Author: xolabajola

I'm a fiber and textile artist located south of Montreal, Quebec

10K Reasons – 12 Feb

10,000 Reasons To Be Happy is an homage to a book my father bought me when I was an overly goth, self-harming and depressed adolescent;  14,000 Things to Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer, in which I list 5ish things that made me happy this week.  The goal is not to get to ten thousand, the goal is to remember the little things, every day.

Short little post today.  I’ll be totally honest with you, I have been in the midst of an emotional breakdown, this month, so that’s why there is no WOTY Wednesday, and no 10K Reasons last week and no WOTY this week.  I’m forcing myself to do this one since, it seemed appropriate; I need to find reasons to be happy.  Some of the things on the list will be very basal, as this is where I have to go to find happiness.

  • the squealchy sound that light dusty snow makes when you walk on it.
  • the fact that I have shelter from the cold and food to nourish me.
  • the contented sigh my dog makes when she’s found a comfy spot.
  • I am loved, protected and safe to have an emotional breakdown and work through my shit
  • strawberry smoothies for breakfast.
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10,000 Reasons – 29 Jan

Gratitude Friday is a ritual that Nolwenn Petitbois from Inner Voices started and I was participating in, for a couple weeks but, realized what I really wanted to be doing was my own thing.

This.  *smile*

10,000 Reasons To Be Happy is an homage to a book my father bought me when I was an overly goth, self-harming and depressed adolescent;  14,000 Things to Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer.  It’s just a list of 14,000 things that make the author happy.  Yeah, my father gave me that same look when I said I wanted it.  It’s just a list…of things, that make her happy.

Small actions have a big impact

It didn’t seem like much, I admit, but, when things were bad, and I found myself feeling like there was no reason to be alive, I would pick up the book and underline or hightlight a few things I agreed with.  I started to feel better, thinking of the things that made *her* happy and knowing that there were things we had in common.  Further, I realized that this was probably how people made themselves happy, by looking for the little things.

So, in an effort to be more authentic, I’ve created this.  It feels more my style.  The point is not to make it to the ten thousand things, the point is to list the little things that I noticed made me happy, this week, to keep record of them and to share them with the world.  Tell me if any of them make you happy, as well, and feel free to share with me what made you happy.  It’s about connection, after all.

  • the falling snow
  • watching my dog excitedly run down to the end of the hallway to the door to go outside before I correct her and tell her we are going out the other door and she has to run all the way back, almost bouncing like a rabbit
  • meeting my partner outside, walking from the bus stop
  • pulling together a ‘dinner’ with random ingredients
  • being inspired by my pulled together dinner to make a more refined dish

 

 

 

WOTY Wednesday! 27 Jan

Not feeling super WOTY this Wednesday

Paint, Plan & Chronicle with Suzi Blu is something I’m half-doing, half-not-doing.  I like the idea of having a planner and I like using tape and markers to make it prettier so I’m using her as motivation, she’s super-inspirational.  The planner spread is nicer looking now, more details and such, but I didn’t want to share my personal planner fodder with you, because, you know….boundaries.  😀

I’m sharing this with you because I’m feeling at a loss, this week.  Nothing was really done to “refine and focus” my life.  I did a lot of white-knuckling it with my medication withdrawal symptoms (wrote about those here, feeling better), so most of my time was spent either dizzy / nauseous or pouring sweat and in a pissy mood.

When faced with writing this blog post, I reached a place of some resistance.  “How is doing this really gonna help anyone?  Does it *really* matter?  Does anyone even care?  Does it really matter if this goes up *on* Wednesday?”  Well, yeah…it does.  It matters, to me.  Even if no one reads what I’m writing, I’m writing it for me, I’m doing the refining in my life for me.  Sharing it with others is just the cherry on top and if I stop now, if I say, “this doesnt *have* to”, I’m saying that about myself.  If this is for me, and I can so easily put ‘me’ aside, how do I expect to grow and change?  How do I expect to be this better person, the person I feel I was supposed to be before all the hurt and trauma, if I don’t make active changes to my behavior?

