Happy New Year

*raises glass* Here’s to another year of crafting and fun. It’s a time to review what we did (and didn’t do) the previos year, a time to review our priorities, and a time to gear up for a new semester of school and another year of crafting. 

In review, what did I do in 2012? I learned a couple of new knitting skills (cables, 3 needle cast off, started learning ssk, though I obviously need a lot of work). I knocked a few books off of my must read or listen to list including Moby Dick, Crime and punishment and, drumroll please, War and Peace!  I got married, learned how to cook a few things and lost a little under 20 lbs.  Sure there were a few setbacks, I had to withdraw from school for a while to recover from a violent crime, I’ve had a tooth pulled, a root cannal, and another tooth is coming out Thur. I’ve discovered that one of my medications has given me brain damage (depakote is not good for the cerebellum, it desroys fine motor skills). All and all though, it’s been a hell of a year and I’m looking forward to the next one, whatever it brings.

That being said, lads and lovelies, it’s resolution time.  Last years’s weight goal was 200 lb by the end of the year, having weighed in at 200.2 on December 28, I’ve gotten most of the equisite profanity out of my system and hqve regrouped and am getting ready for the goal of 175 by 2014.  I’m not exactly sure how yet, but I’m in the process of working it out.

Resolution #2 finish at least 3 UFOs, the cheif ones on my hit list are a purple blanket, a pink belt, and all of the remaining yoyos I have cut out that need to be sewn.

Resolution #3 get off depakote! This would definitely fall under the category of “Kids don’t try this at home” in fact, I don’t reccomend ANYONE stop taking ANY prescribed psychiaric medicatioh without the advice and supervision of a liscensed health professional and a good support system at home.  I will NOT be quitting “cold turkey” and I will not be using any illicit drugs or alcohol during this time, although cold turkey was how I kicked oxycontin doing so
is extremely dangerpus and attempting to do so cand ACTUALLY KILL YOU.  I will be going through a gradual stepdown process which will take at least a year to complete.  It is dpubtful that any of the damage done to my brain will be able to be repaired, but the goal is to prevent further damage.

Resolution #4 Pass my classes, I’m signed up for 3 this semester, so that ought to be fun.

Resolution # 5 Sell more crafts, honestly I meed the space more than the money at this point.

Resolution # 6 Blog more. Yeah, I know, I seriously need to work on that.


Soo, the reports of my demise were exagerated

at least slightly.  Part of the reason for my lack of bloggage lately has been the busyness which is inherent to a new semester, a new apartment, and a new name.  Beyond that I kind didn’t feel like blogging because I didn’t think anybody knew or cared about my site or my shop. (“clap if you believe in etsy!”) Sorry, Peter Pan reference.  Perhaps part of the problem is that my blog is boring.  I’m really new at this, so I don’t quite know what I’m doing, but I’ll try to grow this site some as I learn more.  I guess pictures could be a good addition.

This was at the USF Crescent Hill Parking Garage, I guess ducks think air conditioners make good water fountains.

Hey look, a picture!

I probably need to work on getting more pictures and stuff on here related to my projects though.  I had a sale on my store recently, that was pretty cool, even if it was to someone I know.  Oh well, I’ll still keep making stuff and who knows, maybe more people will see the stuff I make and buy it, anyhow, I’ll get back to it.  This week I’ve been working on clearing out my ufo (unfinished object stash) hopefully I can make some more progress on that.






Hubby and I have been so, so busy…

But finally our bussyness seems to be paying off.  After much fruitless searching around the USF area for an apartment we finally found one in our budget, on the bus route, with no step into the front door, that is willing to widen the bathroom door and add rails to accommodate us.  It is a two bedroom apartment that is actually $100 a month cheaper than a one bedroom we were considering.  How awesome is that.  We are still waiting on them to get the results of the credit check they are running on us but I don’t have any real doubts on that score.

Before we went to check out the apartment yesterday we went to the social security office to officially get my name changed there, which should be active by now, but the card will not be arriving in the mail until sometime next week.  Hopefully before we move into our new place.  Even if they do send us the results of the credit check tomorrow, the place won’t be ready to move in until at least the day after school starts, so we’ll be starting classes and moving at the same time.  Oh well, you do what you have to do.

