Sunday, May 30, 2010

Help Me with My Contest Entry, Please!

Ok guys I reeally need your opinion here!

This is my entry for the Feeling Stitchy contest, and I can't figure out what to do with the center. Should I leave it blank or put something in the middle?

Blank center

Flower center

Flower button

Plain button


I still have a lot of work to do- Stitching down the flowers and leaves. I'm kind of bummed that it's not quite what I imagined it would be, but I might as well finish it anyway. So could you please let me know what you think would look best for the center? I have until Monday night to submit the entry, so I'll spend today finishing the flowers and leaves.
Thank you!

How Should I Finish My Entry?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

This Could Be A Great Weekend To...

...Start a journal.

Do you already write in a journal or diary? Maybe you need to catch up! 
Like I said yesterday, I used to write every day. Nothing artistic, just about what happened during the day and how I felt. Every year I got a new one. That was really exciting, picking something out from the bookstore. Sometimes my parents would give me one as a gift. Here are a few of my favorites through the years:

Especially when I was sad or confused, it really helped to sort things out on paper. Last week when I cleaned out my closet, I vowed I would toss all my old journals. But of course I just had to open one and take a peek, and what I read made me so ashamed of who I used to be. Reliving what I had been through was a harsh reminder of reality, not the good things I choose to remember. And at the bottom of that box was a stack of pages I had actually torn out of the journals during the divorce. They were filled with such horrible events that I thought I could completely erase them by destroying the pages. But I just couldn't bring myself to throw them out, and now I'm glad I didn't. I decided to keep the journals, just in case I ever forgot how things really used to be and how fortunate I am now.

Anyway, lately I've been reading about Wreck This Journal, have you ever heard of it? Sounds like a great way to get your creativity going!

Also I think art journaling has become pretty popular, the gals at Red Velvet Art even had an online class recently. I'd like to try it, because it might be a good way to get back into journaling. I'm just afraid I'll enjoy it too much, and it will become another time-sucking hobby to feel guilty about!

If you already have a journal, do you use it strictly for getting down your thoughts, or to document your daily life? Do you use it as a sketchbook? Do you add photos and mementos? I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pretend You're A Shrink

Whew! All week long, all I've talked about are crafts, crafts, crafts. Ok and I made you look at photos of other people's kids.
I'm still relatively new to blogging, and it's hard for me to know what direction this is going. Some of my favorite blogs are strictly business, and some are totally personal, and some are a light mix of both. But when I say personal, I don't mean talking about what we did last week. I mean talking about... (I'm gonna say it, I'm gonna say it...) Feelings.

**Here's where you get out your little pad and take notes.**

I don't like feelings. I mean really, when you think about it, they aren't even real. They sure as heck feel real, but do they actually exist? Ok this sounds like nonsense... Bear with me here.
You can't see the wind, but you know it's there because you can see the leaves blowing and you can feel it on your skin. You can't see feelings either, but you know they're there because you're crying or smiling or whatever. Makes sense.
But here's the thing. You can't turn off the wind. If it's blowing, everyone feels it. Everyone feels it the same. (Unless you've been struck by lightning. Seriously, I saw this thing on the news once where a guy got struck by lightning and he lost all sense of touch, smell, and taste.) With feelings, they can be painfully real or nonexistent depending on the person. Some people are moved to tears by the sappy animal shelter commercial and some people don't care at all.

Where am I going with this?
I've been both of those people. A few years ago, when I was married to someone else and before I had a daughter, I was the weepiest, mushiest, Nicholas Sparks loving sap you'd ever meet. I loved nothing more than an over-the-top romantic comedy or a tear-jerking country song. I gave small monthly donations to charities for abused animals and deformed babies. I liked kittens and flowers.
I poured out my feelings to my journal every day.
Then, after four years of marriage and six months of pregnancy, my husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore. At least to me, anyway. We had a mortgage, a car payment, six pets, and a baby on the way. He left and never came back.

I fell apart. I moved in with my parents, found homes for all my pets, and gave birth to my daughter in the most tense hospital room ever. My family hired a lawyer and took care of everything while I cried for several hours a day over my broken heart.
[Omg that's so pathetic, I can't even believe I'm typing it!]

Moving forward three years, I have a non-abusive, completely supportive husband who is a fabulous father. And they lived happily ever after ...Right?

Well, mostly.
I no longer get teary over kittens. I make fake gagging noises when I hear a love song. I roll my eyes at commercials for romantic comedies. For a while, it didn't bother me. It was actually very nice, not crying over anything. Tough luck, you poor starving dog on the ASPCA commercial. But now I feel pretty bad about it. With the exception of that one week per month when I've been known to sob over an Olive Garden commercial, ("When you're here, you're family!") I've turned into a cold, unfeeling monster. And I don't like it anymore.

What brought all this on?
Last week my mom sent over a box from the basement full of all the little mementos I'd saved from my first marriage:
The tickets to the Poison concert we went to every summer.
A handmade booklet to go with a mix cd of love songs he made for me.
Plastic diamond rings he bought me from the candy machine at the grocery store.
Love notes and anniversary cards...

Remember, in Clueless, when Cher and Ty burn all the mementos of Elton? *giggle*

So, Miss Kittenhater, why didn't you rip them up, burn them, and then stomp on their ashes? Why are you getting all introspective and emotional? When you were cleaning out the closet yesterday, why are the candles from your first honeymoon and the seashells he brought you from a business trip when he probably cheated on you still lingering near instead of in the trash? Why does your stomach hurt when you see his number come up on your phone? Why do you still have nightmares that he's leaving you? Why do you care?  
More importantly, why are you blabbing it on the internet? 
Something has to be done. I don't think I'm quite ready to go back to daily journaling. Me, alone with my feelings, that's a terrifying thought. Sometimes I think [If I had health insurance] that I would really like to go to some kind of therapist. You know, talk about your feelings and all that stuff. Maybe just saying them out loud would help them make sense. Or in this case, typing them.

Oh if only I were Dr. Temperance Brennan, who can logically rationalize any so-called "emotions." And of course I'd be smokin hot and super smart. And Sweets would be there. As an FBI psychologist, he'd know what to do.
Keep repeating: That's just a tv show... That's just a tv show...

And... It's helped! Well, googling stills from Clueless helped too hehe. That was a great movie.
Or I could just stop being a wimp and get on with it, eh?
Anyway, I'm not saying I'm going to turn my blog into a sapfest or anything, I'm just going to blog about whatever I want to. I hope you don't mind. And thanks for listening. 
If you did. Or maybe you just skipped down to enjoy the photo of John Frances Daley. Whatever.

Favorites Friday: Fringe!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Babies of All Kinds

Or, You Will Look at My Family Photos and You Will Like It!

Earlier this week I took my nephew and my little girl to visit my grandparents. They have a beautiful backyard with all kinds of plants and a huge shady tree. It can literally be 90 degrees with a blazing sun, but under that tree it will feel like a perfect 72 degrees.

We spread out a quilt and let the kids enjoy the breeze...

I don't know where she gets those poses. I just tell her to sit on the bench and smile, and she goes to town like she's the centerfold or something.

And here's me trying to be artistic:

And here are all the other "babies" in the backyard:
Baby blackberries

Baby apples

Baby grapes
Look how tiny they are! Awww...