Monthly Archives: October 2019

Trick or Treat – smell my feet!

Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a child. What kid doesn’t like to dress up? We’d have a parade through the school and, if it was nice, we’d take the parade outside. Looking back, my favorite costume was Bugs Bunny; I had a grey sweat suit and Bugs’ big head that was the type of costume head you’d see on your favorite characters at Disney World. I may have been in 3rd or 4th grade but I remember that while the head felt gigantic and was difficult to see through, I felt pretty cool.

74216671_563367061086693_808692142259044352_n

Small jars I made for our Halloween décor collection.

Halloween is always full of happy, silly memories.

Some traditions have changed though. Now in school you, apparently, cannot wear a costume with a full face mask. Likely it’s for “safety purposes” but I can’t help but be  saddened by the rule. If you aren’t letting unidentified, unregistered individuals into the school – is there a lot room for surprises? Let the kids wear the masks – know what kids are in your classroom – keep an eye on them – and let it be.

I didn’t know until I realized I had a missed call from my wife, minutes before the kids’ bus was to arrive that, likely, Jake couldn’t wear his scary clown mask in school today. You should have seen his excitement over his mask this morning; he’s pumped to be something scary. I did not go outside and burst his bubble because there’s a part of me that hopes that he is able to wear it. I’m not saying all day long in school, but for the school’s organized parade and photos.

((Sigh.)) I can only hope. That’s all I can do.

I don’t have much in the way of craft projects going on right now, but I am currently working on this bottle:

…which can be used as a wedding or engagement gift. I am going to try to attach some sort of pocket in the back of the bottle so that someone can slip in a gift card or cash, as those things are always welcome at these types of events.

The dark blue is thick denim from a discarded pair of jeans, the bottle used to hold some sort of spicy liquor, the MR. & MRS. plaque is a thin cut wood, twine, and faux pearls. Unsure what the pocket in the back will be made from – perhaps another strip of denim or coordinating burlap. I don’t know if I will paint the plaque or leave it natural. Jury is out on that one.

With October winding down, I’m feeling quite good. I’ve been sticking to my weekly hot yoga and cycling routine and making time for myself. I have also been logging my food intake through My Fitness Pal again consistently for over 7 days now. My ultimate goal is to simply fit into my skinny jeans better, but my scale shows I’m down about 5 lbs, which is way more than what one should try and lose in a week. It’s just water weight – I am no longer bloated and uncomfortable. But by taking care of my insides, I feel more equipped to take care of my outsides and overall much less stressed about it. October was super busy but it was super successful in so many ways.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

 

My tea told me to do it.

73302268_540012619901337_34655154808553472_n

My tea is basically telling me to like, dive right on into this blog post.

This is how I feel:

73267310_509382503245928_3690744016829153280_n

I just want to scream. I want to scream at my congestion. I want to scream at the miserable woman who’s always outside having a loud, drama-filled conversation on the phone at 8:30 in the morning; I want to scream at myself for not screaming at her because whenever I see her, my anxiety shoots through the roof. I want to scream that my show on Saturday wasn’t as successful as I had hoped; I want to scream at myself for always having such high expectations for myself but never meeting them, regardless of effort and preparation.

But I’m not going to scream. I’m going to keep moving forward because I have been making progress all year and I don’t need to scream at myself to notice that.

While I could do other shows before Christmas and potentially capitalize on that, I don’t know if I am going to. I have so many other things I want to do – I kind of want to hunker down and refocus; get my own stuff done.

73080785_412020263028372_6328022900586577920_n

I don’t want to stress this holiday season about things. I want to enjoy every single moment of it that I can. I want to bake breads and cookies. I want to sit and read books by my fireplace. I want to go snowshoeing when the season hits.

