Monday, October 11, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

Ok, so I'm a little late in the game here, but I've been meaning to do this for quite a while. (Same thing goes with my new Twitter account (@Pomquat)- still trying to learn the ropes there, but I digress.) Actually, it really shocked me to see that the fabulous Libby had awarded me with The Versatile Blogger Award back in August (!!). I do want to thank her so much and let y'all know to go visit her blog if you have not already done so. She's very talented and extremely sweet.

So apparently, as a recipient of The Versatile Blogger Award, I'm supposed post 7 things about myself for the whole world to see.  Well, since I post about myself all the time (which takes a lot of time and thought, actually....blogging is hard!), I decided to cull some facts from one of those FB memes I filled out a while back.  Lazy? Yes. But at least I'm honest about it. :P

Anywho, without further ado, here are 7 things you don't know about me (unless you were a FB friend and read these a long time ago).

1. I cannot stand netspeak. All of the misspellings and ridiculous acronyms give me a headache but “LOL” is the bane of my existence. I know people do not LOL as often as they say they do and I can guarantee there are few who have ever really ROFLMAO. srsly, idk y ur 2 dum.

2. In 7th grade PE, I literally ROFLOL so hard and long that I forgot to breathe and passed out.

3. I’m extremely accident prone- don’t know if it’s an inner ear problem or just ADD, but I’m a real klutz. Yet, strangely enough, I’ve never broken any bones. I credit it to all the milk and dairy I consume.

4. When I was a kid, I wanted to go to Hawaii so that I could climb a coconut tree and drop a coconut on my brother’s head. When I finally got to go to Hawaii, my brother was not with me, so I had to improvise and hit another tourist. Haha- kidding. I really did want to drop a coconut on his head, though...watched too many cartoons- darn Wile E. Coyote.

5. I have worn Chuck Taylors my whole life- I even had some dinosaur ones in elementary school and was made fun of for having “boy shoes” I pinched that little girl and she never bothered me again. Violence is always the answer. 

6. My hair and nails grow extremely fast- I think I’m part yeti.

7. I don’t think skunks stink- I don’t know why, but they don’t. Must be the yeti in me.

Now, I'm supposed to pass on the love to 15 other blogs but unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to list 15 other blogs because, well, I'm lazy.  So, here are some blogs of folks I've visited and others that have visited me!

Becky from Beck's Blog.  If you've been on Crochetville or Craftster, you've most likely see some of this lady's amazing work. She's a Tunisian crochet virtuoso, among other things, and you really do need to see her work!

Steenta from CraftySteenta. She actually just left a comment on my previous post so I checked her out.  WOW!  I'm really jealous of people who are true artists in different mediums.  I really wish I could draw!

Howie from WooWork.  Another one you probably have seen from Craftster.  A male crocheter, video maker, comic writer...all around funny and talented guy!

lyteyz from Deep Thoughts Just because she's one of my BFF's and hopefully it'll encourage her to post more often- she's an amazing crocheter which makes me so very proud since she was my very first student.  I wish I could take credit for her crochet awesomeness, but.........ok, I'll take credit. teehee!! Post some of your works, girl!!

Tami from Tami's Ami's...another recent commenter on my blog.  Another awesome crocheter!!  I'm going to have to spend more time here, but I loved her post on Flash your Stash.  Your stash is defintely growing....two plastic bins.....and you've not yet been crocheting a year?  A girl after my own heart. :)

I wish I could send you all to Tracy's blog or Kuddlekubs (although visit her store!) who visit more frequently, but there are no posts there!  (Yes, I'm calling you out Tracy.  :) I hope you're doing well!!)

Ok, that was fun.   Have a great Sunday all!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Need a Vacation....From My Vacation

Ok- I'm finally back and able to spend a little time on this here bloggy-thingy.  I had a few comments that were waiting for moderation (Thanks Lila, Tami, and Anons!) and I haven't been able to log in for a couple weeks. (BTW- I started moderating comments because I kept getting ones hawking Viagra, which weren't too bad- they actually would comment on the actual project, whether the Mario Blanket or Marilyn Bag, so I didn't mind. However, when I got the comment that offered to increase my penis size, I thought it would be a good time to stop the spam.  Insinuating my penis is small is quite emasculating and will not be tolerated.  However, I don't edit or stop any other comment.  They all get posted and, hopefully, replied to.  I'm getting better at that!)

The reason for my blog abstinence is a wonderful one, actually.  I was on vacation with My Mister.  A REAL vacation- not one to visit family that is filled with obligations, but one where we got to spend time together, alone, and got to do whatever the heck we wanted to do.  It was glorious.

We were in Orlando for the wedding of one of my childhood friends (the wedding for which I needed to finish the Flower Bag) and then enjoyed a Disney Cruise package- 4 days Disney World, 3 days cruise to the Bahamas and Disney's Castaway Cay.  We've been planning this for quite a while- ever since we got the Save-the-Date from my friend- and it really couldn't come at a better time.  The only thing stressing me out was that I really wanted to finish my flower bag before the trip- it's quite happy and tropical and fun and I wanted to proudly carry it around with me on my vacation.

I was working frantically on it the day before we left and was able to throw it in the washer twice.  It felted really well, but I knew it had to go through a third time....I just didn't have the time!  So, I packed it in my suitcase with the intent to finish it on our trip.  I was a little concerned that it was a little damp and was laying on my clothes, but then I thought, "Meh.  A little mold never hurt anybody."  What can I say?  I'm a little obsessive sometimes.  I am happy to report that the Color Catcher things do work! I just wish I had taken them with me so that I could have used them in the final the hotel laundry room.

Yes, I did obsessively finish my felting in the hotel laundry the night we got to Orlando- at midnight.  Yes, My Mister knew about my plan (I only reminded him a few times while en route).  I'm telling you- he's the best husband in the world.  Either that or the worst (best?) enabler, but we won't clue him in on that now, will we?

After washing it and putting it through the dryer (couldn't let it "air" dry in that thick, water laden sludge they call "air" down there...worst.humidity.ever.), I had to stretch it a bit (first bag I've had to shape after felting!) The next day (the day of the wedding) I started needle felting the borders around the flowers.  Then my needles broke. So, after the wedding and before the reception, I googled the nearest JoAnns and My Mister lovingly enabled drove me 30 minutes so I could buy a refill.  So, I started needle felting in the car again.  Then one broke again. (I blame it on a defective needle and not the fact that I was crazily stabbing at it so that I could finish it quicker).  So, My Mister loving drove me back to JoAnn's (no, I didn't threaten to stab him with my broken needles.  Why? What have you heard?) But, I couldn't go back in there since I was just in there and would be remembered (no- I'm not being vain- I was the only one wearing a cocktail dress and asked a few people where the needle felting items were.  And then the cashier started hitting on me.  Ok....maybe a little vain.)  So, My Mister went inside for me and bought me 2 refills, just in case.  He got the same cashier......who asked him if it was for the girl who was at the wedding.  (SEE!!) My Mister ever so politely told him, "Yes- these are for my wife."

