Friday, January 31, 2014

still present tense

Everything, EVERYTHING reminds me of him!  I was just commenting on a blog about the new Sherlock and I was *this* close to writing that my husband loved Sherlock Holmes and that's how I started to like it also......I guess I could have written that but somehow feel I'm not ready to write about him in the past tense if that makes any sense?  At almost 10 months I know that it is now past tense but he is still in everything in my mind, my life that is still feels so present tense.  I feel like he is still so alive to me, I haven't accepted that he truly is gone.  I look for him everywhere.  I still want to tell him about everything that happens during a day or when something cool or dumb or anything happens.

Growing up I always love "oldies" music from the 50's and 60's.  I always loved the song "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous always pricked something in my heart, touched a longing there that I wasn't always aware of.  Then the movie Ghost came out in the 90's (?) I think and the song was made popular again.  Scott and I never had a song that was "our song", mostly because our likes changed so much, so we have more like a song for each period of time.  Like when we were dating there was a song that will always remind me of that time.  Well, when Scott was in Korea Leanne Rimes did a remake of Unchained Melody and that song was back on the radio a lot again.  Not sure why but I listened to that song last night and so many memories attached to it, and I have such a longing for him in my heart.  And I think maybe I still feel like he's going to come home, he's just been deployed or something like when he was in Korea.  I don't know, I know I don't make much sense.

Mostly I just miss him so much.  I wish he were still here and we could be watching the new Sherlock together and then discussing it, like we did with the first 2 seasons.  I'm really enjoying it and think it's so clever and Benedict Cumberbatch is so intriguing - in case you were wondering.  I think that's what I miss the most today - someone who cares to know what I think about a tv show. Or anything.  Not just care but be here and exchange conversation, expression, love, laughter.

As always. I know there is nothing you or anyone can say to make me feel better.  There will be no feeling better, I have my ups and downs and that is completely normal.  Right now I'm just down.  Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully the sun will be out.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nine Dash

I'm calling this quilt "Nine Dash" because it is an amalgam of churn dash blocks with nine patch blocks mixed in.  I know I've written about the inspiration for this quilt, but I'll briefly catch you up.  I was blog cruising and came across this quilt and I really like the bold bright color with the low volume prints in the back round.  Buuuuuut I'm not currently a huge fan of the plus sign quilts so I tucked the idea away.  Enter Quilty magazine churn dash pattern.  So, I thought what about super bright churn dashes with a back round of low volume prints?  Yeah. yeah, that's the ticket.  As with all the quilts I make I use a design wall and it just wasn't quite right.  I quickly put some squares in between so see how I liked that and it was just right.  And, I really like the secondary pattern that began to emerge, almost like an asterisk, the low volume lighter fabrics of the nine patches and then the corners of the churn dashes made it's own pattern.  Love.
 I hung the quilt up in the branches of one of the backyard trees because it wouldn't stay on the fence and Rocky had to investigate the situation! Silly dog.
 The back came about because I had two extra churn dash squares left over from the front.  I can't quite remember now if they were just extra or had come out the wrong size.  Could be either.  As with most of the quilts I make I just have to add a bit extra to the back.  My Mom had given me this kitten fabric and I LOVE it. Love.  When I was pawing through my stash for the back I came across it and it is just perfect.  The blue was a twin sized sheet.
 I started the quilting on this Friday night, woke up early Saturday morning before work and quilted about an hour and then finished it Saturday afternoon.  For the binding I wanted kind of a solid.  At first I was thinking I'd do a scrappy binding with all the leftover bits of binding I have kept, but thought the quilt was busy enough.  I found this white and teal plaid that I felt fit the mood of the quilt.  I do bias binding, this tutorial is the one I follow, I feel like it's easy to understand and has good measurements already figured out.  Anyhow, one I cut the binding on the bias it made this fun cross-hatch pattern.  I don't know if you can tell from the above picture but the green in the binding matches almost exactly with the grass by the turtles.
I used a ton of fabric that I really, really love.  I only had a teensy bit of this blue with the bicycles.  Bah! I love it so.  The quilt finished up at about 78" by 79".