Anyway, back to the craft show – I got excellent feedback on my pieces ~ the issue doesn’t appear to be my work. I think that day the issue was the fact that nobody was really buying too much. They were gravitating toward smaller, inexpensive items. A friend said to me that perhaps people have been too conditioned by easy, cheap merchandise that arrives at our doorsteps in 2 days. That could be part of it, but I also think part of it is that I’m making home décor home décor isn’t a necessity. It doesn’t have a purpose other than sitting on a shelf, bringing some light into a space. It’s purpose is rather superficial compared to an item that not only looks beautiful, but is functional. Maybe I need to think about items that have more of a real purpose.

Speaking of beautiful and functional – I bought myself a new set of wine glasses this weekend. When I saw them I just had to have them.

72786957_2353157021681773_1818048708525162496_n

I’ve been putting water, ice tea (as shown above), and, of course, wine in these glasses since I got them on Saturday night. These glasses seem like a sign – think bigger.

So, my plan is to continue to create home decor (because I really love doing it), and also brainstorm and learn how to make items that have a bigger purpose than simply being decorative.

I want to continue on my journey – testing my boundaries, taking care of myself, growing as a person. All of that can be translated into not only the things I do, but the things I make.

__________

Visit my Etsy Shop —> here

Follow me on the Facebooks —> here

I’m also on Instagram & Pinterest! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

I got my garlic! I got my garlic!

75322613_518921668841271_6606145895840874496_n

I got my hardneck garlic bulbs and I can’t wait to plant them all this weekend! I really hope that we have good luck with it; I’ve never had luck with growing my own garlic but I also used to assume I was magic and could throw whatever seeds in the ground at any time and then walk away.

This weekend I turn 36. I think it’s the first year in a while I legit don’t care much about my birthday. I’m more excited for planting the garlic, hanging out with my wife, and participating in the Niskayuna craft show at the high school.

36 just feels “meh”. This year I’ve realized, I suppose, how much of an adult I am, age-wise. Yet, I don’t feel it usually. I sometimes feel bogged down by responsibility, schedules, expectations…but what does a 36 year old woman really feel like? How am I supposed to feel?

I know when I wake up, my first few steps feel achy in my feet and legs. I know if I sit too long at my desk my back tightens right up. I know I feel my best wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and cozy scarfs…as evidenced a bit in the above picture. I know I value my free time more than whatever someone’s perception of me is having or not having a booming social life. I get hung up on unproductive thoughts that I would’ve thought I should’ve outgrown by now…and I know now that most adults do. We are still the same people – hopefully wizened by experiences – but still the same kid in grown-up shoes.

A bit frayed, broken, and repaired. All pretending we have our shit neatly wrapped up in a pretty box.

It’s not that I don’t care about my birthday because of any sort of dread or depression; I guess it’s more feeling that time marches on and I’m a bit more interested in what I’m doing in it rather than celebrating it. I do really want to get together with my family though, if possible, on Sunday. It’s been since the end of September since I’ve seen everyone due to all the things scheduled in October. Sunday is a maybe because it depends on how my mom is feeling from her chemotherapy on Thursday.

I don’t think it’s often you get happy talks about garlic and birthdays all in one post. You are welcome!

Some time to myself to work quietly.

October has been full of SO MUCH FUN STUFF that I’m a bit tired from it all! I’ve been really feeling this week the creative itch; I needed to make the time to get back into my craft studio and work on things. Having that free time without any sort of constraint is how I recharge my batteries. Whether I’m working on creative things or other household projects, or simply sitting and reading a book for hours…that’s what I need. Undesignated, undelegated chunks of time in my life.

My wife typically works every other weekend but this month with all that’s been going on (camping, bachelorette party, a wedding, and this coming weekend a big craft show and my birthday), she’s taken all the weekends off. She easily will have an idea of what she wants to do on a day off but then will add about 10 more things there, making a day full of errands and general busy-ness, which is the opposite of restorative for me. Yesterday I had to say: I need some time by myself. And you know what? No drama. Huh, imagine that! Communicating one’s needs and having the other person be understanding of that. If everything in life could be that easy!