We then went to the reception- I bawled like a baby. Congrats Dee and Dave!!! Love you both!

The next morning, before heading out to the Disney parks, I sewed my handles on (I brought them with me- as well as needle and thread) and then put the magnetic clasp on (I brought my Mister's Leatherman- best tool for the job!!).  I do want to line it so that I can add 2 more clasps on the side for security measures.  However, I proudly used it un-lined all week!  And, I even used it as carry-on for our flight home.  It's very large and very roomy- without it, we wouldn't have been able to make our 50lb. limit on our luggage.  My Mister was forced to admit that my crazy obsessions actually paid off. Ha!

So, without further ado, I present to you, my Dancing Flowers Bag!

Here I am in front of our Disney Resort- using it for the first time.  I'll have to add closeup shots of the needle felted flowers later- I'm still not finished with them, actually.  Teehee.
Here I am at Downtown Disney's Lego store.  Just chillin'. Chatting with my peeps.

And here is My Mister who proves it can also be a Man-Bag. We were at Blizzard Beach all day and it was stuffed with all of our stuff.  Since I was exhausted, he offered to carry it to the car. He only grumbled a little bit about being seen carrying a girlie-bag. I told him that he looked very much like a gentleman carrying the heavy load for his wife.  And then I took this picture.

So, there you have it- FINALLY a (semi) finished object!  As I've mentioned, I do have the flower chart ready and did write out the pattern.  I'm already planning the colors for my second one.  This is going to be a model for my Tunisian Crochet class later this month. WOOT!

Now, to finish the other semi-finished objects waiting for me.....oy vey.

PS: I just joined Twitter!  (Seriously- JUST joined it- like 5 minutes ago.)  I figure I'll be able to post updates a lot quicker on that so that I don't pull a disappearing act when I'm busy. :D  Follow me: @Pomquat.  Ummm...once I figure out how to, I'll add that as a link. ;)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Checking in

Hey y'all- so, I don't have pics of FO to post (no fully finished FO to photo- need to get cranking on that sewing machine!), but just wanted to give a quick check in.

My trip back "home" was quite intense- hospitals, funerals, and lawyers are never fun.  It was great seeing my friends and family- especially my brother.  But, I must admit, I was very eager to get back to my Mister and our home.  So, here's just a run-down of what's been going on:

1) I was given a Versatile Blogger Award by the fabulous Libby a couple weeks ago and haven't had the time to pass on the love- hopefully this weekend.  I need to pass it on to other bloggers who are also "versatile."  I've come to the realization that I need to be better at bookmarking places I've been to- I've come across some great and interesting blogs and now have to do some googling to find them again!  I may end up going through folks who have commented here and linking back to them.  Or to others that have linked back to me since they've used my patterns.  So, I've got to some investigating to do......nonetheless, Thank you, Libby!!

2) I've been battling...something...since I left NM.  I don't have allergies, but that's what I thought it could be at first.  I tried a Neti Pot type thing- flushing out mucus from your sinuses is soooo fun- and instead of making me feel better, I ended up feeling worse the next day.  And water logged.  Now I'm coughing and just plain old tired.  Tired, snotty, sick, and cranky.  And impatient.  And cranky.  Argh.

3) I've been working feverishly on 2 patterns- one's the Coco Bag- it came out just like I imagined it would and I can't wait to find the right accessories to finish it so I can show it off.  And, I'm almost done with the second one so the pattern is almost complete.  Yay!  The other is the Flower Bag- I NEED to finish this one by next weekend (I need it for a wedding next weekend), so this one takes priority.  And it's beautiful.  I just hope those color catcher things work when I felt it this weekend.  Because I'm cranky and that won't make things better.

4) Yesterday I visited one of my LYS- Never Enough Yarn in Winchester, VA- and I was carrying my Chocolate Strawberry Tote.  The ladies were ooohing and ahhhing over it and were astounded that I not only designed it but I crocheted it. HA!  So, I showed them some pics of my work.  They said I should write patterns.  They said I should teach a class. They said I should have my own TV show.  Yeah- that store is filled with the smartest women in the whole world. So, next month, I will be teaching my first Tunisian Crochet Class!  WOOT!!  If you are in the Winchester area and are interested in learning Tunisian Crochet, come on by!  Dates to be confirmed in the very near future.

Ok, I think that's it.  Back to being a cranky crocheter who needs to finish her laundry and clean her house before her Mister comes home and sees it messy and then he becomes cranky, too.  Argh.

PS: here's something that makes me smile amidst my crankiness.  A pic of my sis and me when we were kids- one bright spot in my trip home was being able to get copies of old photos. :)

Why is the room upside down?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

News From the Road.....Again......

Well, I'm out of town, yet again.  Although this time, there was a family emergency, so I'm back in the Southwest taking care of family business rather than emptying the Great White North out of all it's woolen wares.  And, as tempting as it is to visit all of the yarn stores I've been able to locate within a 10 mile radius, I'm now officially on a yarn diet, so.......only small purchases now, right honey? Honey?

I'm staying with one of my BFF's from college who also happens to be a crocheter.  The first night here, her husband had taken the kiddos camping, so she and I had the freedom to party hardy and were encouraged to go out dancing, or watch late night movies, or just generally be girls behaving badly.  Man- we totally took advantage of that freedom and partied hardcore!!!  It was intense, I tell you.  That's right- we stayed up til 3am being wild and crazy girls.....crocheting until our eyes couldn't stay open anymore. 

I love my friends. :)

So, with the crocheting I completed on the trip out (I even made a new knitting friend while on layover in Dallas!  Yarn- the universal friend maker), and the intense 3am and 1am crocheting sessions the last two nights, I've finally been able to finish and felt my Coco bag (AKA- the Cat Boobie Bag), and will most likely be able to finish the Flower Bag I told you about last time.  I'm hoping I can line at least one of them while I'm here since I'm staying with my mom the rest of the week and am totally taking advantage of her awesome sewing prowess.  (My mom is a very gifted artisan in many different mediums- she's truly amazing.  Actually, I think I'll teach her to crochet while I'm here- another yarn monster in the making.)