Eben got both of his books yesterday.  I had already gotten 3 of mine, I know where I can download one of them for free and I’m still waiting on 2 books a CD and a DVD to be shipped to the bookstore because my professor didn’t send them the book list until last Friday.  I might not be able to get my books until the first day of class or later, but at least everyone else in the class will be in the same boat.

Today we went on an EPIC shopping trip at target.  Jacque (Eben’s mom) helped he and I go through the store and try to figure out what we would need to buy foodwise.  And today I learned a glorious thing about EBT that I wasn’t aware of before.  I suppose it should have occurred to me, but somehow it didn’t click until now, that you can use food stamps to buy baby food. This is very helpful when one’s husband can only eat things shoved through a tube directly into a port in his stomach.  He usually “eats” a liquid that comes in cans called Jevity, but for better nutrition it’s good to mix it up from time to time, and also the baby food leaves him feeling fuller than the liquid.

Since I am the one that will be doing the bulk of the eating, other than if we have guests, I got to pick out most of what we got, with plenty of suggestions from his mom about what would be useful especially since I’ve never stocked a pantry from scratch before.  We also bought some non-food items, but thankfully since one of his family friends had sent us a Target gift card for the wedding we didn’t have to pay anything on this particular expedition.

There are many things we’re still going to need before we move in, but we’re working on it, and I think hopefully I will be able to make some of them, myself.  For instance, I started working on a set of place mats today and I’m pretty sure I can also come up with some pot holders, a trivet and who knows what all else.  I’ll be writing updates as often as possible, and hopefully I will be able to add more to my etsy store soon.  I have a couple more items made, I just haven’t gotten all my pictures and descriptions done yet.

After hours and hours on the web

I’ve come to the conclusion that I LOVE THE INTERNET!  There I’ve said it, bore my heart and soul out there for the world to see.  If you’re reading this, darling Eben, you will always be my greatest love, but I have to admit that the world wide web has to be a close second.

Last night I didn’t sleep, I simply stayed up sewing, following a tutorial I found on http://erinerickson.com/.  I gotta say my first try was really shaky, initially looked kinda crappy and took me several hours to completely figure out.  I must note that this was not the fault of the tutorial found at http://erinerickson.com/2011/11/circle-zip-earbud-pouch-tutorial/ but simply my own failure to be able to work out just how I would make this happen in three dimensions, especially without access to an iron.

I suppose another things that would have come in handy last night would have been a sewing table and possibly a chair, but hey, we work with what we have, so I spent the night alternately sitting on the floor in front of a treadmill which had my sewing machine on it and laying flat out to give my back a rest.  While the cold, concrete tile floor doesn’t make for pleasant sitting it is excellent for stretching out to ease my back and hips.  The firmness of the concrete help with the stretching and the cold seems to help with the pain.

I suppose there was a bit of catching hell this morning because I hadn’t slept, but I guess ultimately everyone was upset because they were worried this would make my health worse.  I suppose that is a valid concern, though when I’m having a manic episode sleep usually isn’t a priority to me.  I’ve been having so many depressive episodes lately I guess it was kind of refreshing to suddenly be full of energy and have lots of creative ideas bouncing around in my head.  I was also a little excited to get my sewing machine working again.  My husband’s aunt had fixed it for me while she was over.

Now that it’s working, there’s so many things I want to try which is where my love of the internet comes in.  It seems that no matter what you want to learn how to make, there’s a tutorial or how-to video out there somewhere (I never would have learned how to knit cables without youtube).  For knitting there’s ravelry.com  which is kinda like porn for knitters and crocheters, and for anything else I just pop in how to … into my search engine and find a world of explanations at my fingertips.

One site I’ve been browsing a lot lately is  http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome there isn’t a lot there in the way of tutorials but it is a great place to find awesome fabrics and pictures of projects made using them to get ideas.  The concept, I think, is rather original.  Spoonflower offers the service of allowing crafters to design their own fabric and have it printed for them for a fee, the designers, then, also have the option of listing their design on the site for other people to buy and they also have design contests where, if you win your fabric will be printed for you free of charge and your design will be featured in the prize winners section of the site.  These contest also make it easier for spoonflower to organize their site because even the designs that didn’t win can be categorized under the theme that they were submitted under for the contest, thus eliminating the step of trying to sort out just what is what.

