Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Last Day

Of 2017.

Once again, I never thought I'd be so happy to see another year end. I seem to be collecting bad years like gnarly wood beads on a strand of jute. Where are my pearls? While having the last very bad for me breakfast of the year, I thought about a young man I'd met way back at university. He was nice and he liked me. I didn't listen to my gut to get to know him better. We probably would have hit it off, fallen in love, gotten married, and had a family. I should have listened to me. For so many years I haven't listened to me. I've missed out on so many opportunities because I did not listen to me. Because of doing what was expected of me, doing what others thought I should be doing, focusing on the well-being of others before myself. While doing that, I'd lost, myself. It was a long road to find me again.

For a very long time I did not look at myself in the mirror. Not because I thought I was ugly but that I didn't deserve to be seen. I was no one. I'd put up a good front, I was the one people counted on but inside I was dying. I ran to someplace new but the ghosts followed me. There was a time that for four years I didn't create a thing. I did nothing that had once sparked a bit of happiness. No sewing, no doll making, no painting, no writing, nothing. I blamed others for what was lacking in me and my life, and I beat myself up on a regular basis. The constant beat down I gave myself would have any world class boxer run for the hills. A good friend asked me if I would speak to anyone on the street the way I spoke to myself.  That one question made me stop and think. I did not. I did not verbally abuse anyone I'd met on the street but I did it to myself. That's when I started to look at myself in the mirror.

It was hard. The first day I only got a glance. I was ashamed, afraid, angry, alone. It was a week before I could look at myself for longer than five seconds at a time. Every morning, I'd made myself look at me. Then there was the morning when I could look at me and not flinch, or cave in, or cry. I saw the me that other people see when they meet me. I wasn't bad looking. I accepted what the universe had given me. I liked what I saw in the mirror.

Once I found me, it took everything to hold onto me. That fight just didn't let up. Things got better but the struggle was very real. The horrible life loop continued. We are good at remembering every single bad thing that has happened to us but rarely do we remember the good things. No matter how big or small. It's the bad that is front and center. The drama. The soul sucking chaos. At first I didn't think that there was anything good that had ever happened to me. And that wasn't true. There were good times and good people. Lots of them. Those I will write down and read when things get bad.

So where am I going with this?

I get one chance to be on this third rock from the sun. ONE. I have spent a good bit of half a century trying to figure things out. It may not happen and that is okay. I will work at it. But... no more should haves or could haves or would haves. No more wasting time on the past because that's what it is, past. I can't change it. I don't have a time machine. I will continue to be a warrior for justice and protect those who cannot protect themselves. It is time for me to make a change. No more excuses. I do it or I don't. My decisions, my choices. What is going to make Wendy sing and dance? I'm finally listening to my gut and will follow my heart. Will it be easy? Heck no! Will it ruffle other people's feathers? Not my problem. But I am ready to find out. Ready to see what I am really made of. Be the wonderful, crazy, creative, adventurous person I know is waiting to be released.

I shall live long and prosper with the force that is with me. Happy New Year's Eve y'all!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How Do I Feel?

Remember the scene in Christmas Vacation where Clark got a jelly-of-the-month membership instead of the bonus check he was expecting. It was followed by a tirade of obscenities and copious amounts of booze laden eggnog. Yeah... that's how I'm feeling right now. After working extra hours and having a nice Christmas Day, and figuring out the finances to unexpected events, I thought I'd be able to get out of this year without anymore damage but no. I almost had an accident yesterday because the hose to my windshield wiper fluid was frozen. I couldn't see out of my windshield. I had time sensitive work that needed to be taken care of. People were speeding around and tailgating me and I couldn't see. I zipped into a Tractor Supply parking lot and worked very hard not to start balling my eyes out. They were very nice in there. I called for a tow and it looked like a two hour wait. My day was going downhill fast. One of the nice employees apologized for not having coffee for me while I waited to be picked up. My wait was only an hour but it took just about the rest of the afternoon for my truck to thaw out. Fine. Then I get the bad news that the struts on the truck were about to fail. Really? It's a good thing I didn't drive to see my mother on Christmas Eve. I wouldn't have made it. He told me to steer clear of potholes and avoid the highway until I bring it in to be fixed. I have to go to work today and tomorrow I will take the truck back in.

So I start all over again. Every penny I make will go towards paying off bills. I will still get my passport renewed next month. I've always liked beans and rice. And...

I AM NOT GIVING UP.