I won't have much internet access while I'm out here (AAAAAGHHHH!!!).  It's already been an intense couple of days so far and I know it's going to be pretty intense the rest of the week, so I asked my Mister to send me a couple more skeins of yarn to work on a second Coco Bag to de-stress when I can.  Thankfully it's already arrived at my mom's house, so I have something to look forward to tomorrow.  (Why are you looking at me like that?  I'm not crazy.  If anything, my Mister is crazy for actually sending them.  Then again, he probably figured it'd be cheaper to send them than letting me loose in a yarn store again looking for them.)

Hopefully I'll have some FO pics for y'all when I get back home.  Also, I'm testing out the Coco Bag pattern, so it should be ready around the same time.  *crossing fingers* 

Ok, that's all the time I have to update today.  Until next time, Zoobaroos.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anatomy of a Design

Now that I’m coming back from cloud nine after my win this weekend, I’m finally able to post about something that I’ve been wanting to for a very long time. It’s all about my designing process and, in this case, graphing out a new project.

Designing a new project can be very easy- it can come as an inspiration that hits as fast as lightning and comes to life like Athena popping out of Zeus. Or, it can begin as a small flicker of an idea deep within the recesses of your mind and slowly germinates to maturity over the days, weeks, months, or years. Both of these methods can be very rewarding….and sometimes very frustrating. I’ve been working on a design that has been flashing in the back of my mind for quite some time now. It’s been slow to come to fruition but, now that it’s here, I’m so freakin’ excited!!!

One of my “things” is that I draw little 5 petal flowers all over the place. Just a random doodle that marks my territory no matter where I may find a writing utensil and surface to deface. I’ve always been a doodler- it helps me to focus, really. In college, I used to write my married name over and over and over again, well before my Mister ever put a ring on it. Whether overconfident or just a plain creeper, I covered everything with my name. And flowers. And little hearts. I’m a girl- sue me.

I’ve been trying for ages to transfer my little flowers from paper to crochet. I’ve tried graphing it out many times over the last couple years and became ever more frustrated with my failures. I have an idea for a bag that is just dying to come out and I’ve not been able to get this stupid little flower just right! Well, I’m extremely excited to announce that success is finally mine! It wasn’t easy and came by lots of trial and error, but all of my frustration has finally paid off.

First, I drew some flowers on my new graph paper and then filled in the blocks that seemed to be appropriate.

Don't listen to them- you look beautiful to me.

Yeah- that looks dumb. The problem is that I couldn’t draw my flower to be symmetrical enough for me on the graph paper. I ended up finding a picture of a real 5 petal flower, printing it out and then tracing it on my graph paper.

Well...if you turn your head just a bit and squint your eyes....

Ehh….close, but still….no. By slowly tweaking where the boxes were, I was able to come up with a design I could live with. The first one I tried, crocheted, and test felted was too big. So, I tried scaling it down. Then it was too small (and kind of looked like a fat headed little man).

It's big because it's full of brains, I tell ya!

Argh. Then, I was able to find a happy medium and I knew it was just right.

Well...almost just right...

I started on my bag right away, but found that I had placement issues. So, instead of frogging the 4 flowers I had made, I decided to use them for something I’ve needed forever- a case for my hooks.

Mama likes!

I just need to add a zipper and VOILA! My pouch is the perfect size for all my hooks- even my long Tunisian ones!

Now, look at this side:

Mama likes even more!!

WHAT THE WHAT??? I know!!! I have discovered needle felting and it is my new favorite. I am so in love!! I can now draw on my finished product! See how I was able to soften the blockish look of the edges? I used Tunisian crochet for this which means each stitch is a square. It’s great for square-ish things (like 8-bit Nintendo games), but for round objects, it leaves a little to be desired. Well, with needle felting a yarn border around my image, my dilemma is solved. AND, it makes a gorgeous finished object! (You can see the black border on my first test square, as well as a yellow border around the center.  Not too sold on that yet...)

I do have this chart complete- it (and the bag pattern) will be available just as soon as I finish my bag. I’ve been working feverishly on it for the last few weeks (minus a break for the SWS Turtle Bag), but hopefully will have it done in the next 2 weeks. I forgot how much I really enjoy Tunisian crochet! I just hope it comes out as good in real life as it looks in my head. I’m using white wool for the purse- a white background with colorful flowers, so I’m really hoping they won’t bleed too much. Maybe I should heavily invest in Shout Color Catchers……. Anyone have experience with them? Do they work?? Reviews are greatly appreciated!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Life of a Movie Star

Wow.  That's all I can say about last night.  Ok- not *all* I can say- Lord knows I can be quite verbose- but still...WOW!

As I mentioned last Monday, I was attending the showing of my film, Lilly's Thorn, at the World Music and Independent Film Festival in Washington, DC.  My Mister, sister and I parked by the correct building but were trying to find the right entrance. As we were walking by one corner, my sister said, "It's right here."  After wondering how she inherited psychic superpowers and I didn't, I then saw how she knew.

Gege, meet Lilly.

EEEEP!!  Seeing your face on a large poster in a window in Washington, DC is quite awesome.  Being recognized by the people inside is even awesomer.  (It's a word- look it up.)  For you observant readers out there, yes, I'm wearing my sister's Marilyn bag- I had borrowed it for my Canada trip.  Hey- it was a trip where we were going to meet fellow knitters and crocheters and I had to represent both crochet (let's be honest- knitters usually get all the attention) and my mad crochet and design skeelz, ya know?  And represent, I did.  That bag really is a head turner!  Even the folks at the festival were commenting on it. :)
It was a 9pm showing on a Monday, so I didn't expect many viewers in attendance and I was right.  Rocky Yost, the writer/producer/casting director/promoter of the film was there, as well, and he and I did a small question/answer for the folks who did attend.  I've always wanted to do that!  Hee!

June Daguiso, me, and Rocky

Since there were so few people, I was able to meet with June Daguiso, the Festival's founder.  I told him how excited I was to be nominated for Best Actress and that we were planning on attending Saturday's Award Ceremony/Gala.  He told me that, if I was planning on attending, to come around 10:30/11 so I can be interviewed for the event and then maybe stick around for the award ceremony that started at 1 after the luncheon that would be served.

On the way home, my Mister said, "Did you kind of get the feeling like he was basically saying you weren't going to win?"  I said, "Yeah...he would have been a little more persuasive in telling me to attend.  A little *wink wink* *nudge nudge*."  "Yeah.  That's what I thought, too.  Especially when he said that the really big movies who have multiple nominations are being shown on Thursday.  I'm sorry honey."

So, I was a little bummed, but not too much since I was in competition with "real" actresses like Dana Delaney.  Jack Hartman, who played my father in Lilly's, was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor and was up against Aidan Quinn, among others.  So, I can honestly say that it truly was an honor to just be nominated.

