2009 started out with a very loud bang - and it is not the kind of bang I was hoping would ring in the new year. Therefore, in answer to the question, "where have you been?" I will just say this about that: parenting a wayward, rebellious, angry teenage son is nothing to blog about - I am emotionally worn out, and I have reached the end of my rope. But if I were to blog about the experience, words such as illegal, police, temptations, peer pressure, and trouble would surely be included. Having said that, I am just going to skip right over all other recent developments. (No one will ever accuse me of lacking the ability to tune out my reality!)
And so with the beginning of a new year, and a burning desire to maintain my sanity through all the craziness that surrounds me, I once again turned to the sewing machine - but before doing so, I loudly proclaimed to my family that I was going to my happy place, and may the good Lord help anyone who dared question my motives. Needless to say, they left me alone.
The first thing I did was an attempt to remind myself that love abounds even when disappointments occur. With that thought in mind, I went to the fabric store and purchased yards and yards of pink heart fabric because 1) I love pink, and 2) Valentine's Day is the next holiday on the calendar. After looking at the fabric for a few days, I came up with a pattern and design late one night when I was trying not to wallow in parenting hell. This Valentine table setting is nothing fancy, but it makes me happy. I made the circles using various sizes of kitchen drinking glasses. I made the strips using a rotary cutter and quilting ruler. The place mats were made by tracing something else I had sewn last summer. All applique work was sewn with my Baby Lock machine using the applique stitch and contrasting thread. Easy, breezy, pink heart fun!
Here is what I ended up with to remind myself that love is all around:
After completing the pink heart project, I still had oodles of fabric left over, and so I sketched out a pattern similar to something I had seen last fall at a craft fair. I've been wanting to make one of these circle thingies for ages, but could never figure out how to do so. It took me four attempts to get the measurements right, and I ended up throwing the first three prototypes away. I finally recruited my husband to help me out and together we were able to calculate the proper cutting lines and exact dimensions. Without his calm approach and exceptional patience, I doubt I would have ever been able to complete this design. As it is, I've now made two sets and have the entire project down to a single day. I'm thinking about opening an Etsy Shop, and so this was a test project. I'm still undecided about the Etsy Shop, but in the meantime, I'm having fun thinking about it and working on possible inventory.
And finally, a just because story because this provided a laugh out loud moment when I needed it most:
The way my mom, Jenny, Debbie and I email each other is all together - so what one person writes, everyone reads (although I have to say that I think Jenny reads much more than she writes!). On Christmas day, Debbie sent an email wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and commented on the Christmas scarf that her dog, Sophie, was wearing. Apparently, Jenny had made the scarf for Sophie as a little doggy gift. Later that day, Jenny responded to the email saying that her dog, Chloe, had a Christmas scarf on as well. Harrumph. No scarves here in Virginia! I was feeling left out.
The following week, I had to sew up some new diaper wraps for my poor little pitiful dog who is still in a wheelchair due to paralysis. When I was done with the dreaded project (I really hate sewing doggy diaper wraps), my husband commented that Misty was the best dressed dog in the whole wide world. I told him that she was NOT the best dressed dog because she did not warrant an Aunt Jenny Christmas scarf. I also passed the comment along to my sister via the family email route, making sure she knew that I noticed the scarf favoritism.
Later that week, Jeff went out to the mailbox and when he came inside, he was chuckling to himself. He then waved a letter in front of me and said, "Misty got mail." I grabbed the envelope and tore it open to discover a lovely new Aunt Jenny scarf made especially for Misty. Oh happy day! Doggy mail. What fun! If I open an Etsy Shop, dog scarves will definitely be included in the inventory. These scarves are so stinkin' cute!
That my sister would make Misty a scarf and send it to my dog in the mail made me laugh until I cried. The scarf arrived on a day when John and I had been going at each other like never before, and I was to the point of throwing in my parenting towel and going on a very long vacation to Never-Neverland. I so greatly appreciate the fact that Jenny saw humor in my utter disgust that Misty was overlooked at Christmas time. That she would spend her day off making a doggy scarf meant more to me than anything else at that moment in time, and it reminded me that no matter how far away she lives, my sister is there just when I need her most. Three cheers for Jenny - she made me laugh! I love you, sis.
Oh... good news: I have a new laptop. It's a Sony Vaio that is sangria red and it is absolutely wonderful. When I opened this gift from my husband on Christmas Day, I was utterly speechless (I thought I was getting a new coffee maker). It's taken me a while to figure out how to transfer programs and such, but I think I have finally figured out how to work with the pictures using Vista, which was the most important thing to learn, second only to trying to remember my user names and passwords for various personal files and websites. If things on the blog look wonky, the fault is solely my own due to inexperience with the laptop and Adobe.
A very belated Happy New Year to all. My hope is that it only gets better, because if it gets any worse, a trip to Never-Neverland just still might happen.