SO!  Here’s what I sorted and photographed this week!

WIP Round-up

Here is a picture of my works in progress on canvas.

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I sorted, took photos.  Touched each of them to see if anything “jumped out at me” and said it needed attention.  Here are a few pictures of some individual WIPs.

 

And two faces I started.  The one with the embellishments is supposed to be Queen Maude of Norway.  Her hair looks so much like an afro, a triangular afro, and her arms are so tightly tucked against her body, that it throws me off and I get embarrassed just holding the canvas.  Can’t fix it if I can’t even hold on to it.  Thinking, she may end up in pieces, many of those pieces residing in the dumpster.

I hate drawing / painting hair….why does it have to look so shitty?

That’s All Folks!

Anyway, that is all for now.  I’m going to be making a slight change to my Friday offering, to make it more ‘me’.   Hope you’re as excited as I am!  Not saying how excited that is but if you’re at least where I am then, it could maybe be something more than nothing!  Lol! 😀  YAY!

Off My Meds

So as I have stated, I had an adverse reaction to a medication I take regularly, at the end of last year, and I have only started to resolve the problem, at the start of this year.  It just so happens that the offending medication is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor I take for my agoraphobia and other anxiety issues.  These medications are not the sort that you can simply just stop taking.  You must taper on and taper off them or you’re gonna be in one epic and massive world of hurt.

Well, if you’ve known me for any period of time, something you will realize about me is that I am stubborn.  I try not to be, I realize how destructive it can be, alas, I am not perfect…so I pitch mental fits, like a 2-year old.  If I can not see the point or purpose of doing something “your” way, I just wont do it that way…period.  Nothing can be said or done.  Enter my medication.

The Adventure Begins…

On the first trip to my dermatologist, he said it looked like lichen planus, we took a biopsy and got on google, searching ‘lichen planus (xxx)’ with every medication I take and there was one study associated with my Cipralex.  From this we drew the conclusion that it must be this but to be safe, we wait for confirmation.  I was told I would get the biopsy results and should have my stitches out, at that time (biopsy spot on my wrist had two stitches) I would get the results.  Two weeks from my appointment was Christmas Eve, didnt realize at the time but, yeah.

On Dec 20th, my sutures looked like they were healed and since I, sadly, have a lot of experience with injuries around my hands, I knew if they stayed in longer, it would be an ugly-ass scar so, enter the stubborn “I have a pair of sharp scissors and I know how to fucking cut thread” girl.  The following day, I called to get the results of my biopsy but the doctor is on vacation, because wtf its the week before Christmas and, who isnt? (the lady I was talking to on the phone?  maybe?)  So she tells me, so apologetically, that the results are, in fact, in the file but since the doctor hasn’t seen them, and signed off on them, she can’t tell me what they are.  oh.my.fucking.gawd.are.you.serious…  *deep breath*  Okay, okay…that’s fair, I get it.  What if she suddenly has a stroke and in the midst of telling me what the paper says, she inadvertently tells me I have rectal cancer and Im gonna die in 3 days instead of….oh, I dont know, “yeah its your meds”.  I get it, whatever…safety first.  Of course I thank her, she is the messenger and I’m certain she sees the stupidity in it also..

In this moment, I have an overwhelming need to just take responsibility for myself, or maybe it was just a rush of frustration, helplessness and desperation.  I decided I would start to “taper” myself off my Cipralex.  Now.  A smart person would, at this point, go do some research about what that safely meant.  My IQ is above-average, I’m certainly no hill-billy but, did I do that?  No…no I didnt….because I’m stubborn and on the inside, still a lost little girl trying to fake like I got it under control.  So with the mental thrashings of a child wildly flailing logic and restrictions off, I decide since I was taking half of my current dosage, not that long ago, I can knock it down by half and be okay.