As the week progressed, we were discussing what was going to happen on Saturday.  My Mister was all for me doing the interview portion- networking with fellow actors and movie makers is a good thing in this industry.  It's also extremely nerve wracking.  Especially when you are already nervous about being nominated for Best Actress yet you know you're not going to win anyway, but you still want to attend the Gala, but really, why get your hopes up, especially when it's a relatively small Film Festival and most likely not many people will attend, so why worry about attending, anyway? *Big inhale*

Yeah- I was a mite neurotic about the whole thing.  Friday night, I was up till 1:30 trying on dresses for the Gala.  My Mister was groggily telling me that I looked great while I yelled at him to actually turn around and open his eyes.  HOW CAN HE SLEEP AT A TIME LIKE THIS?!?

I told my sister I would be at her place at 9:30am and then my Mister would meet us there at 10 and we'd drive together to DC.  Well, remember last posting what I said about me and planning?  Yeah- none of that happened.

I set my alarm for 7:30 but promptly (and anxiously) woke up at 6:30,  ran to the shower and repeatedly called my sister to let her know I was going to be there much earlier than expected so we could get ready together.  After calling 7 times, she finally answered.  Luckily (for her) she was already up and was eating breakfast, so I didn't have to yell at her, too.

After stopping at Walmart for some essentials (such as makeup- I really don't wear that much and thought this would be a good day to pull out all the stops), I arrived at her place where we both excitedly got ready.  It was like prom all over again- so fun!

Sisters, Sisters, There were never such devoted sisters.

I  asked my Mister to meet us at 10, but he so tactfully and sensitively responded, "Why?  You're not going to win, anyway.  It'll be best to drive separately so I can go home early."

Ouch, Honey.  I knew he was right, but still.  One thing I love about my Mister is that he is filled with integrity.  If he says he'll do something, he will.  However, that also means that he is completely, and sometimes brutally, honest.  (Granted, with the way things more often than not just fly out of my mouth and completely bypass my brain, I can be equally brutally honest.) I know he didn't mean that as a reflection of my talent- he's just a very realistic counterpoint to my very idealistic outlook on life. 

Anywho, my sis and I left a little later than I had hoped to, but my lead foot fixed that minor inconvenience.  The new plan was to meet my Mister there so that my sis and I could stay and he could go home early instead of sitting through 5 hours of an award ceremony at which we both (realistically) knew I wasn't going to win anything. 

We arrived in time for me to be interviewed and got to chat with Jack Hartman, the very talented actor who portrayed Lilly's dad.  I hadn't seen him in nearly 2 years, so it was a wonderful reunion.

Lilly takes after her mom...for reals, yo.
After the interviewing portion, everyone was getting ready to be seated for the luncheon.  Well....again with the planning and me....  On Monday, I had told June that I would be attending with my husband and sister.  We had later emailed and I told him, again, that we three would be attending.  Well, the thing is, we still needed tickets to prove that we were to be there.  It was a big brouhaha and ended with the Festival people finally (and very graciously) saying we could have their seats since everyone else had (intelligently) already paid and had assigned seating.  All we had to do was pay for the tickets.  Well....we didn't realize that those tickets cost beaucoup bucks-  beaucoup bucks that we did not have on the door.   So, we put those poor people through the paces to get us seats just to go down the street and eat some sandwiches at Cosi.  Oops. 

After lunch, I said, "Why don't we just save money and go home now?  I'm not going to win and I've already done my interview, so let's go."  My sister, who was so excited to attend the award ceremony, strongly opposed this suggestion and talked me into staying.  I then talked my Mister into staying, as well.  I was still anxious, nervous, and a little frustrated with the whole lunch thingy, so I really could use him there.  He agreed to stay by my side. (He is very supportive of me- and very patient.  I don't deserve that man!)

We got back a little after 1 and, thankfully, they were a little behind schedule for the award ceremony.  We went inside and very quitely sat on the sidelines, out of the way, while everyone else was at their tables having just finished with lunch.  After 2 awards were presented, the Festival people came up to us and said, "We're not going to be at our seats, please come with us and you can have them."  We, feeling bad for putting them through so much stress earlier, graciously accepted.  We followed them through the crowd....and followed them........and followed them.......alllllll the way up to the front.  We were at table 3, which just happened to be smack dab in front of center stage.  Yeah.  We got to walk in front of the whole crowd to the very front of the room.  *dying of embarrassment*

There were eight categories of awards being presented, each section divided by a musical performance by one of the Musical nominees.  It was a blast!  My film was up for 8 awards- 6 of which were already announced and we didn't win any of them.  Some of the bigger movies/actors/musicians had won, including OK/GO for best video and a couple wins for Route 30. My category, being one of the "big ones" was the very last one of the evening.  I had no expectations, which was great- it allowed me to enjoy the evening without being overly nervous.

They announced Best Director which we were up for...and didn't win.  They announced Best Actor.  Best Actress was next.  I asked my Mister to record them just so we can have video proof of my name being announced as a nominee.  Want to see it?!?  I knew you did. :)

(Best viewed in full screen- my Mister was recording on his phone vertically, which made it vertical in the upload, too.)


WHAT THE WHAT?!??!?!?!?!??!?!  For those of you who were unwilling or unable to view the clip, I TOTALLY WON!!!!!!!   Completely did not expect that!!!  You can hear my Mister's and sister's very excited reactions.  My Mister was so shocked, he hit stop on the camera.  He then (as I later found out) leaned over to kiss me, but, as you can see, I bolted pretty quickly.  All I could think of was, Don't trip on the table cloth.  Don't trip on the table cloth.  HURRY! I better snatch that trophy before they realize they made a mistake!

My Mister got the camera working again in time for my thank you speech, which I had not prepared, at all.  Here's me, flying by the seat of my pants.

Yep- I totally called out my Mister on stage.  See what I mean about things flying out of my mouth?

You love me! You really love me!

It was a completely surreal experience!  That June Daguiso- he completely had us fooled!  Good job on not giving anything away!  We had an amazing night.  Could not have gone any better in my wildest dreams!  As I said earlier- WOW!!

I hope you enjoyed the recap of my day as a "movie star."  Hey- I did star in a movie, so I guess the term applies, right?  :)  WHY ARE YOU LOOKING ME IN THE EYES???  I said only WHITE M&Ms!!  No W's!!!!!  Heads will roll!  Get my agent on the line!!!!!

2010 WMIFF Best Actress WINNER!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Oh, Canada!

Alright.  I finally have time to recount our escapades in Canada- it was quite an amazing adventure!  Are you ready?  Come on, eh?

I'll buy a vowel, Pat. An "eh" please.

