(Re)Decorating

Before “Craftacular” I bought, found, or had plans to repurpose all the items necessary to redecorate my living room, dining room, kitchen, and bedroom. I am an artist. I have unreasonably lofty goals. I make decisions on a whim with no strategy of accomplishing end results. I know this about myself, and am taking steps now and then to finding sanity. I’ve got enough fabric for about 12 pillows. I have a beautiful and soft Thomas O’Brien duvet that I found on Target’s after-Christmas clearance for $32 (the most expensive item purchased.) I have a set of five mostly finished paintings and supplies for three more. I have picture frames, ideas for accessories and homemade light fixtures, and I’ve yet to use any of it, with the exception of the duvet. Which I opened immediately upon arrival at the house and made my bed for the first time in years. YEARS. Because that’s how beautiful the duvet is. That was in January.

Last night, my friend Amanda and I were helping the famous Ms. Lillian reorganize and purge in her master bedroom. Which honestly, ended up being more talking and fun for me than work, sorry Lil and Amanda… and she, so graciously, put up with my redecorating urges. I had a flood of ideas like artist vomit and am already way excited about finding textures and colors and getting to work on a painting. I cannot wait to get this itch satiated.

I get the redecorating bug a few times a year, normally at the change of seasons, but I am stuck in my own house. I have the stuff, I have the idea, I have the time… I just can’t find the motivation to get started sewing pillows or packing up the old decor. Any motivational tips for me?

Fondness

Maybe what they say about absence is true, but I’m feeling especially thankful for this guy lately.

Dave’s been working all day every day for a couple weeks now, so our time together is limited. Thus is the life of an engineer’s wife, it turns out. But the time we have had together has been so so good.

Last night (early this morning, actually) we discussed things we remembered about dating back in high school. It was really fun to revisit those memories and to make fun of our awkward, naive high school selves. I told him about the afternoon in Wyoming when I came to the realization that I really liked him, the swing we were on when I knew we would get married, the half hour we spent taking bobby pins out of my hair after our wedding. The very special small moments that we have are now making up something so much greater. It’s unpredictable in the absolute best of ways.

Yesterday I came across this music video and song by Andrew Peterson and it just made me so very thankful and so very contemplative of my marriage.

Dancing in the Minefields

We’re coming up on our 5th anniversary, so if you’re sick of the sappiness, you may want to take a small vacation from my blog. It will only get worse.

Bleeding Heart

In high school, I kind of had stalkers. And before you think I’m bragging about how good looking or magnetic I was, let me explain. The handful of guys that followed me from class to class were all, well, tasteful wording is tricky here, let’s just call them socially awkward. The kind of kid that you absolutely cannot be mean to. I mean, you can be mean to popular kids and rich kids and kids who are really athletic but not so good at math. Being a little mean to those kids is justified, right? You don’t have to answer that, because my heart already did. But my “fans” were not that type. They are the kids who carry their lunch to all of their classes, which years later still makes no sense to me, kids who make “ooo, ooh,” noises when they’re raising their hands. Kids that Anthony Michael Hall would have played in the movie about my high school somewhere around Sixteen Candles, way before Edward Scissorhands when he was inexplicably large and in charge.

There’s one thing I finally realized about myself when I caught on to the high school trend of who I was attracting that made me think back to the first time I felt seriously angry towards someone.

We were just sitting down for lunch in elementary school, and I was seated amidst several of the aforementioned rich, popular, athletic boys. They were laughing and drinking chocolate milk and probably wearing Adidas soccer shoes. And I sat there completely quietly. Looking down at my lunch, taking small bites, hiding beneath my 90’s perm bangs. And a scream, of sorts, followed by several gasps and a large crash echoed from the left side of the cafeteria. Teachers quickly cleared the students away and I had a straight line of sight to Randy having a seizure on the cafeteria floor. He was covered in food, his now empty tray about 30 feet in front of him.

Randy was a boy who had to go to different classes than the rest of us during the day. He would come into class for the Pledge of Allegiance, music, story time, and art, but left with his very own teacher a few times throughout class. He sat next to me for the first few days that year. He always wore sweat pants. And he was so very, very nice to me. He always smiled at me when I sat down. And he handed me a tissue once when I couldn’t reach the box.

I had never seen a seizure before that moment. I hadn’t even heard of a seizure. But there it was. Randy on the cafeteria floor, turning a little blue. People staring and teachers running around. The group of boys I was sitting next to started, I’m not even kidding, laughing and calling Randy names. Names I was FOR SURE not allowed to use. I felt my face grow red and my ears turn burning hot. My hands started shaking and I wanted to cry. I was straight up angry. I just sat there continuing my lunch while these boys were being so ugly. The type of ugly that still hurts my heart.