And I was.  Okay.  Until Jan 7th, when I went to see the dermatologist for the follow-up, where the results *did* confirm that it was lichen planus caused by a medication or “outside influence, not genetic”.  Now…here is the absolute epicenter of my frustration and the ‘inciting incident’ for the pain and suffering that has followed.  I blame no one but myself, regardless of the clusterfuck, I chose this and I accept it.

Welcome to the Shitshow

There *is* socialized medicine in Canada.  I don’t have to pay for medical care BUT.  If I chose to, I can.  Now, when I first arrived here, and I was not a resident or eligible for social services and still needing to get my medication, we found a private clinic.  My doctor that prescribes my Cipralex is at this clinic, so is my dermatologist, conveniently.  You would think, since I just found out from one doctor in the clinic, that a message could somehow be sent to another doctor in the same fucking clinic, that a patient they see is having a reaction to a medication they prescribe causing them to see another doctor in the clinic and how about you change the meds……..but no.  I have to make another appointment for a week later, come back and see my main doctor so she can write a new medication on a piece of paper.

My stubborn side is going crazy….are you fucking serious, this is really how it has to be….fuck this, fuck you, fuck Cipralex, it’s been 18 days at 50% dosage, I’m stopping.  I’m not taking this medication that I *know* is causing this shit all over my skin, I’m just not doing it.  LOL!  Not only am I not doing it, I’m just not going to go get a new prescription, either.  I’m going to see if I am ready to operate, without meds.  I’ve been taking that one for 3+ years.

You know, I was fine for about…eight days.  Then there was a sickness I couldn’t shake, cold sweats, dizziness, brain zaps worse than I have ever felt, stopping me in my tracks.  Nausea.  Profound sweating.  For shits and giggles, I looked up what the appropriate taper level is for Cipralex (10% every 3 days; not half for 10 days then cold turkey), side effects for stopping too quickly and how to cope with them.  Here is a list of the ones I am dealing with:

  • aggression
  • balance issues
  • brain zaps
  • concentration impairment
  • crying spells
  • dizziness
  • electric shock sensations
  • hallucinations
  • hostility
  • highly emotional
  • indigestion
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • increased headaches
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • over-reacting to situations (my poor partner, seriously)
  • tingling sensations
  • troubling thoughts
  • vivid dreams

It’s been 16 days off my meds.  The painful side effects are lessening.  I still feel very much like a fire hose that’s on and no one is controlling it, sort of like, Laurey with the lid off.  I find myself reacting to everything, whereas prior to this, I felt calm within.  I’m trying not to let just that small aspect of this, derail me as it has me asking myself, “Well, was that really progress or was that the pills?”  I know I can’t possibly know that answer right now, as it’s still too soon.

Positivity Round-up

Regardless of the amount of pain and discomfort I’m in, I am actually excited to take the cast off and try to walk without the crutches.  I know it won’t be easy, and I expect to stumble but, I’m excited and optimistic to try.

Here’s some pretty pictures I took of one of my journal covers.

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Gratitude Friday – Jan 22

Gratitude Friday is a ritual that Nolwenn Petitbois from Inner Voices has started and I am excited to participate in.

This week, I am grateful for:

  • Overnight guests that remind me that I really am still an excited, little girl deep down, and that’s perfectly as it should be
  • Modern medicine
  • Ancient rituals of healing
  • Being able to use both without ridicule.
  • Fresh fruit smoothies and drinking my breakfast

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  • Sunshine when everything is covered with snow
  • The crisp feel of freezing cold air in my lungs
  • Having a warm, safe place to exist, where I am loved and appreciated
  • Knowing I have time to work out issues from my past, and not wasting it
  • and for the very first time ever, I’m grateful for being empathic

WOTY Wednesdays! – 20 Jan

This week’s WOTY Wednesday is going to be different from last week’s, as I have started to turn towards the internal.  My health and physical being have drawn my attention quite staunchly, this week, and as such, I wasn’t focused so much on objects to get rid of.  Having the lichen planus has caused me to stop taking one of my medications in a way that is not wise, and I am paying the price.