We began our little trip by driving ~7.5 hours and crossed the border into Niagara, Ontario.  We arrived around 2pm thinking that we would have all afternoon to spend touring the falls and then leave at a decent time in the morning to Listowel where The Yarn Factory Outlet is located.  Yeah......planning and I don't really get along all that well and, well, you know what they say about birds of a feather.  Birds of a feather drive-all-day-into-another-country-just-to-spend-the-afternoon-crocheting-in-the-hotel-room-and-end-up-taking-a-nap together.  (Well, not "together", but....oh you know.)

Yep.  We spent our first afternoon in another country- one where thousands of people flock each year to view the majestic sights and wonders- napping.  In all honesty, it was AWESOME.  I was exhausted from the drive and, well, it was the first vacation I've been on where it was totally ok to just....chill.  No stress.  No plans. No schedules.  Just....relax.  What a concept for a vacation, eh?

We ended up waking up around 7pm and realized, Hey! We're in a different country! Let's explore!  After getting some pizza delivery, of course.  So, we ordered in the Niagara, Ontario world famous pizza- Little Caesars.  Hmmmm.....not quite getting the whole "exploration" thing yet, but we were still fighting the groggies from the epic nap.  (BTW- the pizza was gross.  No offense to our Canadian neighbors, but it truly is ok to use salt in the sauce.  A little hypertension never hurt anyone.)

We then decided to take a little walk outside of our hotel.  We were right off the water and (as we found on Sunday) about a minute from the Niagara Whirlpool.  But, it was getting dark, so we didn't have much hope of seeing anything all that spectacular.  It was ok- we were driving back on Sunday and had nothing planned, so we could do our touring of Niagara then.  Since we were right by the water, and since it is still summer, and since my blood must be mosquito's crack, I debated on whether or not to use my OFF.

Me: Do you think they have mosquitoes out here?
Lyteyz: *pause*  Well, it is still planet earth, right?
Me: *blink*  Shut up.

America and mosquitoes across the water...and a wondrous Canadian tree blocking the view

Since we were no longer tired, we had all night to spend however we wanted to- no dinner to cook. No babies to change. No husbands to appease.  So, we did something we haven't done in forever- went out to a 10:30pm movie.  (!!)  We saw The Other Guys and I think my abs are still sore from all the laughing.  It was HYSTERICAL!  As an aside, Lyteyz is the best person you can watch a funny movie with- her laugh is so infectious and her reactions just slay me.  I love her!!

The next morning, we spent some time at Souvenir City and bought gifts for our family.  I hope they like their post cards.  (What?  More gifts for them = less yarn for me.  Der.)  We also took this awesome pic for my mom.

(Actual conversation the weekend before we left.)
Mom:'re going to Canada without your Mister?
Me: Yes! My friend and I are going on a yarn binge! It's going to be awesome!
Mom: You girls be careful.  They have grizzlies out there and you don't have your men to protect you.
Me: *stifling laugh* We'll be careful, mom.
Mom:  I hate bears.  They eat people.

 Run lyteyz, run! Once he's done with that fish, you're next!

And then we were finally off to Listowel.  It was about a 2.5 hour drive from Niagara through some beautiful Mennonite farming communities.

Not a Mennonite farm, but pretty none-the-less.

We have quite a few pictures of the farming communities on the drive there.  Listowel was in the middle of nowhere and I was really wondering if the mill would be connected to a farm.  Listowel truly was a very cute little town and the mill may very well have been connected to a farm; however, I wouldn't know since I had complete tunnel vision once I saw the tent with all the woolly goodness inside.  Apparently, Lyteyz was very tunnel visioned, as well, since this is the only picture we have of my yarn Mecca.

Can you see the awesomeness?!?

Yeah.  Well, you're just going to have to take my word for it.  Once you walked in to the tent, there was a lovely lady who offered us a "shopping bag" - a black, 30-gallon trash bag.  I about died laughing!  And then I about knocked the lovely lady over as I attacked the bins of yarn like a grizzly attacks people.  It was filled with all types of Patons, Lily, and Bernat yarns.  I went specifically for some Patons Wool and SWS.  (No seriously- I drove all the way to Canada specifically for those yarns- this whole trip was for some Patons.  I'm nothing if not loyal.)

This is my haul:

Upon getting home, my mister immediately saw the huge garbage bag.

(Actual reactions)
Me: Hi Mister!  Did you miss me?
Mister: Yes! How did......what is that big bag?
Me:  That would be my shopping bag.
Mister: *pause* *squints eyes*  I hate you.

Whatever- he'll forgive me.  One of these days....

*in total wool coma*

Yes. I know.  Be jealous.  Do you know how many felted bags are in there???  Actually, if you can see in the middle right, there are 2 skeins of yarn on top of a bag.  That is because I busted open that bag in the car ride home and started on a bag.  And then I finished it yesterday.

Patons SWS Turtle Handbag
I know I've shown my Traveling Turtle bag, but I don't think I've shown its little sister- the Turtle Handbag.

Turtle Power!

I've been working on this pattern for a while and was able to finish writing it with this bag. However, I need to finish the second Traveling Bag just to have wool yardage.  I LOVE how this bag came out!!  I was hoping to find this specific SWS colorway (Natural Crimson) on my trip.  I think I would have been very sad had I not found it, but instead, I've got a beautiful handbag!

From Listowel, we headed out to Toronto where we stayed two nights.  The whole purpose of going to Toronto was to visit the yarn store we hit on Saturday- Romni Wools.  Oh.My.Lanta.  I have NEVER seen so much yarn in one place!!  It was simply amazing!!!!!

1/4 of the store....not including the basement
1/4 of the basement- the Cone Portion
The Spinning portion of the basement
Debra and Jacqueline worked in the basement of the store and were sooo nice!  I saw the spinning tools and started asking questions.  They asked me if I wanted to learn.  I LOVE THIS PLACE!  They taught me how to use a drop spindle (I won one as one of my Bobby Awards- more on that at a later date) and I had so much fun!

You spin me right round baby

 If you are ever in Toronto, you MUST stop at Romni.  The basement is filled with clearance yarns, which is awesome.  The yarns on the top floor were truly amazing, but....well....a little pricey.  However, it truly was a sight to behold.  Seriously- wow.  

On Sunday, after we got over our Romni Wool hangover, we left Toronto back to Niagara to finish up our touring.  Lessons learned after an hour and a half of frustrations on the Ontario side: if you visit Niagara Falls, stop in the New York side.  Parking is cheaper ($10 vs. $20); you are a 5 minute walk to the Falls vs. a mile or two, and you are actually very close to the water.  It was amazing!