So I thought of that time, and I thought of the kid in my art class that always got in trouble for talking to me, and the other kid who would walk with me from Study Hall to World History, and the kid who tried to ask me to prom before I “casually” mentioned my boyfriend in hopes that he would get the hint and not make me say no. I realized that I am 100% a sold out bleeding heart. Compassionate to a fault.

The other day I asked my husband if he thought I would make a good counselor. He said, “Yeah. But I think you would have a really hard time detaching from that world when you got home.” Considering the other day I watched The Cider House Rules, a teen mom/adoption story, and My Girl in the same day and I cried for hours, I think he’s right.

When you’re feeling hurt for fictional characters, you’ve gone too soft. I need some balance, pronto.

Music to Match the Mood

It’s sunny, it’s Friday afternoon, I have an excellent mix-tape running in my car, and life is good. The forced rest from having nothing “big” happening lately has proven, once again, to be good for me. I went to bed before 10pm TWO NIGHTS this week, and I’m feeling that too. I’m all around cheery, which doesn’t really make for interesting writing. So sorry if I’ve seemed a bit uninspired lately.

Because of my happy un-inspiration, I thought I’d share my sunny mix-tape with you. It’s perfect for Friday afternoons in July with your windows down in the car. But if you have A/C, I won’t hold that against you. Much.

2. Easy – by Deer Tick
3. Bury Me With My Car – by Ben Sollee
4. Hustle and Cuss – by The Dead Weather
5. Are We All Forgotten – by Paper Route
6. Whatever Gets You By – by The Features
7. You Are the Best Thing – by Ray LaMontagne
8. Airstream Driver – by Gomez
10. My Song – by Brandi Carlile
11. Sweeter Than This – by Katie Herzig
12. I Do – by Lisa Loeb
13. 1901 – by Phoenix
14. Winter Winds – by Mumford & Sons
15. Die Die Die – by The Avett Brothers

Simply

There’s a part of my soul that’s really and completely addicted to shopping. I wish I could find it, pick it off, squish it underneath a dictionary or a flip flop, and suck it up with the vacuum. The part of my soul right next to that shopping bit is a bargain finder. It buys happy yellow dresses for $3.74 and such cute shoes for $8.49 and it’s significantly stronger than the shopping addict. It’s a really good thing those soul pieces are neighbors, for obvious reasons.

Then there’s this other part of my soul that’s a complete minimalist. It’s tucked way WAY far back inbetween the part that wants curly hair and the part that has a strong attraction to burlap. It makes me want to live on an old dusty farm, to learn to grow my own food and sew my own clothes. To give up blogging and start a journal. It makes me want to abandon all life’s extras and be simple. Living simply sounds so nice, doesn’t it?

Maybe it’s just the midwesterner in me feeling homesick. Maybe it’s the “there’s always something better” voice in disguise. It could be the hatred for computers and phones and the forgotten love for pen and paper. But if I really had to guess what it is that makes me want to live simply, I’d say it’s the part of me that knows what it’s talking about.

I am…

Feeling exceptionally boring lately. Most of the car related drama has passed, I don’t have any new and exciting health issues, no real craft ideas on the horizon… just normal life stuff. It’s these days that fill up with normal that make me go a little insane. Sitting without expectations is hard. Sitting without deadlines or projects is unusual. Sitting without stress is stressful. Don’t think about that, you’ll twist your brain. If I get ahead of myself, or if I’m falling behind myself, I am fine. I’d even say I like feeling that way. But just being here in the middle of myself is a bit tricky. I’m sure that makes as much sense to you as it does to me. You’re welcome for that Tuesday morning jazzercise for your brain.

I Totally Made This

I’ve not been shy about the fact that sewing is NOT my thing. I like nearly every form of art and crafting that I’ve been able to try, but sewing is my Achilles heel. Just ask the 4 pair of unfinished Christmas pajama pants under my craft table.

But last week, I made not one, but two completely functional, completely cute, completely… complete projects.

This cheery little tote…
For which I got the compliment, “that bag makes you look like you’re in a good mood.” I’ll take it.

And yesterday I made a CD holder for my car visor. Because I’m a really fancy person who owns a car with a CD player now (no big deal) I needed one. This was a great project to use up scraps. Pardon my picture taking skills. It’s really difficult to get a picture of your car visor with a phone. Surprising, right?
Also, let it be noted that the gold striped tape around the outside of the CD holder is a temporary experiment. I have some teal bias tape that will probably take the place of the tape very soon. Thanks to my neighbors Amanda and Lillian for being my moral support while I work through my sewing fears and inabilities. I think maybe one day I could call myself a sewer. One day…

Have you done anything crafty lately?