It's another setback. More dinosaur dung flung by the universe into my face. Did I cry? You bet. But I got up. Wiped the dung away and put on more battle gear. 2017, you suck. I am claiming 2018. A few more days left of this year, then it's on.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Cancel That

My 30 day challenge isn't going well because if increased hours at the other job. So instead of beating myself up over the fact that not much is getting done, I will wait until January when my hours are back to normal. I will still be doing things such as sketching and picking fabrics, continue to downsize, and trying to figure out how to store my buttons. A friend's mother gave me a file box full of buttons. Many of them on cards. The bigger ones can be used for clothes or costumes, so I can't just give them away. As soon as I do, I will make something and need them.

The snow here has just about melted. Which is good. Maybe tomorrow after the job I can get a walk in but my knee is telling me that something is coming our way. I'm also fighting the first signs of a head cold which starts with a scratchy throat. Great. I'm working on it. I have Christmas and the day after off, so I don't want to be sick. I guess it was inevitable, t'is the season to get smacked by a bug or two.

I'm working on cup two of coffee and thinking I may want to change the foot shape of my new boudoir or bed doll. before I stuff the ones that are ready. Then I can see which foot works best.

Have a wonderful Friday.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Day 6 - Creative Challenge

I'm behind posting a day. The mad retail rush is happening before Christmas so posting will be weird. But I am working on things everyday. I got Raggedy Ann's dress done yesterday. I will get her apron done today.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Day 5 - Challenge No Pic Post

Yeah, when I thought about it this morning, I will need to have a day off. So I'm going to go for Sundays, the beginning of my week. I did log in more creative hours last week and this week I will be working more at the other job because it's the week before Christmas. I don't know if I will match the hours I did last week so I will go for five less. That's my goal.

Today I updated my Bullet Journal. I thought it might be one of those extra things to do but when I stick to it I am finding growth in what I want to do. I'm used to making lists of things to do, but to now have a record of things that I've actually done, makes things more tangible. That I am going in the right direction and some of the things I've written down, I can now see what progress I've made. Did I actually work on a project, did I finish anything? I'm on my second Bullet Journal and I can see progress from the beaten up, almost drowned in despair from moving back to Michigan, and feeling like a failure to I can at least see some clouds. And they are clearing. Going back and reading the first journal has me thinking that all is not lost. That I had some great ideas and now I can work on those. Because they are written down and not just in my head. Before I'd write down what to do and when things got crossed off the list, I'd throw the old list away. Then I would always think that I hadn't done anything when I actually had. Now I have proof that I'm not losing my mind and it's way more fun to see a change in me and my mindset.

I also spoke to one of my cousins who has been one of my cheerleaders. We caught up with each other and I told her of my new work that I've started. She likes where it's going and she said that I made her feel better. She's been battling cancer for a few years and that made me feel good because I made her day better. With my positive thinking, go get it attitude, and I'm ready to kick some creative butt. We also did some brainstorming of creative ides. I spoke to a doll and bear artist friend and we caught up with what we were working on. Sort of like accountability partners. I told her that I was good at finally getting things started by just working on things for ten to fifteen minutes but then I realized that nothing was really getting closer to the finished stage. So that's what I will be working on this week along with the extra hours at the other job.

And the last and most important thing is I got into the doll show coming up in April. I now have a deadline. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Day 4 - Creative Challenge

I'm sticking to the schedule that I've started. So this is day 4. I did make a pattern for Raggedy Ann's dress last night but didn't get it posted. Here is the pattern and I did sew a mockup of the dress after work today. I don't have the original pattern but remembered how the pattern went and made up my own. The dress is cut in one piece. I remember when I did the first pattern in grade school, that gave me the blues. But I figured it out. The two long pieces are the front which is on the fold and the back which is cut in about 1/8" in from the fold. The sleeves look long but they will get a hem and elastic around the wrists and the length of the dress looks good. I will cut out the pattern in the nice fabric tomorrow.


I got the first Boudior doll cut out, sewn, and turned. She may be a bit too skinny but I won't know until I stuff her tomorrow.


And I finally turned my Cauldron Critter ornaments. After having searched for months for fabric similar to the original I'd bought years ago. They are also ready to be stuffed. Lots of stuffing tomorrow.


I still have time to edit part of a short story before bed. And I've got some reading to do. I'm trying to see how much I can get done when I work a good part of the day at the regular job. Right now I'm pooped but will keep going and get a few more things off my list. I have tomorrow off and the thing is that I hope I don't just take it off and actually stuff things. And get Raggedy Ann done. That's all for today.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Snow

Wow! Winter has come. Yep, like so many others in the country, we finally got snow. Lots of snow. About eight inches. That may not seem like a lot for many but for this lady, having lived in North Carolina for the past eleven years, this was a lot of snow. And schools were canceled yesterday. Lucky ducks. School was never canceled when I was a kid. So here are some pics of the backyard and the pond.



