letting it all flow

Fused glass vase

I haven’t been writing much lately because I haven’t been spending much time with the computer, and I can’t do this much typing in my phone. I might have mentioned this, can’t remember. Anyway, I’ve been doing the whole “living a life worth living” thing here lately and I have to say, I’m seriously enjoying it.

The finally completed Old Shale Cowl

I’ve been spending most of my free time during the week knitting and then on the weekends after errands and chores are done I’ll tinker with jewelry and sometimes Lego. It’s hard to both mess with the phone and knit at the same time so… Yeah. But I’m really enjoying myself and I still have not purchased any new yarn. I’m very excited about that and about my “making stuff” goals.

Blueberry Breakfast Casserole

One of my other goals is to try at least two new recipes every month and that’s been a huge success. So far we haven’t had anything that wasn’t good enough to tweak and try again. That blueberry thing was supposed to be something else, but I didn’t read the recipe quite carefully enough and then ran out of time to get it fixed, so I massively improvised. It’s a cross between a baked French Toast and bread pudding. It was entirely delicious. And fortunately I did write down the ingredients and quantities, so one of these days I’ll write up the recipe.

Puddle of Kitty

The other “excitement” we’ve had recently is finding out that Garth has asthma. He had been doing this dry cough thing at random times, but it didn’t seem to bother him. And then it did. So the vet did some x-rays and it really looks a whole lot like human asthma. Based on how much fun it was to do the x-rays she recommended we start treatment by giving him a steroid shot. The little buddy would not do well with pills. He seems to be better now, though only time will tell.

I’m a firm believer in Art Therapy, and what that means for me is finding ways to express myself creatively, knowing that the outlet helps me to feel centered and really it just recharges my batteries. I shared a picture of a jewelry set I had made on a social media platform and added the tag of “bipolar” to it. And then someone questioned if it was about bipolar, I’m guessing because neither the image or the actual text mention the disorder and I wasn’t talking directly about medications or side effects or how awful bipolar is or any of the other thousand things people tend to talk about.

I replied with basically what I’ve just said here; the creative outlet is how I recharge and so I definitely do see this as related to bipolar. And I stand by that. But it saddens me that there are trolls in every sub-group.

makers gonna make

I’ve realized recently that I recharge my batteries by spending a sizeable portion of my weekend doing creative things. Knitting, beading, LEGO, cooking – any and all of that counts. And it’s vital. My health and well-being truly hinges on it.

Lancelot got me the pendant for my birthday. It’s resin with pieces of aquamarine and other sparkly bits. I put it on a necklace of assorted crystals and faceted aquamarine beads.
Lentil soup we had for dinner the other night that was absolutely amazing.
This is an Old Shale cowl done with Noro Tabi that I’m working on. It’s much farther along now, almost done actually. The colors are amazing.
Most importantly for me, I made an appointment and got my second COVID booster.

I hope y’all are staying safe and mostly out of trouble.

keeping it between the lines

Those of you who knit will likely recognize those as being stitch markers. When working a pattern that repeats or does something every so many stitches the easiest thing to do is mark it, often will a little doohicky like this. Quite handy, really. The one that’s a little different is to mark the start of the round if you working on a project that’s, well, in the round. And these are deceptively easy to make, particularly if you already make jewelry, because they’re basically an earring but instead of the part that goes through your ear you put them on a jump ring. Amazing.

So when I found myself having to scrounge through my knitting supplies to find enough stitch markers the other day I decided that it would be beautifully dual purpose to make more AND give myself that sense of accomplishment. I win, twice. Yay for me!

I took a glass class last week and am eagerly awaiting my finished piece. I’ve been getting back into doing more with glass fusing and finding that I really enjoy it. I’m also doing a fair amount of knitting and beading. Basically I’m just staying fairly busy, but not in an irresponsible / dangerous kind of way. I enjoy having several projects going at once because I will inevitably get bored with something and it’s nice to have another on hand to pick up.

“Mama can’t talk anymore, she needs to snuggle me”

not feeling the love

That pendant is the one I made at the glass studio

I’m fine, and I’m doing mostly fine, I’m just not feeling the urge to write much at all these days. I will admit that I’m struggling with some sort of garden variety virus, nothing serious just annoying, but that’s sapping my energy. And honestly, I’m trying to be “out there” living my life as best I can. We’re all struggling some right now, and that’s ok. We’ll do it together.