Canada across the water...and a couple of wondrous Americans blocking the view.
We had an amazing time!  The really awesome thing is that our husbands think it's a good idea to let us have another trip again next year.  See- I told you he'd forgive me. ;)  

So, Lyteyz, where to next year?  TNNA?  Stitches South?  The Crochet Guild of America? The possibilities are endless!  I'll be sure to pack my mosquito and bear repellents and ensure there's plenty of space in the car for our hauls.  Love you girl!

PS: Check out Lyteyz blog where you can get her perspective of our trip. :)  (I wasn't kidding when I said I about knocked the lovely lady over at the Tent Sale....)  

Monday, August 16, 2010

Film Festival Tonight!!

Hey guys- in my excitement over my trip this weekend (finally back late last night- recap and lots of woolly goodness coming soon), I forgot all about the World Music and Independent Film Festival this week in DC. My movie, Lilly’s Thorn, is showing tonight at 9pm. So excited!! It’ll be the first time for my Mister and my sister to see me on the big screen. (Second time for me- I attended the New Hope Film Festival a little bit ago- sooo cool to see my name up there!)

Anywho- check out the website- you can vote for your favorite trailer. Also, if you check here, you can see videos of the various nominees- including little ol’ me- I’m nominated for Best Actress!! WOOT!!

See y'all there!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

News From the Road

Hey y'all!  I am writing to you today from a hotel just outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  What am I doing in Canada, eh?  I'm having the time of my life and spending all my money on yarn!!!!

Sometime last year, I found the Mecca of yarn stores for me- The Yarn Factory Outlet in Listowel, Ontario.  This awesomest place in the world happens to be the very mill where my beloved Patons Classic Wool is made.  I've wanted to come here ever since I learned that my wool wasn't made by little Lamb Fairies but was actually produced in a factory.  Weird, eh?

Well, my Mister, who supports all my yarnie adventures, just wasn't interested in driving 7 hours "just to see a yarn store."  I tried conducting an exorcism on this obvious evil spirit that inhabited my beloved, but after he threatened to have me committed, I decided to put my dream road trip on hold.

Fast forward a couple months when we were visiting one of my BFF's, who also happens to be an obsessed crocheter, and I casually brought up my desire to visit yarn Mecca.  She agreed that I was a genius and that we should have a girl-only road trip "one of these days."  Fast forward to a few weeks ago- we finally planned out our trip and decided to leave hubbies, babies, and inhibitions behind while we made our yarn dreams come true.  It's like Thelma and Louise with crochet hooks instead of guns.  And no suicides.  That would suck.

We both have had terrible 2010's AND we both have August birthdays, so this trip has been just all around perfect.  We spent the afternoon at the Outlet and I am still enjoying my wool high.  Oh, did I mention that they happen to have a yearly tent sale each August?  And that we hit it at just the right time?  And that I'm soooo glad I drive an SUV???  Muaha! Muahahahaha!  MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

*wiping tears from eyes and foam from mouth*

Ok, I'd better log off before more than just my Mister thinks I should be committed.

I was working on a different blog post- all about the Anatomy of a Design since I finally found a project that banished my Crochet ADD.  You are all going to love it!!!  More to come on that later.  For now, I've got wool to snort.

These Crochet Chicks are Too Legit to Knit

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Crochet ADD

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been in a creative frenzy in the last couple of weeks.  Not only have I been increasing my lovely yarn stash, I've been utilizing said stash as I get back into my crochet-groove.  If only I can focus on just one project so that I can finish something instead of being a serial project starter.  Yep- I'm suffering from Crochet ADD.

First, it was the Branching Leaves Scarf that I saw on Ravelry.  There was just something about it that called to me.  I had no idea what yarn to use on it- it's been a while.  I'm a little rusty.  So, I started with a green Simply Soft that I've had forever.

Green Leaves- how original
I wasn't totally feeling the love for the Simply Soft.  Actually, it looks better in the picture than it does in real life- maybe I'll actually finish it.  Anyway, I decided to try it with some of the Country yarn that I got at AC Moore.  I chose a silver yarn, not because I wanted a silver scarf, but because it's the least likely color that I'll use on anything, so might as well use it on this.  Yes, that's right- I'm making myself a scarf, so I choose the (relatively) ugly yarn.  *Note to self- use the Loreal yarn- you are worth it!*

Silver Leaves- goes well with my colorful personality, no?

Well, since I wasn't feeling the silver either, I moved on to the Andalusia blanket.  Now this, I love.

Sllllooooowly geting there....
I will finish this...someday.  I really love it and do want it. However, once I got that taste of wool, I started jonesing for more.  That's when I started my wool buying binge.....
Once I scored a fix (or two), I went back to my frenzied ways and started another shawl in the Feather and Fan pattern.  It's going to be slightly different than my L.A.D.Y. Stole of Transformation.....that is if I ever get it done.

I want. I need. I may frog.
I'm using an unknown yarn that I scored at AC Moore in the mill ends bin.  I loved the color- it's a deep purple with some maroon bits it it.  I'm almost 100% sure it's Bernat Satin Solids in Plum Mist Heather.  It's really soft, and I'm liking the pattern, but....welllll....I'm afraid I'mturningintoayarnsnob.
There.  I said it.  I'm making this for myself (which means it most likely won't get done) and really love the color and it is really soft.  But.......I want the Loreal yarn!  I'm worth it darn it!  I've been eying the Melody yarn I scored at Eleganza for this....but.....I don't know.  So, until I decide whether or not to treat myself to beautiful, soft, gorgeous wool I have, this is going on the back burner.

As I mentioned yesterday, I started using the Noro right off the bat by starting a Half Granny Shawl.

Wool.  And lots of color. GIVE IT TO ME NOW!
The simplicity of the shawl does show the gorgeous color changes of the Noro.  However, I'm not really a shawl person, (Yeah, I know- I keep making them.  Shut up.) so I don't want to waste this beautiful yarn on something that I may never wear.  I fell in love with the half granny shawl when I saw all the beautiful ones on Ravelry- specifically the ones fanalaine has made.  Gorgeous!  However, I may end up using this yarn as my first real knit project- have you seen the Noro scarves??  They're beautiful and a scarf is something that I know I'll actually wear.  Hmmmm.....decisions, decisions.  Quickly whip up a fabulous, easy and beautiful crochet item that I may wear (but most likely not), or put it off until I have time to practice the slow, painful, humbling art known as knitting and have a gorgeous item I know I'll 2013?

In the mean time, I've been on a designing frenzy, too.  First up is a little something for me- a MESSENGER BAG!!  Finally!  I'm thinking of using the Kaleidoscope for (parts of) it.  I used my new colorful pens and my new graph paper notebook to plan this project.  Yes, I knew you'd be impressed.  However, I'm not able to start it quite yet.  I need a specific red color- I'm pretty sure I'm going to use Patons SWS for it, but I don't have that specific color in my ever expanding stash, which means I need to buy more wool.  Oh darn.

