Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gratitude and issues Revised*

This post was originally posted on Wednesday evening and then taken off because I felt a little too exposed but upon thinking it over I decided to post it.
I honestly don't much like Thanksgiving. It isn't that I am not thankful, I am. It is just that as a kid I remember thinking that the Native Americans got the shaft. As an adult I usually have to work the day before and/or the day after. It makes it difficult for me to really get into a festive state of mind. The mass consumption of food that goes on would mean more to me I think, if food were treated with more respect. Our culture has some SERIOUS issues with food. Oh, and while I am at I get so angry when I hear about people "turkey bowling" WTF is up with that? If people are going to eat flesh, I can't stop them, but for a turkey to live in typical poultry farm conditions and then to be slaughtered only to have it's frozen carcass hurled down a bowling alley or wherever this inane activity takes place is just WRONG people. I don't care why people do it.
In a previous post I commented on the reality of holidays with my family. I don't mind really. (*Actually had a great day with family for the most part.) It is just the way we work or don't work together. OK so I am getting to the gratitude portion of this post. Really.
For a variety of reasons the last few years have been really hard for me. This year was the hardest. I am a glass half empty person by nature and I don't always rise above that though I try. I thought a lot about ending everything more than once. My friend Karen, just by being her wise woman self helped more than she knows during some rough times. Another is a person that I have only met online Angelina helped so much by laying bare her own thoughts and struggles in such an eloquent way usually at exactly the right time. I think she must be psychic. I am so grateful for both of these women. I guess in light of tomorrow and all the thanks that will be said I would like to thank them and the other kind people who have left comments on my blog, especially Lisa and Natalie. I am often in a dark space in my head and just seeing that I have a comment on a post can make it a tiny bit brighter. I am feeling a lot of sadness at this time. Some family issues that I can't really go into and some personal, I am trying to not get mired down while still dealing with my life. I am grateful for my friends and family that have stuck with me even though I haven't been the easiest to be around. Thanks.
So just to recap, Say NO to turkey bowling. It is wrong. Thanks to all who read and leave messages. *Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008

New project in the works

This is my all time favorite sweater that I knitted. I did the bulk of it while travelling in England and Wales. It is an alpaca wool in my favorite shade of blue. It fit perfectly. Perfectly, until it was washed in the washer by one who has atoned for the wrong doing. After that, it was clear it wasn't going to ever, ever be the same. I washed it again so it would felt even more. Now, it is going to be a donor. The sleeve cuffs will have a thumb hole strategically placed and I will wear the sleeves as arm warmers-I am chronically cold. The turtleneck portion-not sure yet on that. The body part will I hope become a tea cosy. We shall see how this progresses.
Some more color therapy and distractions projects in the works. The sheets of felt are from here though they don't don't seem to be listed in their felt section anymore. I bought them this time last year. I made a strange artistic tea cosy for one of my small teapots.
I will be making some bird ornaments and some wreaths this weekend. The wreaths are inspired by here. I am gearing up for our work craft sale. I am pretty sure I am going to take part in it. I gave myself this weekend to decide for sure. I didn't think I would do it, but I have a lot of leftover stuff from 2 years ago and last year that I'd like to get rid of if I can. Ornaments and cards and snowmen and all sorts of stuff.
I will post some of my herbal tea recipes and the candied ginger recipe that I use soon. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

A lovely, lovely day...

I left work early today. Very early, like elevenish early. It was clear earlier and nippy. A great day to leave early. I stopped on my way home and bought the November issue of British Country Living and I succumbed to the newest issue of Mary Jane's Farm. All is good. But wait! There is more! There is an estate sale not far from my house. I get really creeped out every time I go to one. (But still I go...) It is usually when I pass the bathroom that I start thinking "Oh, I am rummaging around in someone else's home who has either passed away or is moving into assisted living." It doesn't matter if that is really the story. I don't want to know. One time I was in an older (20's-30's era) home and walked into a bedroom and felt a such a heart breaking sadness, I put down the items I had intended to buy and ran out crying. I found out from a friend that went later that the owner had tended his wife as she was ill in that room. After she passed away he couldn't live there without her and was going to assisted living. The one today was in the area of town called College Hill. Huge homes from mainly the late 50's or 60's, split level-often with a second kitchen downstairs (?) The company that puts on these sales, really knows what's hot and charges accordingly. Pyrex bowls and casserole dishes (I am on the lookout for some for a friend) were way expensive. I did manage to spend not quite 20 dollars and see my dear friends (more like family than my own) Elwy and Elizabeth. I also saw my co-worker Jackie and her husband Julio. All in all a pretty nifty day and normally I would still be at work!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

rambling thoughts

Calendula and Rosemary.
My calendulas are blooming like crazy. I have been drying the flowers to infuse into oil and to make some salve. Lisa at tardyhomemaker wrote about it on her October 15th posting. I have been making some candles, candied ginger-I will post my recipe in a day or two, and some herbal tea blends. I have tried to not buy many Christmas presents for the last 15 years or so. I don't think I will ever have a totally handmade Christmas. There are just some people that either don't need/want anything I make, have something they desperately need/want that I can't make or won't appreciate handmade gifts. I have knitted sweaters for people that just don't appreciate the time and energy that goes into them. (I know you appreciate your sweater, H.) Those folks I shop for. I used to go into a frenzy each year agonizing over each gift. I still do to a point, but as I get older I find I don't want to expend my energy that way. I enjoy being busy creating things and baking and decorating and really for me that is what it's about. I do love the idealized version of Christmas-the colors, the scents, the wrapped presents, the stockings (my favorite part),seeing relatives and friends and the food. The reality for me is often different: a family get together that usually ends up in tears or angry words (good times), piles of useless, mass produced shit presents that I didn't ask for and food that I can't/won't eat (some form of dead animal and the ubiquitious marshmallow covered sweet potatoes!) I do bring my own and share with those who want to try some "hippie food" (their words not mine.) Sounds grim doesn't it? Somehow it all works out with the family, often rocky and trying at times with brilliant flashes of love thrown in.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Craving colorful eye candy

