Monday, August 17, 2009

You know you've spent too much time with your cats when...

You know you've spent too much time with your cats when:
  1. You could spend hours sitting by the window.
  2. You enjoy stretching out into crazy positions.
  3. You spend multiple hours a day napping.
  4. You ingest several pounds of cat fur a year
  5. You start getting hungrier before a big storm
  6. You find yourself excited over shiny objects and pieces of string
  7. You wake up from said naps in contorted positions
  8. You stare at the world backwards, just in case it looks better upside down
  9. You take these naps on the floor, in the chair and on top of clean, warm clothes
  10. You communicate volumes with a simple tilt of the head and look in your eye

These are just a few of the habits I notice that I start to pick up after spending many months with my baby girls. I think it might be time for me to get out of the house a little more... before I turn into a feline completely!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

One Stitch At a Time

One of my favorite things about crafting is that, no matter what the art form, there is a lesson just waiting to be learned. There are so many possible avenues for the mind to focus on while crafting... all of which can be translated into rather potent life lessons.

This morning is a perfect example of such phenomenon. After my morning routine of making a large pot of coffee (hazelnut of course) and sipping on the delectable delight while reviewing the evening affairs of various friends and acquaintances on Facebook and email, I decided to try my hand at the latest of my crafting endeavors. I made collaged journals that I hope to sell at the coven's booth during Pagan Pride Day. I also make these wonderful journaling dice that provide structure to the mental meanderings of the writer. A friend suggested (thank you Courtney!) on Thursday night that I make these dice as well and put them together with the journals for a more uniquely-Kayti gifting idea. I LOVE IT!

I was walking around the aisle of WalMart yesterday (hey, I'm broke!) and was looking for small cloth bags to house the ceramic dice - preferably something that would match the color schemes of the journals (hello OCD). I was rounding the corner of the scrapbooking aisle when I stopped dead in my tracks. Why not make them myself? The thought lingered a moment or two before being inundated with all the many reasons that I shouldn't do this. Why not? Chimed in that voice that says "fuck you" to naysayers and doubt. And why not won out.

This morning I decided to experiment with this idea. I had drawn a rough sketch during a particularly boring meeting yesterday and determined it was time to test my theories. I was quite pleased at the success during my first attempt at making a little pouch bag. Around the time I needed to work on the drawstring section... I hit a road block. My original idea was to use toothpicks to hold the space open, finish the bag, then weave the cord in at the end. After stitching up the first side, I realized there were a few issues. The toothpicks really didn't move. Problem One. The cord didn't fit into the eye of my many needles. Problem Two. The tape that was holding the toothpicks together had fallen off into the sewn-together pieces. Problem Three.

I made several attempts to rectify the situation and found myself growing increasingly more frustrated. I managed to remove the toothpicks, but that tape wasn't budging and the cord just wasn't going to fit. I tried many more needles, until I realized that I just had to accept the fact that a thick cord was NOT going to ever fit inside the hole of a tiny needle. Why was I trying to force something into a size that it should not be. (oooo, do we see where I'm going with this?) Alas, I resigned myself that the best way to move FORWARD was, in fact, to start over. Not completely though, as the one set of stitches on the side was already doing just fine. I snipped off the complicated section and carefully removed enough thread to avoid ruining the progress already made. I went straight to the cord and put it into the fabric... sewing around it. Why was I was trying to make it more complicated? What was the danger in using the actual material instead of "testing ground" with a wooden stunt double? What was I afraid of?

The next issue... I don't have straight pins. At first, I considered going to the store and buying some. Then again... I have many needles. I don't need to follow the straight-and-narrow path to accomplish my goals. The needles worked fine in holding the fabric in place.

The end product was outstanding. I'm very pleased and excited to start another bag soon. The lessons of the day???

- Sometimes to move forward, we must accept our limitations and go back to a point in time where we were on track. Pick up the pieces from there and start over.
- Sometimes to move forward, we must think outside of the normal logic and find a sturdy, suitable substitute to help us on our way.
- Sometimes in our efforts to protect ourselves (in this case the cord) we actually complicated the situation and create more work for ourselves along the way.
- The only way to continuously move forward is to take it one stitch at a time.

And now? I've refilled my coffee and grabbed an apple for a snack. I'm off to the post office to mail out a birthday present to my forever friend and to the grocery store for experimenting with new tastes and new foods and new recipes. Next up on my agenda? Starting to figure out my dish for Lammas today... going with what tastes good and works well together instead of what another recipe tells me to do exactly. Creativity is more than just arts and crafts... it filters into every aspect of a life.

I challenge you to embrace your creativity and to allow it to guide you in whatever endeavors you put forward. One stitch at a time.