I've been drooling over a vision of a bag that I've had in my mind's eye for quite a while.  I've just not tried the concept I have for the shape of it yet.  So, I got some Vanna's Choice (acrylic- ptew!) and got cranking.

Looks nothing like the finished bag
This is just a proof of concept.  I know how I'm going to make it- don't worry- it won't look like a crocheted Diva Cup.

There are a couple other bags I'm designing, too, but I'm really trying to be a little more focused so that I can hopefully actually FINISH a project.  Sheesh.  Does anyone know if there a wool based Ritalin or something?  Because I really do need to- Oh look! More wool!

Friday, July 30, 2010

High on Wool

I've been in a creative frenzy.  I hadn't crocheted in over 3 months and then *BAM*!  Two weeks ago the flood gates were opened.  It may have been the excitement of using my hooks again or just a backlog of creative juices that needed to flow, but most likely it was the enticing aroma and feel of my wool. It sat there watching me, just biding its time.  It knew that sooner or later I would come by and just catch a glimpse of its sensuous ends dangling out of its box slithering a come hither dance, enticing me to catch a whiff of its woolly goodness.  Most people would be fooled into thinking it was my cat who playfully helped it escape and merely the A/C blowing it around, but I'm no fool.  Wool Stash, you are a devious little temptress.

I do have a lot of yarn- about 8 large plastic tubs full of wool alone.  (Side bar- Since I have so much, I've been thinking of selling kits with my patterns.  I do have enough for kits for the Watermelon Felted Tote and will be posting them soon since I've already received a request for it.)  However, it's mostly Patons. (I went a little wild at Michaels and AC Moore when I found that I loved felting.  Don't judge me.)  I love Patons- it has served me very well.  I have a few Lion Brand Wool, too- I used both wools together in the Marilyn bag I made my sister.  I love their colors, I love the way it felts, and I truly do love the way it smells.  (I went shopping with my friend and she caught me snorting smelling the wool- it would have been more embarrassing had she not known me as well as she does.) 

Anywho, I really want to try branching out with new yarns- specifically wools for felting, but also different weights to make scarves/shawls out of something other than worsted weight.  So, first I went to Webs and scored some wool that was on closeout. 

Newest addition to the fam.

I am going to try my hand at Valley Yarns wool as well as Shepherd Classic wool.  There are 5 skeins each and I bought 8 skeins of black (can't remember which brand....I was high on wool, I tell you!) but they are back ordered so I'll hopefully receive them in the next couple weeks.  (WEEKS! GAH!)

Well, I can't wait a few weeks for another fix.  My wool high was wearing off and I need another hit NOW.  I may need wool rehab.  But, can you really blame me if I found a sale for 40% off the entire freakin' store?  Oh yes, my friends.  I found a new dealer.  Eleganza Yarns in Frederick, MD had a Midnight Madness sale and, from 9-midnight this past Saturday, their entire store was 40% off.  MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!! I dragged my Mister out there at 11pm just to get another score.  Hey, he's been wanting me to get my crochet back on- blame him for being an enabler.

Caution: May cause an OD on wool
If you are a wool newbie, you may want to back away from your screen- I don't know if you can handle the potency of the wool yet.  You need to build a tolerance for it otherwise you risk a wool coma.  Clockwise from the top left:

1) Elegant yarns Kaleidoscope. It's a self striping yarn- check out some of the projects on Ravelry that have used this yarn- beautiful! It's 100% wool and feltable.  I've already planned a project with it- see below...

2) Next is Jojoland Melody superwash.  It's a DK weight and is washable- also self striping.  I am pretty sure I know what I want to make with this yarn....more on that tomorrow.

3) Dalegarn Tiur- a sport weight Mohair/wool blend from Norway.  It was on clearance- 50% off- I'm the best shopper in the world!!  Have no idea what to do with it..... 

4) The yellow yarn is Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted 100% wool.  Again, feltable.  If you noticed, I bought a lot of yellow from Webs, too.  Yellow is the one color I don't have much of in my Patons stash, so I bought more.  That and....I forgot I bought it at Webs when I was at Eleganza.  The fumes were overpowering.

5) And finally, the yarn I've been wanting to try for quite a while- Noro Silk Garden.  I started using this baby right away.  I was a little loopy and didn't know what to do with this colorful woolly goodness, so I started a Half-Granny shawl (more on that in another post).

Being on a wool high triggered my designing impulses.  Now, I'm not an organized person.  I scrawl my ideas on whatever piece of paper I may find at hand (yes, even some napkins).  I've got a lot of ideas that have been bombarding my wool-intoxicated mind and I really would like to use a *single* notebook (rather than one of the many I have strewn across my home), but I also need to utilize graph paper for some of my designs.  Yesterday I was finally able to see the solution through the cloud of the wool fumes and off to Staples I went for some more retail therapy.

I iz professional now.
I bought a spiral graph paper notebook, which I've already put to good use (have a great project for that Kaleidoscope mapped out!), some colorful pens to aid with my designing, some new color pencils (I actually already had some, but spending money is almost as addicting as snorting wool.....don't tell my Mister), pencil sharpener, and erasers. I usually do my designing with a pen; however, after putting my new notebook through the paces today, I realized I should have bought myself a pencil, as well.  Now, here's the thing....before I collected yarn, I collected writing utensils.  I have literally hundreds of pens and pencils.  Why oh why did I buy more??  I WAS HIGH ON WOOL!!!! 

So, what started this wool addiction of mine?  I actually did not start out felting with Patons.  The first item I ever felted was a messenger bag that I ended up giving to my sister-in-law.  She has the very first GegeCrochet bag!  I made it with Sensations Kashmira wool (the JoAnn's house brand).  I never got pictures of it but finally remembered to ask my SIL to send me some.  Here is my first felted project:

I made it Christmas 2007 which we spent in AZ with my in-laws.  I started it on the plane ride there and tried first hand-felting it in the bathroom sink (not on the plane).  I then used the washing machine and was very pleased with the outcome.  With my current bags, I like to felt them even more- no stitch definition at all.  But, this one holds a special place in my heart.

 I crocheted the handle and was crossing my fingers that it wouldn't be too terribly long.  It's tough to gauge when you're felting.

I also integrated a pocket.  I actually made all my bags like this until I decided to line them.  I like the simplicity of the the felted interior and may do the same thing again when I make one for me.