I have been craving cheerful things lately. I am at this moment just trying to be and to breathe and to take things as they come.
It is far too easy for me to focus on the negative. In a moment of clarity I wanted to focus on the positive (or at least colorful.) I grabbed the camera and took lots of pictures of the things that I enjoy looking at.

A fun project from Art and Life by teesha moore that I am playing around with.
a recent splurge
another luxury purchase
messy dresser-I just love the colors and textures
I am a book whore junkie.
Potential holiday present containers.
Dust catchers

Getting in the holiday groove. Kind of, sort of, hopefully...

Time to start going through old magazines for ideas and inspiration.
Love paper clay...
The studio annex...also known as the original craft room, office, library and/or Tabitha's room.
Playing around with a chipboard book as this year's Christmas card idea.
Using up scraps of paper and images for gift tags.
I HAD to go to Michael's the other day. I hate going there but our locally owned Ben Franklin Craft store didn't have what I needed so I had to stop off at Michael's. I spied these tins and automatically put them in the cart. One dollar each and there were 6 of them. What am I going to do with them? I was thinking I could either make candles using the tins as containers or make some votives and stick a couple in the tin with a decorated match box. I am going to be making caramels so I could put them in the tins. Any other ideas?

I have more pics and ideas floating that need to get posted soon. What are you doing for Christmas/Solistice/whatever you celebrate gifts this year?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Random stuff

Favorite magazine: British Country Living kicks the US Country Living's butt.
Number one (and only) chicken:Betsy McGoo. Love, love, love this chicken!
I could probably spend a month at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. It is amazing.

I am in a blue mood, but The Who just came up on my playlist and you know you just can't be in a funk when Squeezebox is playing. Actually, I can imagine if you hate the Who you could be in foul mood, but whatever. If you notice to the right on the blog there are new links. One of them is proof positive that I am a whack job. It is the link to my playlist thing. There's a bit of this and that. Nothing in a really coherent order. No disco on it yet. Little snippets of my heart and soul, fragments of my life and some flotsam and jetsam that just floated in. The other is that I am being followed (not stalkerish or scary at all) by Lisa. I am slowly figuring out all the doohickeys with blogger. Thanks Lisa!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Take a seat but not too close...

I feel like crap. Another cold. BLEAH. For being such a great week in the bigger picture of things, my own little corner has been sub-par. Not a lot going on here. I will try to post some this weekend. Too bad Halloween is passed. I could scare the socks of any trick or treaters today. I feel like my nose is going to be just a little nubbins. Whine. Time for some hot ginger, lemon and echinacea. Oh yeah, I did make some lentil things that I saw here. If you click on her "I cooked this!" link and scroll down to the July 15, 2008 you'll find a nice recipe for some good freezer friendly, grab and go for lunch lentil triangles. She has quite a few good recipes I noticed and her clothing photos are fun too.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Deep breath

Whoo hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowhooohooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowhooohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Yes, we can!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

OH MY GOSH! Whoo hoo!!! edited

I have to say I am a little teary eyed and giddy. Well done Mr. President. America has exceeded my expectations. Yeah! Ahhh, Angelina at dustpanalley has pointed out that there are still states to be input. so fingers still crossed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Contained Chaos

One of the reasons I bought my house was the garden shed in the backyard. It was built by the architect and his wife that previously owned the house. (He didn't build the house.) They would have the in-laws stay out in the shed when they came to visit. I have used it in a half- assed way as a studio/storage but really want to get my creative groove back so have been attempting a re-organizing blitz. "Trying" being the operative word. I am having a hard time finding the time and the energy to make much of a difference.
Somehow, someway my brother got the lone organizational gene floating around the DNA pool in my family. It is ironic to me that the times I have been most creative are the times when I had the least amount of space and materials. I now have more space then ever and a veritable craft supply store of my own to choose materials from: beads, paper clay, paints, paper, wood, glass, wax, fabric, wool, anyone?

You'd think I would be busy as the proverbial bee buzzing away contentedly. YOU WOULD BE WRONG. I can't entirely blame the mess in the studio. I am lacking a focus. I had originally intended on selling some craft items at the Christmas Craft sale that the lab where I work has each year. I have sold various things in the past, herb wreaths, cards, ornaments etc. with great success, I just am having a really hard time getting it together. I think once the election is over and Barack gets in (please, oh please!) I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief. I don't even want to think about the alternative. These photos were taken this summer and I have made some progress since then. I will try to post more soon.
Parasol hanging from the ceiling.Tarted up stool in the studio.