I don't think you can tell so much in this picture but the blue churn dash has poodles holding red balloons.  How could that not make you smile?  I started this quilt before Scott died so it's been such a friend to me.   It's been so comfortable to work on, I used to many fabrics that are adorable and make me smile, florals that I love.  When I have been sad it's cheered me up a little.  In a way, it's also a comfort to know that Scott saw this quilt and liked it.  This quilt will always make me happy :)  So, now that I've finished this I get to think of starting a new quilt or finishing up another WIP.  What will it be??? idk, grin.  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014


I started a new crochet project!  I haven't crocheted in quite awhile so thought I'd give it a go.  I signed up for a swap on swap-bot thinking that would give me just the push I'd need to stick with the project.  Tee hee, silly me.  Then I forgot about said swap until this past week and had a slight panic that I'd past the deadline altogether...but I'm good I've got till like next week.

I thought I'd make an amigurumi fox because they are so cute!  But, read the profile of the lady I'm to send the finished project to and realized she likes another animal better so switched to that.  I have a v.good book that is v.v. easy to follow and has been invaluable for amigurumis.  It's been my go-to book.

I have to laugh at the picture above because I had set up the book with my project and the little pouch all cute and posed for taking a picture.  Then turned my back and Rocky had his schnozzle in the view!  Baha.  Oh well, this is definitely true to life. Grin.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

sunday thoughts

This past week has been really, really rough.  Lots of thought, fear, panic and pain.  But yesterday was probably the worst.  I've entered the phase of fear.  Fear that everyone I love is going to die soon.  I know inevitably that everyone I love will actually die so this feels like it's not irrational even though feeling like they are going to die any second is.  I am afraid somehow I will lose my job, my house, my car....anything I have will somehow be lost and I won't know what to do.  Scott's W2 came in the mail yesterday and while he only really worked 3 months last year since he died at the very beginning of April, his earnings weren't much.  But, now I have to think about taxes again, my old nemesis.  Reading the IRS website it looks like I can file married for 2013 since he died that year, then 2014 is when I go to single.  I'm not sure how it will shake out.  It's the not knowing anything that kills me, everything feels like unsteady ground.

Today, though, is a new day.  I slept in till 8:30!  Which I feel is an acceptable amount, not too late.  Sometimes when I sleep much longer than that I wake up peeved that the day has slipped away.  Today I am thinking about the love I have in this house.  The tangible love.  Scott gave me love in the form of fur :)  My boys, Rocky and Joey are such sweet, sweet souls.  Yesterday when I was a wreck I had realized I'd better get to the vet before they closed to get Joey's prescription dog food.  So, put the dogs in the car and drove over.  I also intended to drive to the cemetery but then realized I forgot my coat in my haste.  There's a park down the street a ways from the vet so I walked the boys instead.  It was the perfect thing to do.  It was still icy in spots and lots of snow on the sides so Joey was happy, he loves the snow!  Rocky was pulling at a brisk pace so I didn't have any time to worry about anything except staying upright on the icy bits.  It was perfect.

And today, George is very insistent on being right next to me and getting pets and love.  Oh George.
 Scott had a way with animals.  They LOVED him.  Me, not so much.  George was a stray from a house a few from mine that had batch after batch of kittens.  One day Scott said, do you want that cat?  I wasn't sure I was ready to have a cat.  But he knelt down and she walked right up to him and just like that she was my cat.  For the first year or so she didn't really like me, she tolerated me because I fed her.
Then Scott died.  And just like that she somehow knew that I needed her to be affectionate and purr at me.  Now, when I'm at my computer, she's right there, purring.  

Today, it's like my babies are checking on me.  They know yesterday was rough.  Rocky comes up, sticks his nose under my arm and peeks at me then runs off.  George sits and watches me.  They are a gift.  Scott always knew how to cheer me up and even though he's gone he's still doing it.

In the bigger picture I know it's also all from God.  God gave Scott his gift with animals which he then gave to me.  Last night I prayed that God would show me that He's here and He does love me.  Immediately I heard Joey snoring and George ran up to me and Rocky looked up from the couch.  I think God gave them to me to be that tangible love that I need to hold onto when I feel so alone and broken.