But I’m still knitting and making jewelry and cooking with Lancelot and trying to be my best version of me.

Eric likes to help with the scarf
Earrings I made
This is a wide scarf sort of thing that has since been finished

stuff that rattles in my brains

Sometimes I am hyper-focused and can get a ton of stuff done. Other times I walk into a room 12 times before I remember why. Most days are somewhere in between, but there is rarely a dull moment in my world.

Except right now there’s a lot of dull. Too much dull. Like “I want a nap because everything is just boring” kind of dull. I’m not fond of this.

To keep myself awake this morning I’ve been brainstorming ideas for creative projects I can do using materials I already have on hand. So far we have:

  • glass globe ornaments decorated with alcohol ink
  • glass globe ornaments decorated with seed bead netting
  • wind chimes using metal washers and beads
  • a mobile using old keys and beads
  • not to mention the knit kits I put together for myself (7 of them)
  • not to mention the two beading kits
  • not to mention the other beading projects I’ve purchased specific supplies for
  • not to mention the cross stitch project I have started
  • and not to mention the 3 knitting projects on the needles

Yikes. That’s a lot of potential. And this weekend I finally get to go back to the glass studio. I have a reasonable sized project in mind for that and I am really excited about it.

I’m doing pretty well with (some of) the goals I set for myself. We’ve been doing much better about trying new recipes. And I’m up to 8 finished projects for this month, so that’s good. I do need to work on making the weight thing more of a priority.

How are you all doing?

Eric the Red, modeling the Cable it Up scarf

Belgian waffles covered in crème anglaise, fresh fruit, and whipped cream

This may well be the most unusual title I’ve ever used, but probably not. And yes, as always, there’s a story here. Picture if you will – two adults looking for love but not sure they’ll find it. One has a “standard” schedule and the other works overnight. They want to go on a first date, but how does one accommodate such vastly different schedules?

You go for breakfast and get waffles that might as well be dessert and keep you looking over your shoulder for Wilfred Brimley to pop up and start talking about the high price of “diabeeetus” supplies.

And that’s what we did. Lancelot and I had that first date and it was the very last first date I have had. That makes me happy.

This lil guy also makes me happy

That is JB. When I told Lancelot his name I got “the eyebrow,” presumably because those are Lancelot’s real initials. But in this case it’s the initials for Junior Bear. He’s utterly precious.

We’ve already done our Valentine’s Day stuff, mostly anyway (damn you FedEx!!) because we did want to go out for a nice dinner but did not want to deal with many MANY other people who also wanted to go out. Today will hopefully be fairly laid back and chill, at least as much as is possible while working from home.

Jewelry!

Part of yesterday was spent doing creative things. L worked on some LEGO kits and I made jewelry. The flower-esque earrings were from a pattern and the skull necklace and earrings were all me. The more I do this kind of jewelry making the more I remember how much I enjoy doing it.

I am still knitting, though right now I’ve mostly been working on one of the charity scarves. Those are super important to me but do not make for the most exciting photos.

May your day be filled with enough food to nourish your body, enough sleep to nourish your brain, enough comfort to nourish your soul

it’s not my time

I don’t have many “IRL” friends (people I know in real life) which is fine, but it means that my support network isn’t very big. It’s all about quality in my world, not quantity. I would rather have one amazing friend I can call in the middle of the night than a whole stadium full of people who kinda sorta know me but don’t want me to ever call them. I would guess I’m not the only person who has ever dealt with this.

In my friend network I am one of the oldest and I’ve been diagnosed and in treatment for my mental illness longest, all to say that I tend to be the most stable and the most able to provide a shoulder to lean on. I take my Mama Hen role seriously and the majority of the time I enjoy taking care of my chicks.

Right now I’m struggling. I’m not sure why, and it’s not awful, but struggle is struggle and this struggle is real. Lancelot is helping, making sure I’m taking care of myself and doing his best to give me what I ask for. But I can’t rely just on him, that’s not fair. I will admit I’m not the best at asking for help, it’s just not my nature.