I continued to sort the objects in my drawers, even though I stated I needed to wait.  I limited myself to the fine liners and pens that I have been gathering, sorting the actual art ones (Sakura microns, my magic wand [carbon pen] and some brush pens from Art Snacks) from the cheapie colored felt tip pens.  This allowed me to recognize the need for a zipper bag dedicated to just them, thus clearing a drawer in the tower closest to me.

Granted, none of that means shit as the main source of my suffocation comes from the strangulation of my desk.  Self-shaming:

Now, that is bad, I know.  There was a time, really not that long ago, that this type of cocooning, this ferreting behavior, was extremely soothing to me.  Feeling surrounded by “things” I enjoyed, on some level, served to protect me.  From what?  Vulnerability.  Exposure.  I was feeling both of these things, very painfully.

My desk, so cluttered you can’t even see the top, is something I am rather proud of.  At the end of the year, I was struggling with needing to be organized, feeling unable to resolve that and feeling helpless for a place to begin.   The top of my desk has become a touchstone.   I have made an exacting effort to keep an area, big enough to open my journal/ planner/ sketchbook flat, clean and clutter free.  Doing this for roughly six weeks, has transferred to other aspects of my life, where I struggle with clutter and cleaning.

Saturday night, we had overnight guests.  This awoke the inner eleven year girl, excited to have the perfect snacks, the perfect dinner, all the right art supplies, the lighting is perfect, seating isn’t ass-numbing, omg I made carrot cake and there’s a hockey game and I’m having a sleepover!!!   whew..  settle down now.  Sunday morning, we woke earlier than we should have, letting our guests sleep, I found myself walking around, picking up all my art supplies and putting them away (I say ‘away’ to imply that I shoved them in the office relatively close to where I’d gotten them from the night before).

It’s The Little Things

This action may seem small to those who have the habit of picking up after themselves but, to those of us who are struggling with creating this habit, it’s a pretty fucking big deal.  There was no internal eye-rolling at the thought of *having* to pick up, no overwhelming dread, no bargaining with myself about how it’s “not *that* big of a deal if it stays on the table for a while, no one is using the table anyway.”  I just picked it up because I wanted the room to look nice again, and in that moment, I decided I would give some of the supplies we used, to our guest.  Ones that I realized, while they were using, that I was never going to enjoy them to the level that I knew they could/would.  Another small action of refinement and focus, for my artistic voice.

Final Thought

So, we end this WOTY Wednesday with a cleaner pen drawer, a sac o’ fineliners and a stronger feeling of focus and purpose.  I gotta say it was a good day, err week.  😀

 

WOTY Wednesdays! — WTF is that?

 

WOTY (WHOA-tee) = Word of the Year

This whole concept of Word of the Year, thrust into my lexicon when I discovered art journaling in 2010-ish, has confused and sometimes frightened me.  How can I possibly pick just one word to sum up the direction of my upcoming year when I have zero clue what the future holds or how my life is going to shift or change throughout the year?  Then, to put this word all over journal covers, planners, bullet journals and journal spreads?  So much commitment!  It just feels like a New Year’s resolution and those I never see as anything more than an opportunity to fail and then hate myself for it.  Only with this, I have a bunch of hand-painted shit, colorfully celebrating my failure.  Washi tape dulls the sting of failure, washi tape cures all.

2015 was in my Top 3 Worst Years of My Fucking Life.  Turning 40 wasn’t so much of an issue as I’m not vain and I don’t feel I’m losing my beauty, as I know, for me, that comes from inside.  I feel my body is just the vessel my soul uses to engage with with other souls in the world, so why would how it looks have any effect on my beauty as a human being? It wouldn’t and doesn’t but, all these health problems I had sure as shit made me wish I could get a new body that was in better condition, for a little while.  A rental…

At the beginning of this year (and the end of last), there was the expected sea of posts, prompts and spreads about our Words of the Year and how we felt about them, their back stories and everyone’s hopes they’ve attached that this year we could exert some real change in our lives.  And for some reason, this year, I drank the Kool Aid.