I’ve contemplated trying to design something for one of their contests, but haven’t really figured out what I’d want to do, perhaps some other time when I’m feeling more creative (manic) I’ll figure something out, until then I guess I’ll just make stuff using random tutorials.

When the sun’s up I’m not…

at least that seems to be status quo these days.  It was around 5 that I crashed this morning and I was up at 9:30, not a lot of sleep, but at least I woke up with some energy.  To tell you the truth I actually got more accomplished today during the couple of hour I was awake than I have all week.  But after I got the bulk of my business done, that’s when the fatigue set in, and I crashed from 11:30- to 4:00 round about.

I think it frustrates Eben because he seems to think that my sleep needs to be on some type of regular schedule.  I can understand that, but right now most of the time I don’t even want to close my eyes at night no matter how tired I am.  It’s not even the nightmares, really, though they can wear me down at times.  I don’t know why exactly, but it’s always been easier for me to sleep during the day, maybe it’s the sunlight easing the pain out of my joints, or the sounds the birds make, or maybe it’s just that I know while I’m sleeping they’ll be people around that can keep me safe while I’m out.

I’m starting going to a new counselor a week from tomorrow so maybe they can help me work through some of the things that keep me up at night.  The last counselor I went to was in Hernando county and we made a lot of progress, but I don’t live anywhere near there now, and I’m starting to have problems again.  I feel like I’m stuck in a rut for now, I’ll get some things done, but I have to really fight for it.  I’m moving in slow motion and it takes so much effort.  Maybe this new counselor will be able to help me sort some of this stuff out.

One of my friends at school served in the US Navy and Israeli Defense Force, when somebody popped a balloon behind us we both had the same reaction.  He was kinda surprised.  “I didn’t know you’d served,” he commented.  I told him I hadn’t, but unfortunately some civilians suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well.

I realize that our service men and women have made great sacrifices for our country and I appreciate their dedication, this is why I do not want anything I say to be misconstrued.  That said, even though I’ve never held a gone or worn a military uniform, sometimes I feel like I’ve lived through some battles.  I have the scars etched on my soul from when my parents fought, the echoes of their violence still make me cringe when I hear loud unexpected noises.  What’s hardest of all is trying to explain things, like why I burst into tears in the middle of Hebrew class and couldn’t stop shaking for a half hour when someone dropped a book behind me.  Also, how do I explain that a trick of lighting and some pain took me back to the moments when my aunt was cleaning me up after my uncle raped me?  How do I explain to my husband that because I had a flashback while taking a bath I don’t want him to touch me for a while?

I know there are people that care about me, and love me, and I know that I’m safe now.  I also know that talking about these things will help me get better.  It’s just, I don’t know, talking about these things makes them seem so much more real.  I mean, I know, messed up stuff happened, even though I still can’t remember it all, though I’m starting to remember more, I guess that’s what frightens me.  I mean, the stuff I do remember is pretty bad, and every time I remember something else it makes it worse.  I guess I’ll just have to try to stay busy so I can take my mind off things when they get to heavy.  I’m just glad I’ve got stuff to distract myself with, I suppose if I didn’t I’d really go bonkers.

School starts back soon…

in about 11 days, in fact.  On August 27, I will have my first class of the semester and I am hoping that by then I’ll be ready.  Eben and I still don’t seem to have any living accommodations lined up beyond living with his family in Riverview, which I guess we can deal with, but will mean a lot of time on the road, and a lot of money spent on gas.

Yesterday we spent on getting other things lined up, though, we went down to the college and took care of some things we needed to get done.  There were several things at the credit union we both needed to do, I needed to hit the school pharmacy, I also needed to go to the book store to pick up books and school supplies, that’s actually were we ended up having lunch, because oddly enough (and I’m not complaining), I could use my financial aid to purchase lunch in the cafe.  Apparently since my financial aid is available to cover bookstore purchases now and it’s a bookstore cafe it’s covered.  This was especially helpful considering most of the other eateries on campus were closed to do some between-semesters remodeling.

I was able to get almost all of my books for one of my classes, the other book I could have got there for $8.95 for the used paperback, but since I can get it online in e-book and audiobook format for free I think I’ll go that route.  I still haven’t been able to find out what my book list for Arabic is going to be, which is making me a bit nervous because it’s getting so close to the beginning of the semester.  Also Eben hasn’t picked his classes yet, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen there.  My student loans (and there are a lot of them) have gone into repayment status, but I applied for an in-school-deferrment, so I won’t HAVE to start paying for them until after I graduate,  but I still WANT to be able to carve some of that interest off that’s collecting in the meantime.