So, I worked on and completed the following two projects:

74615506_535371733693403_5733054365405544448_n75576605_549301319237509_5572272389233836032_n

The first set is actually a gift I made for my cousin Shelly and is not for sale. The second piece is an experimental one that I will pack and bring with me to the show this weekend as a re-filler. I am keeping my tables relatively sparse compared to former shows because I do not want to overwhelm the customers. But as things well, I want to have other items to fill in the holes.

The set I made for my cousin is made from two recycled wine bottles that had stubborn ass labels that didn’t want to come off. So I wrapped them all up, put a strip of recycled dark blue denim around them, and re-used some pretty flowers from a prior project. While I’m sure some people will be like “Ugh, re-using materials and then giving them as gifts? TACKY!” I don’t feel that way at all. I am proud of using as much of everything as I can; it challenges me creatively, and I know my cousin appreciates handmade items. I enjoy exchanging gifts with her every Christmas because she’s super creative herself and I never know what to expect!

The second vase is pretty small and was given to me by my neighbor across the street. I sprayed it with a sea glass spray in “smoke”, wrapped it with a strip of lace from a blouse (I’ve used this same lace in two other projects, as well. It’s so beautiful against sea glass!), used some twine, bling, and vintage, dark green triangle earrings that I deconstructed. It’s a bit weird and I like it. I mean, come on. I’m Weird Glass Art Studio for crying out loud, it should be expected.

Anyway, I spent much of yesterday feeling anxious, ill-at-ease and just generally not wanting to come to work. Not because I dislike my job, but because I just needed more quiet time to myself so I could feel fully refreshed and ready to work. I find it difficult to focus and help others when I’m not feeling properly rested. But I have hot yoga tonight and I’m going to use that sweaty hour to empty my mind and recharge some. I’m still feeling a bit off and I am looking forward to my schedule freeing up in November so I can get outside a bit more in nature and hopefully do some hiking.

 

It’s that time…it’s garlic time!

I’ve never been successful at it, so, I suppose it’s THAT TIME for me to TRY AGAIN~

Garlic. We are going to try to plant some garlic and have already carved out a place for it!

Late in the summer, Theresa got some cinder blocks off of an online marketplace and created a long and skinny mini-fence that now borders the discounted berry plants we purchased at the end of the season. So, berries and whatnot on the inside, and in the border itself? GARLIC!

Each bulb will have its own space to (hopefully) grow so that we can have a steady stream of garlic!

Garlic braids are perfect for storing and make pretty, functional décor.

th

I’m using THIS article as a guide, and have already learned that I need “hardneck” garlic to plant because of the climate we’re in. I did not know this before today ~ so that may have been part of my problems in the past ~ that, and over watering.

My first in-store sale!

Big news – I sold my first piece at the Schenectady Trading Company!

This beauty went to its new home:

il_794xN.1997629647_m5n1il_794xN.1997630799_iv2s

This vase was just a clear glass cylinder when I started with it. I layered acrylic paint to give it a stone effect and then added subtle gold metallic acrylic paint to give it the aged/vintage look. A strip of burlap overlaid with lace, a vintage brooch and a deconstructed vintage metal bead strand ~ I was (and am) really proud of this piece.

It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve worked on anything new. I’ve been gearing up for the show on October 26th at the Niskayuna High School so between deciding on what items I am going to bring, arranging the tables, making sure everything is neatly labeled and packed away, I haven’t had the time. I’ve also been doing a lot of non-craft related things like camping, a bachelorette party, and then a wedding this coming weekend.

So the weekends haven’t been free for me to work ~ which is fine, because these are all fun things ~ but I am starting to crave the free weekends that are coming back up in November. I can’t wait to get my hands into more projects – projects for sale and projects for the holidays.

