today, while watching Avatar, how much I love to write letters.  I started snail mailing about a year ago.  I can't believe that I started something so long ago, and I am still totally interested in it!  I started with about 40 pen pals, mainly from Europe.  And then, I went down to less than 20.  I preferred that actually.  I like being able to write long letters to people, with no stress about time or anything.  I used to spend hours and days responding to all 40 of my pen pals.  Lemme tell ya!  It's really expensive to pay for packages, postage, cute letter sets, and everything for 40 people!  So I was happy to be able to invest the time and money for just a few.

Then, I lost my job back in May and I just.... I don't know.  I wasn't depressed or anything, but I just didn't know what to do!  It was like when I decided I wasn't finishing grad school.  I didn't know what to do with all the time.  I didn't have 100s of pages to read, papers to write, community service projects. I just had work and motherhood, and those two things were kicking my butt!  But eventually, I filled that time.  And I felt the same void after losing my job.  "What am I gonna do all day?  Just me and my Little Darling?  Together? Alone? All day?"  It took a while, but after a few months, I got the answers to all of those questions, and I am just as busy as if I were working a full time job, part time job, and going to school 12 hours and doing my practicum 25 hours per week.  I know, you're thinking, "Do wha'?  How in the world did you manage all that in a week?!"  I would say the answer is obvious:  I DIDN'T!  Hahahahaa!  That's why I am here, focusing on what matters most out of it all, Home.

As I was figuring everything out, I didn't write any letters... And lately, I have been back!  I have been decorating paper...

I am not great at making stationery, but I love to decorate my own letter sets!  I wish I knew how to duplicate some of my favorite designs...

My favorite thing to do use a crayon to lightly color the paper, and then use rub-on stickers.  I also like to do some small doodles myself.  Whenever I have some time, I am going to find a high quality copy/print service and see if they can make copies of my papers. That way, I can create and copy piles of them to have whenever I write.  I can't even recall some of my favorite letter set designs! 

Going through my random archives on my phone gallery, I found these that I made for some pen pals.  I wrote my letters inside of them:

The quality of this picture is terrible because it's from my phone (in bad lighting)!  These are little envelope book thingies for me to write in.  The strawberry was the first one... my trial version...  The cupcake one was MUCH better!  

This is what's inside the cupcake one.  I had fun making this, and I hope that my pen pal who got it enjoyed everything inside!  I can't remember, but I am sure she loved it - LOL.

This is also some fun stationery that I made for one of my favorite pen pals.  We stopped corresponding over Christmas 2010.  I really enjoyed writing her, so I am sad about that.

This is another letter I wrote to her.  I made all the pages with this fun sort of graffiti looking pattern.  I wish I had made some better pictures or at least a copy!  But I didn't.  I also made the book behind the letter.

This is what is inside the book that I made.  She is very artistic and she was great at decorating paper for my letters too.  She also made me some cute things from felt.  I wish I knew how to make such cute things from felt!

I also love to make envelopes...

I have envelopes that I have made in all shapes sizes and colors.  I just pulled these out of my stack in order to be "Festive"! HALLOWEEEN!

I love a hand-written letter.  I love that personal touch.  That kiss and a hug with a pen and a stamp.  I love that someone special out there would take the time to sit and write to me, think of me, share with me.  I love the chance to do the same thing.  I have made some GREAT friends this way.  I hope that one special day, I can meet every pen pal in person.  I would love to surprise them with their next letter by handing it to them in person.  I am not rich!  And I definitely can't haul my Little Darling all over the world to meet and greet everyone I have made a friend.  But a girl can dream, right?

Well, I guess I better get back to writing!  Good night!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oooh La La -- TA DAH!

Welp. I said it, didn't I?  I am back again with another post.  I am pretty proud of myself for making time to share today.  I know the past few times I said that I would make another post, I disappeared.  With so much going on these days, I am sure it's understandable that I may not have time to post, but I wish I could have time for everything!!!

This winter, I planned on a "surprise".  Well, I still don't want to say what it is.....or have I already?  Oh, shoot!  I do that all the time!  I can never remember things.  Oh well, as far as I know, I haven't said anything about what it is, so I will just continue on that path.  Anyway, I wasn't anticipating a sore wrist and working double hours at work, or the winter items for my daughter (I started on a CUUUUUTE hat/scarf set for her tonight at work!) or her Halloween costume....  But, still, my original plan, when I made it 6 months ago or something, was to announce the suprise after Halloween.  It kinda sucks that Halloween is in a week, and I am not as well equipped as I thought I would be, but I am still going through with my plan.... no matter how Terrified I am! More on this topic of "Surprise" later!

Anyway, I guess I will cross that bridge when I get to it.  Until then, I am excited to show you what I finished last night:

I was going to make a "Sneak Peak of the Week" post, but I was so close to being finished with it that I figured I might as well just complete the project! 