I started another etsy project last night, a yoyos pillow, and I’ve been working on several other projects.  Though last night I was burning up with fever and felt like crap, I seem to be doing better today so maybe I can get some more stuff done today.  What can I say, just another day in paradise.  I guess I’ve spent enough time talking about what’s going on that I should probably get into it now, I got yoyos to make, gloves to knit, and a couple of things to photograph and post before the day is out.

You know, on days like these…

I actually don’t really mind the bipolar thing so much.  It’s actually more of an asset than a liability today.  While on most days I tend to lay in bed, with a death-grip on the covers making slight growling sounds toward anything or anyone that gets to close to the bed today started out slightly different.  While I did spend a few minutes after I was awake, just lying in bed with my eyes closed I wasn’t necessarily just being lazy, I was plotting, scheming even.  I was laying out my battle-plan for tackling the day.

What made today different?  Today, my friends is a manic day.  Though there probably will be some point in the day where I begin giggling uncontrollably and somewhat make an ass out of myself, the level of energy is incredible.  I feel like I can actually take on the mounting pile of things on my to-do list.  And in record time, too.  I may not have time for everything on the list today, especially since I’ll be leaving shortly to go with Eben to the doctor but with this current surge of energy I feel confident that I will be able to catch up on some of the stuff that’s been languishing in my backlog while I was feeling under the weather and hopefully I will get a chance to post more things on etsy by tonight.

I’ve finished the eggplant hat and taken pictures of it, finished a set of purple yoyos, but haven’t taken pictures of them.  I’m almost through with a set of pink yoyos, and I have this cut little fuzzy purse I made that I still have to take a picture of and post.  I have another purse that’s finished all except a strap across the top with a buttonhole and adding a button.  Along with the mountain of laundry I have plenty to choose from and now with the epic energy rush I should be able to take a chunk out of it.


Sunday was “Disinfection Day”…

which apparently gets the whole household in a tizzy, makes everything smell like Clorox and doesn’t leave much in the way of time for crafting or blogging.   In fact, disinfection day apparently doesn’t leave much time for anything that doesn’t involve some type of cleaning, (which may or may not include rescuing the Roomba from a stalk of fake flowers (those little guys can apparently get in anywhere)) laundering, dusting, scrubbing, and eventually everyone bathing in bleach.

“Bleach baths?” the incredulous reader might ask.  “Why would anyone DO that?”  The answer is that while my husband and I have been quietly passing staph infections back and forth for a while his mom has now gotten the first boil she has had in years and has declared the household to be in a state of medical emergency which means that until further notice everyone in the house will be washing their sheets and towels every day, wiping everything down in the bathroom with disinfecting wipes, lysoling the crap out of everything, and yes, bathing in bleach, daily.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the cleanliness is next to godliness and stuff but there is a difference between trying to turn a home into a cleaner, more wholesome environment and being completely germaphobic and paranoid.  I know her heart is in the right place.  She cares about the family and is scared shitless that this thing will get out of hand and Eben will end up very ill or worse.  I mean she already almost lost him when he had his stroke.  The thing that most people don’t seem to realize, though is that people’s mood DOES have a large effect on their health.  While vigilance against illness is good,I believe hyper-vigilance can actually be quite detrimental in that stress has been scientifically proven to have negative affects on the body, especially the immune system.

So maybe washing some things more often wouldn’t hurt, but all in all I think   everyone really should just try to chill out.  In the meantime I guess I’ll just try to stay as chill as possible, myself (not an easy task of late), shut my mouth, and strip the sheets like I’m told.  In my spare moments though I think I WILL try to make up some more yoyos.

Sh*t F0ck S@tan’s R0bot!

and other random profanities may have featured very prominently in my morning (ok, technically noon.)  I mean, it started out innocently enough,  I actually get up when my alarm goes off, (while not normal, still not completely unheard of) I get dressed immediately (still a bit odd, but whatev’s) I go to sit down in the recliner in the family room, and that’s when it happens.  I realize that only ONE of my size 6 bambo0 knitting needles are visible.  I fix around in the sides of the chair and find the other just to realize that one end of it is lodged in the guts of the chair.  I do not panic, though.  I carefully put the chair back down, reach in and try to retrieve my knitting needle.  It’s still a no-go.  I put the chair back up and am able to rescue my lost friend.  Victory!