I’ve been doing really well with making sure I take some time out of every day for myself. This is week 3 and it’s amazing how much of a difference it really makes. I’ve either had time to read, write, or watch a show I like every day, all while still tackling chores and projects that were kind of hanging over me. In the past week alone, while still making time for me, I ripped up the garden (with Emma’s help), put the spare bedroom’s bed together, attended a hot yoga class and used the Peloton bike 3x at home ~ all without feeling too stressed out for time. I even made 3 loaves of fresh bread on Sunday because I felt motivated to bake. It’s been a while since I’ve had the baking bug. #WinnerWinner

It’s really eye-opening to realize just a few weeks ago, simply because I wasn’t paying attention to my needs, life felt super overwhelming and I wasn’t even being as productive or doing as much. I’m consciously not trying to add more stuff to my plate simply because I feel like I could handle more; I’m enjoying the feeling right now of some sort of balance.

A taste of getting back to my roots ~

This past weekend I visited a friend’s camp that I thought I hadn’t visited in two years…turns out, it’s been 3. The last time I had been up to Ragged Lake (about 30-45 min from Malone, NY) was with my now ex-husband and it was apparently the camp’s opening in the spring. So this would have been in the spring of 2016 and here I am in the fall of 2019, bringing my wife for the first time.

I knew I missed it and over the years when I was invited, it bothered me to not be able to go for one reason or another. I remember being like “please don’t stop inviting me – I will make it again!”, while praying to myself that life would settle down. I know life has its times where its a constant summersault but I hadn’t truly experienced that before and it was a doozy. I have found my footing though, as much of a tight-tope it may seem at times.

The quiet and beauty is simply unmatched. I worried about Theresa’s reaction to being completely out of touch – there is no cell phone service or internet. I wondered if she wouldn’t get bored or anxious. She surprised me; it was honestly the first time I think I’ve ever visibly seen her relax and settle in. It was a relieving sigh of disconnect ~ something I really think she needed with her busy and chaotic job. She even asked me questions like, how much I thought something like that camp cost because she wants something like that, too.

I think I fell in love with her even further after that ~ lol! Every time I have gone, I have felt like I could live there. In all honesty, I would not want to travel the long dirt road season after season, but I’d love something like that…just with a much shorter dirt road, for safety purposes. I also know we would need internet and a phone, realistically. But the overall quiet? Yes, that, please.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This trip left me with a yearning and a wonder if I made the right decision by purchasing our home in Niskayuna.

On the one hand – YES – it was the right choice. We have a roomy and lovely home in a fabulous and safe neighborhood and the school district is awesome. It’s the best for the kids – not only for educational purposes, but also for the fact that they are being exposed to so many different kids, families and family structures, ethnicities (which is a different type of education). You can’t necessarily find that in a much smaller, country school. Also, their grandparents, great grandma – not to mention their dad – are all here local. Theresa has help when she needs it.

On the other hand – NO – because I yearn for a quieter life in a quieter place. Living in Niskayuna brought me to my job, which I love, but would leave in a heart beat if I could either work from home or move to the country that would make it uneconomical to commute. It brought us together as a family. It’s a convenient location to all the things we need (and some things we don’t – like Marshall’s!). So I know it really was the right choice but I can’t help but feel this longing for the country and what it represents to me. Who knows, maybe I am over-glorifying it but I have for funsies, this week, looked at real estate listings out in Vermont, where I ultimately want to be.

Not because we’re looking to move anytime soon. We both agree that it’s best that we stay where we are until the kids have graduated. But I’m dreamin’ pretty hard right now because of the quietude of camp.

Dreams are inspiring though. Dreams drive, motivate, give purpose.

The underlying issues.

In a half hour, I’ll be preparing for my first Peloton bike class ~ I am all squared away with the app, the shoes, the heart rate monitor and headphones (all thanks to my wife).

I’ve been looking forward to this since it arrived this morning! Meanwhile, I have my laundry in the washing machine, I ordered a roll of burlap to cut my own table covers for the craft show at the end of the month (because it’s cheaper that way and I’ll have material leftover to do whatever I want with), I shipped a small item I sold on Mercari, and I’m hugging and kissing my dog. It seems like a win/win evening so far for me – no stress.