I was looking at some different stitches from different patterns, became inspired, and I thought "I would love to make a scarf that had this pattern!"  I was going to fade from black-navy-aubergine-magenta-purple-red wine-pink..... but after I got to magenta, everything looked crazy!  So I ditched my super colorful idea, and went for something a little more pleasing to the eye. 

The pattern is a really simple one that I made up.  I'll share the details below :)
Chain 34 to start with.  Dc in the 4th ch from the hook and in the next 3 ch, *ch 3, skip next 3 chains, dc in the next for chains*  Repeat from * until you are at the end of the scarf.
Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc) and then dc in the next 3 dc *ch 3, skip next 3 chains, dc in next 4 dc* Repeat from * until then end of the row.

You can just keep on going until the scarf is as long as you want.  Is it too wide?  Do less than 34 to begin with!  If you decide to make one of your own, tell me about it!  Blog about it!  I will be pumped to see what others can come up with to improve upon my little creations!

 Sorry about the crazy angle of this photo.  I was on my way to work this afternoon, and I just knew that if I didn't have all the pictures taken and ready to upload Before I went to work, I wouldn't even bother with it when I came home. 

Last year, I made several scarves for Christmas presents.... and then I wore them all at some point or another.  Hahahaha!  YES!!!  I am sooooo embarassed to admit this!  But, I know that they must've smelled wonderful when they got to whomever I mailed them.  This year, I promised myself that I would NOT wear any of the scarves I made.  It's super hard because I just love scarves.  It's my favorite winter accessory, next to ear muffs :)  I hate bulky coats, so I run around all winter in the snow, shivering my bum off...with a HUGE scarf and some ear muffs LOL.

Well, I am signing off now.  I have a sweet tooth (at nearly midnight!!) and I am about to make some brownies and work on joining the squares on my sunset blanket.  Yep, I still got it!  I am still chugging away at it slowly, but I think as I am baking and waiting to be able to eat my brownies, I may actually finish connecting the squares.  I am almost 1/2 way done with that part of the process. And then I will just have to get my hands on an interesting border pattern!

Good Night for those who are state side and Good Morning to everyone who isn't!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Happened?

That is what I have been asking myself non-stop here lately!  I secretly know the answer to that question, but I guess I hate to admit it......

Happens all the time.  I think I am super woman with multiple clones.  I over-commit to so many things and the result is inevitably the same:  I end up doing Nothing because I am too overwhelmed. 

3-4 weeks ago, everything went wonky.  I said I would try to work full time hours, which has been a kryptonite to my marriage.  I hate feeling selfish about things (and this is a daily battle for me) but I keep asking these question: "Why the hell do I have to give everything up in order to maintain order in the home?  What about my goals, my plans, my education, my career, my body?  What about ME?"  I really need to just sit and prioritize, remembering that when I have achieved all those goals it will have been for nothing.  My marriage will have completed deteriorated.  I will have a child who is a stranger to me because she was brought up in daycares and after school programs.  I will have a house, but no home...  Even though it seems insane, and even thought I have the answer, I still feel selfish so often and I want it all!  Why can't I do me...and then come home to a family that was sustained by my clone or something?

These days, I am forced to admit a sad truth:  As much as I feel called to social services, working where I do is really fucking hard!  I have bruises, fatigue, and I have trouble "calming down" when I get home so that I can rest.  It's gotten nearly out of control.  I feel like we are right there on the edge of reason + possibilities...and ultimate doom + disaster.  I don't want to walk that tight-rope anymore.  I have bad balance!

I also had to stop crocheting so much.  My wrist was (is) killing me.  I hate that, but I am right-handed, so if my wrist is useless, I will have bigger issues than my lack of yarn time... I won't be able to wipe my own ---- Well, you know!  I have a brace and that helps.  I also need to stay off the computer so much, which as you have noticed, means less posts.  Holding my wrist in this funky manner to edit pictures and whatnot just kills my wrist!

I also joined a Bible Study.  It's a BLESSING!!!!!  Can't say that enough :)  I needed empowering, supportive, REAL women in my life.  But it's also time consuming.  The study is all morning and then I ususally can't wait to go spend time with my friend for a few hours afterward.  It's an all day event.

So what have we here?  We have a damaged wrist.  Lack of projects to display.  Less time to get the same amount of things done in the day around the house.  Working DOUBLE the hours I was working.  An increasingly stressful and dangerous work environment.  A husband, who, out of nothing but love and innate obligation to protect me, who hates that I have invested so much time outside of the home.  And finally, my moment of clarity and connection with God, which is also time consuming.

THAT is what happened....... 

I do have some things to show, but I will start with that tomorrow.  I have been reading a lot about how people prepare their posts in advance when they have the time.  I am about to jump on that bandwagon!!!  I've got my photos done, and I will be back later tonight to edit them and start my chronicles.

Wish me luck! 

See you very very soon :)