My jubilation is short-lived, though, for it is then that I notice my needle is bent.  It this were a metal needle the bend, though a little inconvenient would be workable, but this, a crimp in a bamboo needle, it is the kiss of death, a fact which I am bound to acknowledge.  *Insert creative profanity here*

Thankfully my day didn’t stay bad, though.  Even though I lost a pair of knitting needles, forcing me to temporarily abandon a current project with some totally awesome yarn, I gained one trip to the local flea market.  Some people think flea markets (even indoor ones) are dirty, loud places filled with junk, hagglers, and low class people looking for bargains.  They’re right.  Maybe it’s tacky that I shop at flea markets and have been known to by lingerie at the local dollar store (Victoria Secret so doesn’t carry my sizes).  I’m ok with tacky, though.  While I try to keep things a little bit classier in my shop, and I hope my customers will let me know when I’m failing, but in my personal life, 15 different colored bandanas and various really cheap flip-flops have their own place in my day to day existence.

I’ll admit I have similar philosophies when it comes to my crafting, and I guess some people don’t like that.  I often got into disagreements with the “yarn snobs” that came to the club meetings at school.  They called themselves “knitters with preferences”  I guess in their eyes I’m a “yarn slut” then, I’ll knit with anything.  Even “plarn”.  For me it doesn’t take a lot of talent to make something beautiful when the materials you have to start with are top dollar compared to creating a masterpiece using something that you found on the clearance rack, at the Salvation Army, or even in somebody’s destash.  I guess a lot of it comes from being poor for most of my life, but I think it’s made me strive harder for perfection.  It kinda makes me think that with the right skills maybe you just CAN turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse (though I’m not sure I would recommend it,  and neither would the sow).

It’s not that I didn’t want to blog today…

or maybe it is.  But to be completely honest there wasn’t really that much that I DID want to do.  But now I think I might know why, and they say knowing is half the battle, or is it that the first step is admitting you have a problem?  Anyhow, whatever the case is, I think I’ve made a step in the right direction.

At first I was thinking the pharmacy screwed up and gave me the wrong pills (again).  Or that something was messing up the absorption of my medication, thus messing with my depakote levels, thus making me a very grumpy bear indeed (with a touch of weepiness, nervousness, and easily being startled).  But no, I don’t think the drugs are the problem at all.  I think perhaps it’s something more psychological.

I spent a lot of time thinking about it today, trying to self diagnose (the guy at the school crisis line was totally no help at all), and I think I can trace this last bit of troubles to sometime last week.  And what happened last week, oh only a really nasty flashback and some recovered memories I hadn’t been able to access before.  This is stuff that I’ve been trying very hard NOT to deal with.  But if I don’t tackle it, it’s going to try to tackle me.

So I did what anyone in they’re right mind would do, I talked to my mother-in-law and asked if she and my husband could take me to Walmart.  While I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for I had a feeling that an obscenely large bag of gummy bears, a coke, and something from the craft department was probably part of the equation.

My mother-in-law and myself started cruising around the scrap-booking section, then split up.  I wandered a while, then I saw them, a cheap Crayola doodle pad and some crayons of the same brand.  I have been told that generic crayons are just as good as crayola, and in some cases better, THIS IS A LIE.  There is just something magical about a pack of crayolas and a blank page of paper.

As soon as we got home I began drawing, appropriately enough using the style a child might use, though some of my words were considerably larger and my subject matter was decidedly not innocent.  In fact I was drawing pictures and writing down the story of my loss of innocence.  I showed what I have so far to my husband’s cousin and my husband.  They both agree that my story is extremely WRONG and that I definitely should NOT be allowed to write children’s books.  Oh well, there goes my plan of what to do with my creative writing degree.

After the drawings, the story, and the messed up “show-and-tell”  I gotta say I’m actually feeling a lot better.  I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my chest.  Oh I’m sure I’m not healed for good or anything like that, and I’m sure I’ll have other really bad days in the future, but for now at least I’m starting to feel like me again.