Since my blog post on Monday, I’ve been thinking to myself that maybe all along I’ve been going about this fitness thing wrong. I don’t mean all wrong lately but for years. If I’m really honest with myself – and I do try to be – when I first started my fitness journey about 10 years ago, I wasn’t in a good space. I was drinking too much, I didn’t treat myself well, I was forcing and pushing a relationship that really wasn’t meant to be in some kind of shape. The exercising and the eventual obtaining of a personal training certification did help boost my confidence and allow me to step forward on a better foot…

But when I left that gym – as a member and an employee – it didn’t feel like it went over well. I doubted myself, my abilities, and my relationships with others. I threw myself into another gym and created a reputation and a public persona for myself. A caricature. I remember feeling like I could conquer anything and do it all! But underneath all of that though, I did, and still do, question my likability and relate-ability as a person. When people didn’t turn out as loyal as I thought they were and did and said things that hurt me, it made it hard to believe that anything was truly real.

I do question my own value and my purpose in life. Every day.

I have a really hard time opening up to others past a superficial point.

2-Will-be-Strong-Motivation-Meme

It’s tough for me to make new friends and to have normal conversations, even fluffy ones with co-workers. Maybe they don’t see or feel that – they just take it as awkwardness (which is may be, too) but it legit takes work for me to have a conversation that lasts more than a couple of sentences. I begin wondering how my tone is coming across, if what I’m saying is even interesting to the other person, what I could say that could be used against me in the future…omg how can I get out of this conversation I’m ready to go sit in my office and be alone…

It’s fucking insane.

When I was in the best shape of my life working as a kickboxing instructor, all I thought about was working out and what I ate. What my employees thought of me. How tired I was and how much I worked at the gym and at home. Who was talking about me behind my back because I knew it was happening. That’s a gym atmosphere for you – everyone acts like they are there to lift each other up but when, really, it’s a lot of cutting others down to feel better about yourself. (Note: Last year I worked a few months in another kickboxing gym and this was not my experience there. That was single handedly the most positive gym experience I’ve ever had and it’s too bad that my schedule made me feel like it was too tight to continue my employment there.) Then I got super skinny because I was stressed over my divorce and the death of my dog…I was over-caffeinated, under-rested and overall just not in a good place mentally but felt I looked awesome physically. I just could not keep up that pace without checking myself into a mental institution at some point.

A few years later and now I’m in average (or even above-average) shape and I still don’t feel like I’m mentally up to snuff. I’ve been off and on again beating myself for not staying in the exact same shape as I was when I was an instructor. I have been telling myself to be more careful with what I eat, go to the gym more…without really addressing any of my underlying issues that have been plaguing me over the years – whether they’ve been in the forefront or temporarily forgotten. What I’m saying is I keep telling myself that if I am “this way” or “that way” – I’ll feel different than I do right now. I’ll be happier and healthier, physically and mentally. Sheeiiit…all my problems will be solved, right?!

But that’s a crock of shit. The problem isn’t my body or any sort of my physical shape (which I quite like, actually! I like the curvier version of me!) – it’s the mindset I have about how others perceive me. Without changing the nagging things in my brain, without some sort of reset button being flicked, how am I going to really feel better and keep that positive momentum going? No amount of workouts will fix that or build a truly better me.

I don’t have the answers but I’d like to think that simply becoming aware of it is a step in the right direction. I think that, basically, I need to learn to love myself instead of telling myself and the world that I do, but not treating myself and talking to myself like I really do.

So, anyway, to wrap this up ~ I did go to my hot yoga class on Monday and it was excellent, despite the dude next to me coughing much of the class. I got sweaty, stretched, and overall celebrated myself for that entire hour, except for a few moments where I felt like my fat rolls were getting in the way of stretching. I love how during hot yoga, I can’t really think of anything else but what’s happening right in that moment. I’m too busy trying not to die but it’s honestly just such a nice break from to-do lists, reliving moments of the day (amazing and not-so-amazing), and nursing frustrated emotions.

Onwards and upwards.