PURGE!

Looking around my half (three-quarters) of our office, seeing how I am literally surrounded by supplies.  Pics or it didn’t happen.

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I am sometimes so surrounded by the quantity of things that I have that there is no room to actually MAKE anything.  So, I decided my life, and art stash, needs a purge.  And since I am an anxiety-prone person, I over-think things.  When I think about the word ‘purge’, the first thought I have, sadly, is of bulimics.  Having had issues with food control and having several members of my inner circle suffering from an eating disorder in some form or fashion, I decided that using Purge feels wrong.  While it is what I wish to have happen, because I am feeling so trapped by all that is around me that I just want it all gone, I know that what makes the most sense for the long run is for me to slow my roll and look at my things, decide if I’m *really* ever gonna use it and keep it if yes and if no, say thank you and move on, Marie Kondo style.

Refine & Focus

SO!  Along that ilk and with a softer feel, forward I go with my word(s) of the year: Refine and Focus.  My intent is to examine different aspects of my life, both external and internal, and see how I can refine (remove the clutter) and focus my energies to creating the life I want, and bringing my Pure-self to life.

Now to the whole point of WOTY Wednesday! (I’m so long-winded and talky).  This blog feature is going to be where I hold myself accountable.  If I have to come here and face you all every week, I will be more likely to stay focused.  😀  See what I did there?   Also, I was thinking that in the process of refining my craft stash, I could offer my hand-me-downs.  I am creating a box for my niece and one for a friend (shhhh it’s a seekrit) but all else goes to the masses..  lol I crack me up, like more than 3 people read this blog…

THIS WEEK: Collage Fodder

To start us off, I went straight for papers that just are taking up space; my collage fodder.  This includes magazine cutouts, maps, music sheets, scrapbook papers, book text, wrapping paper, paper napkins, tissue paper (silk paper), painted text paper, painted tissues and paper towels. Four drawers of a five drawer tower, just for things I’m not even totally sure I will ever use.  Sitting down with these things last night, had me really asking myself where I am going forward in my art ‘career’.  Am I ever gonna really use these magazine cut outs?  No, probably not.  That’s not really my style, though I like to see how others do.

Here are an assortment of napkins arranged in piles as I try to decide how I wanna separate and package them for anyone who wants them.  Gonna put them in my shop later today or tomorrow.

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And here is a close up shot of some painted papers that will be making their way into the homes of others, shortly.

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Final Thought, Jerry Springer Style

Starting this process has me eager to continue but I know this is a combination of my deep desire to get rid of this “shit” (it’s not shit but Im angry at it so it gets insulted) and to start breathing, really breathing.  All of this clutter around me, in every aspect of life, is choking me and in many ways, I feel very much like a race horse being held back.  I have wanted for so long, to go forth, to start my life, to explode like fireworks, to just go and trust and move in the direction pure self dictates but have been held back, by health problems and lack of clarity.  Health problems are improving so it’s clarity time.  I’m ready.

 

 

Birth of my Pure-self Portrait

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Earlier this week, if you’re a friend on Facebook, you may have seen this photo I posted with a very brief blurb about how I hate acrylic paints and I’m a “needle & thread girl” blah blah.  I wanted to elaborate some because, I feel, this is something that I think a lot of us face, on some level.

A Brief History of Laurey’s Artful(less) Life

Growing up, my mother was a major influence in my life in a great deal of ways, some good, some bad.  She was, in my youth, a ceramic hobbyist.  She would frequent a small ceramic shop close to our house and made friends with the owner, a lady that happen to also live in our neighborhood.  As I grew, so did my mother’s love of ceramics.  Eventually, she ran a couple businesses of her own and because of this, I grew up in a ceramic shop, in some form or another.  To this day, I adore the smell of greenware dust, the smell of the liquid slip and the metallic scent of the underglazes.  I have a small cache of extremely happy memories associated to those times in my life, but I also have a much larger (sadly) stash of bad memories.