Yesterday I sent a text to a few friends saying that I wasn’t doing well. Like in those words. And got no response.

I know that they’re both struggling with their own things, and evidently they don’t need any help or they aren’t asking for any, so I’m just leaving that situation alone.

Maybe some day it will be my time? Maybe?

I’ve been trying to knit amidst taking naps. I’m still working on the Cable it Up scarf and still entirely loving it. The yarn is really nice to work with and the pattern is delightfully straightforward. The pattern is free on Ravelry.

i’m proud to be a survivor

There’s kind of a long story that goes with the title of today’s post, just bear with me.

Piece one – I am a suicide survivor. It’s been a haul to get to where I am, but I have and I’m proud of my fight to get better. I did some less than great things along the way sometimes but I’m working on making up for it.

Piece two – I am a huge Dropkick Murphys fan. One of my very favorite songs of theirs is “Paying my Way.” The lyrics and the beat, it just speaks to my experiences.

Piece three – Lancelot watches a lot of professional wrestling and MMA competitions where the competitors will have specific music playing when they walk out. It’s usually something personal to them in some way, helps get them pumped up. The wrestler I enjoy most is a guy who goes by CM Punk and he comes out to “Cult of Personality.”

Ok, so all of this to say that right now “Paying my Way” is my walk-out song for when I feel like it’s time to kick a little ass, and sometimes just when I need to give myself a little kick in the ass.

Whew!

That’s a pair of beaded earrings I made over the weekend. This is fairly straightforward bead weaving using a free pattern that I found. I’m ridiculously proud of these.

I’ve decided that I want to try to get back into doing more with beads, in part because I have a lot of supplies still. I spent a good part of the weekend reorganizing my craft area to make it easier to find things so that I can hopefully stop buying things I already had at home. Not that I’ve ever actually done that…

The current “primary” WIP

This is a kit that I purchased up in Stillwater, MN when Lancelot and I went last summer. It’s the “Cable it Up” pattern and it’s a completely reversible cabled scarf knit with chunky yarn. I love it.

an interesting thing happened on the way to the symposium…

It’s odd, well maybe not, but I think it is. I’ve essentially quit Facebook. I still have an account but I don’t have the app on my phone, it doesn’t come up on my work computer at all, and I just don’t check it anymore. Once in a great while Lancelot will tell me about something, usually dealing with our new niece or with a close friend, and I’ll go out there just to see that single thing. But that’s it.

I’ve realized that this has freed up a remarkable about of time for other things. Like knitting. Like watching shows I enjoy. Like talking to my husband.

I am still posting photos on Instagram, and I keep up with a few people that way. But I’ve decided that I’d really rather talk to the people I care about and spend less time just randomly on the internet.

The one real downside to that is I’m spending less time with my personal laptop turned on and so less time reading blogs, and less time writing here. These are trade-offs I supposed.

I feel like an update is in order, so here goes…

I am still knitting and making progress, which is good. We’ve been working on trying new recipes and it’s been more like once a week as opposed to every other week. And I’m still working on various Lego kits that continue to arrive. I think today I’m going to make some tulips and sunflowers. The next “big” kit is a typewriter.

One of our favorite meals for Meatless Monday is Tofu and Black Bean nachos

life is what happens while you’re busy making plans

I’m a planner, y’all know that. I like a good amount of structure in my world, in my day, and when that doesn’t happen it takes me a bit to bounce back. And my world has been more chaotic than not lately, in good ways, but it’s taking a bit longer than normal to bounce back.

A rare photo of all three kids. This period of behaving and getting along lasted maybe 90 seconds.

I have been busy knitting and working on other creative projects. I have two scarves and an adult hat knit for the charity collection, which I think is a good way to start the year. There’s plenty of yarn for more, and I’m planning to start making baby hats as well. I had one for our new niece and realized that they’re really quick to make and don’t use much yarn, so they’re an excellent project.

Tiny baby hat for our niece

I made this hat using some Koigu I had in my stash. The color is much more of a light, tonal lilac purple. I think it’s a lovely little hat for a lovely little girl.

I’ve also been making some random jewelry, doing some small Lego kits, and planning some future projects. One of my unofficial goals is to do as many of these projects as I can without having to buy additional supplies. I have all of this stuff, I really should use it.