Monday, January 13, 2014

I feel vulnerable tonight in a way that I don't like.  I feel very alone and like his memory is so distant and I don't like it.  When so much has been ripped away from me I wish I at least had a strong memory of his presence.  I've had my stinky anti-anxiety tea to try and calm's not completely working.  I have that feeling like I've forgotten to do something and every time I try and concentrate on what it is that I've forgotten to do furtive memories come close enough to sense and when I reach out to them they dart away.  Frustration.  Disorientation.  Fear.  Loneliness.  Doubt.  Fatigue.  Second guessing.  All these these things and more are how I feel.  Why is he gone?  Why?  I don't know what I'm doing anymore.  I don't know who I am.  Other people have ideas of who I am and what I should do and think I'm strong and that's great - but when I don't feel it myself it doesn't feel true.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


So it's a new year, I'm sure you've noticed too.  All around me there are resolutions being made. People are making goals. Making resolutions. Making plans. Making dreams. Making....

And not.  Not really.  I have always tended to fail at the resolutions I've made.  I've had too much disappointment leftover from last year to make any plans, goals, resolutions or dreams that might possibly fail.  This is the first year that I have lived and my husband has not and to me that is scary and overwhelming and so my first response is to shut down a bit.  I feel disoriented without him, like I don't know what I'm doing anymore.  Besides my Mom he was my biggest fan, always cheering me on.  When I'd fail he was always there to tell me I could do it again, or give me some of his strength and courage to try something new.  So, now what?

I don't have new dreams yet.  And in a way I don't want them. Not now. Not yet. It's too soon.  Someday, like Spring, I know they will come.

I will do what I know I can do.  I will sew and quilt.  I will knit and possibly crochet.  I will love my dogs, my family and my friends. I am enormously thankful for what I have and I am going to just rest in that.  I'm glad it's Winter so I don't have to feel guilty about withdrawing inside for this season.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

makin shirts

First off, can I please just tell you that blogging from my couch is just wonderful.  Perfect.

  Now, I don't remember if I've talked about this pattern here before or not, I think I have.  But, my memory right now is a little shoddy, so humor me because I'm going to discuss it again *grin*!  I like to read other blogs, especially about sewing, knitting and quilting.  There has been in the last year or so this one pattern that started popping up like everywhere, the Tova top.  I really like it but I am a little "bustier" than the pattern allows and it's a little spendy for me.  I think when I first looked at it there wasn't a PDF.   So, I looked at Joann's for an alternative and found a couple that were sort of close, but you know how once you see something you really like then that's the only thing that will do?  uh huh.  Then came this top here:
Again, reading a blog there was a mention of making an Esme top in flannel.  I hadn't heard that name yet so I clicked the link and knew I wanted to make this top!  But, again, for me a little spendy.  $15 for a PDF is out of my range, especially since I don't have a printer at home - ha!  I was at Joann's one day looking at their quilt pattern section which also has bags and aprons and that sort of thing.  I recognized the brand, Sew Liberated, and looked for the Esme top.  No luck.  But I did find if over in Medford and also had a 50% coupon! Yes!  

I made the first one in a bright floral flannel that I had in my stash.  I did make the sleeves as shown above.  But, I hate that cuff!  I don't have thin arms so it's a little binding right in the crease.  So, on the next one I made I took a sleeve from another shirt pattern I have and it was a little closer to what I wanted but kinda also a little weird.  It's blousy and then gathers into a cuff mid forearm.  Uggggggg.  But I still wear the heck out of both of them because otherwise they are super comfy.

Enter shirt attempt #3.  My Mom gave me this fabric that I adore!  It's actually a sheet, not vintage, but really pretty and soft!  Originally I was thinking quilt back but changed my mind.  I again altered the sleeve with one from another pattern, this one fits perfectly!  I made it wide and then tapered it down after trying it on and cut off the excess.

Picking buttons is so fun!  I have this great tin my Mom gave me that she had since I was little and I would spend hours sifting through all the buttons in there.  I really wanted the orange buttons in the picture below but I only have 3 of them so they didn't work.

 Here is the finished top, with the flower buttons.  I really like how it turned out.  I will be a walking flower garden :)  If you ever make this pattern, be aware of the seam allowance!  I am so used to 1/4 inch with quilting and this calls for 5/8" which is quite generous!  But, if you don't use that much it doesn't quite come together the same.
It's a beautiful Sunday here, super cold but also sunny.