Now, I believe that at any given time, all any of us can do is live our lives from a place of where we currently are.  Duh.  😀  What that means, though, is that if I am currently hurting, this is the place I am living my life from.  All of my actions towards others are filtered through this hurt and the hurt becomes the lens of my life.  So, let’s say, if I felt passionately about ceramics and it became what I turned to, to heal my hurt and I became so deeply attached to it that when my youngest daughter showed an equal interest in it, because she loved her mommy and wanted to do things with her that she knew her mommy liked, maybe that hurt I’m looking at everything through, would make me see something else, like my baby girl is trying to take this special thing that is mine and I would have to share…and I would react from a place of protection, like an alligator over her clutch, or an older sibling upset the younger sibling was taking something that was “theirs”.  I have no idea what the truth is on my mother’s part: it’s her story to tell.  I just know that how I was made to feel and how those feelings permeated every aspect of my development of “self”.

Another aspect of ceramics, that I didn’t mention in my “happy memories” is the kiln fired stage of: bisque.  This is what happens when you fire “greenware”.  You can underglaze greenware fire it, then put a clear glaze over it and fire it again to get the glass-like finish or you can just fire to the bisque stage and paint with…you guessed it, acrylic paints.  The ones that were used seemed to be like they were marketed towards ceramists but I am 100% certain you could use the shit craft paint from the dollar store since you would have to spray a finish over it at the end, no matter what because you cant fire the acrylics, they would incinerate.

Anyway, there’s more to ceramics than that but I’m only explaining because I made this association, recently.  The acrylic paints Im using for art journaling are bringing up irritation from this time of my life.  I’d already drawn the connection between my obsession with the eyes on the ladies I draw and paint feeling dead and wrong to my mother because she was so good at painting eyes that students in the classes she hosted always begged her to paint the eyes on their figurines.  This was after I explored why I hated drawing/painting faces.

Pin-Cushion Fingers

So, having all these negative feelings around something that I’m supposed to be liking, something I’m paying money to learn to do, just adds pressure and stress.  It occurs to me, “This is not who I am.”  So then one has to ask, “Okay, who are you, then?”  I don’t know.  I search back to the earliest moment I can remember feeling creative, what was the source of that joy?  A little brown sewing basket.  It had a pair of scissors (super dull), a tapestry needle my momma threaded for me and the two pieces of preprinted Carebear doll fabric  (Cheer bear, fyi…yeah, the pink one….*shiver*) my mom cut out and started stitching for me.  I was so proud to sew the fabric together, even if the pretty sides were touching and I couldnt see the doll yet, I knew it was there, I knew it was coming and it was gonna be awesome because *I* made it.

So, if sewing and stitching are that creative spark, it makes sense that I love fabrics and textures, as well as colors.  It makes sense that when I moved in with my sister, whose artistic pursuits have never been denied or questioned, my first magnetized action was towards embroidery and cross-stitch.  I loved the freedom of the embroidery stitches but everything was Christmas trees and Easter baskets, so to cross stitch I went because even if its just a million little x’s, I can use those like pixels and create anything….well, in theory.  Cross stitch lead to knitting and crochet which lead to accusations of being an “old lady”, even though the name-caller was older than me.  So into ‘hiding’ I went.  I sewed some beads I had, onto a piece of felt with a sewing needle and thread, one day.  Everything about that object made me happy but when I showed it off, with pride, it was answered with the dream-killing, “What’s it supposed to be?”  Creativity is so fragile.  Little did I know, in this dark time, I found my saving grace.  A little picture on Pintrest, a close up of a woven embroidery stitch that wasnt a fucking easter basket, it was just there….no apologies, no excuses, no purpose other than to be what it was, beautiful.