Day 3 - Creative Challenge

I know it's Day 4 but yesterday was kind of weird. First, I had to do the work thing and then some errands (grocery store, pick up driving glasses), helped my friend set up for her party for her group. No, I didn't go to the party because I was kind of done being peopley by the end of the day. So I went to the library and did some writing and sketching and I even got a quick nap. No, as my granny used to say, "I'm not sleeping, I'm resting my eyes." It was very soothing there, being surrounded by a bunch of books. Everything was great until some teenager came into the room where I was and decided not to pick up his feet when he walked, and sighed as if he had subbed for Atlas for fifteen minutes. Good grief. Anyway, I got some sketching done. I redid the new doll pattern and sketched some clothes. Either for this doll or the ornament which is also on the docket. I may have to go back to the library in the evening.


I will post Day 4 later on. Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 2- Creative Challenge

Okay then, it snowed all day. I did get out in the afternoon to move snow out of the way but started to come down hard and within an hour or more, it didn't look like I had done anything. Oh well, glad I didn't have to go to the job. I did my bit to clean the place, my friend is having a holiday party tomorrow. I got my paranormal short story typed up and printed off. Now the good stuff starts, editing. I made a simple sketch of a pattern for the new doll and will cut it out tomorrow to see if I like this pattern or not. If not, I'll do a separate head and body.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

30 Days

That's how long it takes to start a new habit. I'm kind of settled on my so-called work schedule and know which days I can do creative stuff and which days I can't. So I am going to start creating things, working on things each day for the next 30 and see what happens. It may be a small thing that I do or something involved. For today, I am showing a doll I did years ago. I sort of liked her, but she wasn't what I was going for. I didn't throw her away because I knew I wanted to try again. I like her size. Not too thrilled with her head or face, the hands most definitely don't work, and her feet are way too big. She's wearing a late 1980s combination and a slip. I'm thinking of making her style a little later, like 1920s and I will toy with a one piece head and body or try another head separate from the body like this little miss has right now. I will work on her design today and show pics tomorrow.




Also on the docket for today is to finish up a paranormal short story. I get halfway through things and quit. I think this 30 day things will keep me on point for a bit. And you can call me on it if I don't produce.

Monday, December 4, 2017

December: First Drawing

I got a new book for my Bullet Journal and here is my December page. I was thinking about starting a new one in January but no, I decided that December needs a month. I'm working on this to be a production month. We'll see how that goes, especially if I get a spot in a doll show this coming spring in 2018. So here is my first drawing for December.


I'm also continuing the straightening of my work area. As you can see, I've had my patterns in two cardboard boxes and I could never flip through them to see what I wanted to use. So I went through them and about five are going to the thrift store for someone else to use. The rest will go into the clear container in order of whether they are doll patterns, regular clothes patterns, or costumes.


The cutting table has been cleared off, I put away some quilting things that I won't be working on for a bit (I'll go through that box later), and cleared off the daybed that had fabric, drawings, and other stuff on it. I'm getting there. Ready to start something new. I also printed off my NaNo writings and they are ready for reworking and/or editing in January.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

December

Here we are. A new month. The last one of 2017. I thought I would be able to leave November on a good note. And pretty much, I did. I finished NaNoWrimo (National Write a Novel in a Month) with 50,411 words. I am very proud of that but then I had to go to the optometrist because I was having problems seeing and it's been awhile since I had my last exam. Yep, got hit with a huge bill. The frames weren't that bad it was the lenses. My prescription had changed a lot and then all the stupid tests they did... well, it added up. But now I will be able to see better. A creative type needs to be able to see.

Okay, so I get used to that bill and then a tire goes flat. November 30, at night. At least I made it back to the house and didn't get stuck on the road. I not only needed one new tire but four. It seems like it's been awhile since I last got some and all were rotted out. Great. Another bill. Thanks universe.

On the plus side, I did do 50,411 words. That feels good. I also got the ending to a short story I'd been working on and came up with another short story, so for 2017, it's been a good year for writing. Now to get back to creating things. I so miss making dolls. That, I will work on this month. Production. Have a good month.

Shakes Head

This is still turning into a very strange year. Don't know why or what going on but... I've been getting more hours on the job but i...