I actually made a second one in the same exact colors with just a slightly different stripe sequence for me.....and then my sister fell in love with it so... I gave it to her.  *Sigh* I really want a freakin' messenger bag!!! 

So, there you have it- the project responsible for my wool addiction and the ongoing consequences of that first hit.  Let this be a lesson to you, kids.  Just say no to wool.  It may lead you down paths you never would have envisioned yourself traversing- like late night shopping at a store 40 minutes away for a 40% off sale. Besides, if you say no to wool, there will be more for me! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Hello all!

Thank you Libby and Tracy for your kind words (and for those who contacted me via email or Ravmail).  I appreciate your concerns and encouragement.  (And to the recent commenters on my Mario blanket- To Anonymous- Hi back to ya!  and to Generic Viagra- I'm glad you like my blanket. Thanks for keeping it...real.)

I'm a naturally cheerful and optimistic person (some may say annoyingly so- but they are idiots) so I'm happy to report that things have been looking up for me here in Chez GegeCrochet.

First of all, as I reported last post, I've been crocheting again.  It feels good, my friends. I started one project and then was lured into starting another one.  The second one is the Andalusia Blanket from Berroco yarns- very pretty in all solids:

 but when I saw it, I saw it in black and red.

1 of 2 made....22 more to go

I'm loving it!  I'm crocheting it out of Naturally Caron Country yarn- LOOOVE this yarn!  I got it on clearance at AC Moore- it was marked $3 (clearance) and then marked down an additional 50% off.  Huge score!!  And makes for a very affordable blanket. :) I just hope I have enough of it....I think I do, but we'll see.

Second of all, I've got a shoot tomorrow.  I've not done anything on the acting front since December, so this really makes me happy.  I've missed being on set.  I actually don't know if it's a commercial or an industrial (I was so jazzed at booking it that I forgot to clarify.....oops) but it's going to be fun.  I'm really looking forward to it. :)

Third of all, I survived yet another Summer Camp a couple weeks ago.  I had so much fun and have the bruises and skinned knees to show for it. (Yes, still.  They are going to have to use a lot of cover up on me tomorrow if I wear a skirt....).  I bought 600+ water balloons and spent one morning filling them up with some fellow conspirators counselors and then we drove around in a golf cart and pelted the unsuspecting children.  Muahahahahahaha! (Since I was the most veteran of the Strike Force, I was awarded the blame......and earned every bit of it.)

Fourth of all, my birthday is coming up soon and my Mister is planning something for me.  I have no idea what- he keeps things under wraps and loves the big reveal at the end.  He's such a big kid sometimes....but I love that about him.  I'm looking forward to his surprise, but I can't say that I'm looking forward to marking another year down the tubes.  However, a very bright spot in my aging process is that I got carded at a casino this weekend.  Yep.  I had to prove that I was at least 18.  Best.Birthday.Gift.Ever.

Fifth of all, I've started exercising again.  I've been on an exercising sabbatical for 6+ months, so it's not been that easy getting back into the swing of things.  However, it was easier than I thought it would be.  Muscle memory is real, yo.  (Now, if only my fat had a memory of not existing, I'd be golden.  Or at least fit.  Spanx are on my wardrobe list for tomorrow....)

So, things truly have been looking up for me.  For real.  I'm feeling....alive again, and that feels good.  You know what else feels good? Naturally Caron Country yarn.  Go to a store and pet it- you'll thank me later.

As for me, I've got to go downstairs and have it out with that darn treadmill.  Ugh.  I'm trying to convince myself that feeling sore feels good, too.  Yeah......I'd rather pet the yarn instead.  But, that muffin top in the mirror kinda wins the argument.  Yep.  I'm going to forget the treadmill and use the yarn to make bigger pants.  Win. Win.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Reawakening

You know, grief is a strange thing. You may think that all is well and you are perfectly fine for a while and then....BAM! It hits you in waves you thought you had already survived. You feel like you had been treading water just fine, thank you very much, and then....BOOM! The tidal wave hits.

That's where I've been lately. Treading water and trying to keep my head above so that I won't drown.

No. I'm not able to discuss what has been causing this grief, but I've been trying to keep my head above it since the beginning of December. I thought I was doing well since I was able to “keep my New Year's Resolutions” for a while. Even managed to make an entertaining blog post or two. But, the fact of the matter was that I was ignoring the hurt and pain. It's been nearly 7 months since this grief first showed it's ugly little head and nearly that long that I was able to ignore it- push it aside since I am a “strong” girl. Well, it turns out that I'm not superhuman after-all and I need to be able to ride those waves instead of trying to duck them at every pass.

I've been doing a lot better in the past month or so. I've not been hiding in my books or trying to duck those waves by playing hours upon hours of video games. There's not much I truly remember since January (I really should re-read my blog posts to see what I was up to) since I was mainly coasting on autopilot and showing the world (or at least my friends/loved ones....even myself) that I was ok. I wasn't ok. But, I'm getting there.

I thought I was getting “ok” over a month ago when I got off that lousy medication that muted the Me I remember. I was getting “ok” but wasn't truly all there. Today is the first day in nearly 3 months that I picked up my beloved crochet hooks. I hadn't read a book since my last posting on The Thirteenth Tale I made months ago....that was when I was trying to prove to myself that I was fine.

I'm slowly but surely now facing those ugly feelings and emotions that I tried so hard to brush under the rug. I know it's healthy for me and I know that I should have done this months ago. But, I was “too strong” back then. Now, I know that it's not really strength that allows you to ignore pain- it's strength that allows you to get through it. I'm becoming stronger now.

I saw a pattern on Ravelry that awakened my spirit. My Mister has been telling me for quite a while that I need to start crocheting again- get my creative juices flowing. I kept telling him (and myself), “Yeah! Of course! I have a project on my mind that I want to flesh out.” But, the truth of the matter was that I was trying to convince us both that I was “me” again. I wasn't. I've been feeling “me” trying to burst through that hard shell I've been building up around myself for awhile and I think that today I've finally made it through the cracks that have been forming. I started crocheting today.

So, dear blog readers, I'm sorry I've not been here updating as much as I would have liked to, filling page upon page with the ideas that used to swarm my brain. I've muted out those voices and pictures for a while and am just now finding them again. I'm starting a project that isn't one that I created- when I saw it, it was like a spark lit the fuse in my heart and I've missed that feeling. It started awakening parts of me that have been dormant for a while. I've got lots of projects that are almost done- and have been almost done for months- that have caught my eye. I want to finish them now. I think I'm ready to at least try.

So. Here I am. Trying to keep my head above the water. The colors and pictures that were alive in me are starting to reawaken. I hope they stay- I've missed them. I've missed me.

Here's to the Summer of Awakening 2010. I hope to see you all there.