EN-EE-WAYZ

If you’re still with me, wow…thanks.  Fast forward to now.  I am truly free to not only explore who I am but to be whomever I decide, without judgement.  In the process of therapy, I’ve come to refer to the voice within as “My Pure Self”.  This is the voice that tells me what is right for me, some people say it’s God, some say it’s intuition, I say it’s the person I would be if I wasn’t “living my life from the place I currently am on my journey.”  She is, my essence and I listen to her, as staunchly as I can.  Doing so feels authentic, it feels purposeful and appropriate.

So when I see this interview with the creator of the woven stitches that so warmed my heart, Arlee Barr, I read slowly, taking the time to not just read the words but think on them.  I examine all her works of art and am struck by her piece, Sad Self Portrait.  It just clicks.  All the faces I’ve struggled to be happy with, created in paint/pen/marker, it was to create this face to stitch.  That piece of fabric I tried a “tie dye” technique on, using watered down fabric paints, that ended up a big spiral with a fractured arms, what if I put the center of that on the “third eye” of a face I drew…I could stitch it, and stitch other colored fabrics to it, and cover it with textured stitches, a lotus, my hand, circles and more loosely stitched lotus, she would be the image of what I imagine my pure self to be.  She would be my, Pure-self Portrait.

So it begins

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Stitches were too light so I used a water soluble marker to darken the stitches.  Below is how they looked wet.

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This is the stitches after I ironed them dry.

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Still not dark enough so I used a black fabric marker from Pebeo.  Much better

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Here is the basic layout of the other painted fabrics and an old bedsheet.

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And here is the sketch I created for basic fabric layout and appliqued lotus placement.

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To be Continued…

 

 

Gratitude Friday – 1/8/2016

Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday is a ritual that Nolwenn Petitbois from Inner Voices has started and I am excited to participate in.

Super way late, I know.  Again.  Timing is not as important to me as the message and since I have skin issues right now (drug-induced lichen planus) that are causing pain in my feet and hands, making typing, and really everything, painful, I’m grateful I can do it, at all.

As I mentioned above, I am currently suffering with a skin affliction.  If you were to look it up, it would look pretty benign but it’s not a normal case.  I have the small legions all over and large “plaques” on the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet.  I’m on a Prednisone taper, have a corticosteroid ointment and have stopped taking the offending medication.

Deciding that I wanted to do this feature on my blog prompted me to keep track, daily or quasi-daily, of things I was grateful for during the week so that when it came time to make this post, I would have a list to pull from and I could see common themes.  *Smile*  I noticed, since every day I was in so much pain, unable to walk, to grasp anything, the first thing on my daily list of things I am grateful for was : My partner.

So today’s Gratitude Friday is me taking a moment to express how endlessly grateful I am for him.  I know how much stress he is under on a normal basis but for him to spend his winter break, a coveted and badly needed break, tending to me.  He did all the dishes.  He cooked all the meals, took Maisy for every walk, all the laundry, all the everything….without complaint.  As a matter of fact, it was with a smile and a kiss to shush my apologies and ease my sadness and guilt, to quash my budding tears.

Thank you, Olivier.  I love you, without end and without measure.

Gratitude Friday 1/1/16

Gratitude Friday

I’m sure this post won’t actually make it up on January 1st, Friday but, I figure it’s worth it, even if its a bit late.  Gratitude Friday is a ritual that Nolwenn Petitbois from Inner Voices has started and I am excited to participate in.

So, here at Raven + Lotus, we will be doing Gratitude Fridays!  YAY!

This week I am grateful for:

  • having a warm and comfortable home
  • Pamala’s chili recipe
  • my life partner
  • his family
  • snickerdoodles
  • my new blog
  • having room to grow into whoever I decide to be with no nudging or judging
  • embroidery
  • making decisions and feeling strong in them