Sunday, August 31, 2008

Heading to IKEA

Heading to IKEA in Emeryville, then lunch at PF Changs. Happy.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Art and Soul and 12 of Bats

It's Saturday, the weather is returning to it's normal pleasantness after several days of HEAT, it's a holiday weekend, and I'm alone. It's all cool.

I'm spending the afternoon in Oakland at Art And Soul. Music, Food, Art in the outdoors for a reasonable cost. How can I NOT go? I'm getting used to attending these things by myself; often I end up running into someone I know (which makes it even more pleasant). I'm taking my camera, and my phone and will try to remember to send an update or two here through Utterz.

Oh, and my tarot card for the day? The Twelve of Bats (extra innings). The Play: Adventures. Pursuing an interest. Putting out extra effort to get waht you want. Off-the-cuff action. Feeling vibrantly alive. Courage. Daring. Willingness to throw yourself into things.

Seems like a great card to pull with the day planned!

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Some of you might not know: on Wednesday afternoon my MIL suffered a brain bleed that slowly resulted in her death on Thursday. My husband in town visiting her (a blessing), and will stay there through the funeral and closing up her rooms in her assisted living residency.

At his request, I am staying here in California keeping life "normal" back home.

I've been cleaning my studio, including going through lots of old papers. I found my morning pages from when i did TAW 6 years ago (around the time of my 50th birthday), and was surprised to see myself writing about the same kinds of things I wrote about Tuesday: feeling isolated and wondering at that time if it was healing or fear. Feeling a need to get myself back out in the world. And lots of fear.

I've been working in this area for a long time, but I finally feel like I'm MOVING beyond mere contemplation toward ACTION.

At that time I was also pulling a Tarot card each card to answer the simple question: what should I remember (how do I focus, what is the key) today? I use my Baseball Tarot cards because I love baseball so, and I find baseball a great metaphor for life.

My card today: The Ace of Mitts (Internal Beginnings). This card represents beginnings in the areas of life associated with emotion, intuition, receptivity, relationships, spirituality and love.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Breakfast at Java Jax's in Vallejo


Eating scrambled eggs and bacon on whole wheat with a cuppa joe. This is a hangout for the locals: police and Highway Patrol, merchants, etc. Nice vibe.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Coming Clean

Decided maybe it's the right time to come clean with a number of you. Things have changed on this blog; the tone, the frequency, the passion. It's different.

I'm telling you all a secret I've been hiding for almost 2 years.

I'm fighting a battle with anxiety and (coming up from behind like that proverbial one-two punch) depression. The anxiety has been a constant companion since 12/15/06. I can't give you the exact time, but I pinpoint the moment.

My spouse said: When I retire, all I need from life is you and the dogs.

I haven't slept a night without drugs since that moment. Because in my life I need 95% more than I can get from this man and my dogs. I don't want to be responsible for his whole life and I don't want to limit myself to his life decisions. It all feels quite small.

I spent a lot of time trying to work out this condundrum. We've been married almost 25 years. Probably the first 3-5 were good; most of the time since then has been living by rote and habit. But it's A LOT OF TIME.

This year the anxiety has grown to the point where it's sometime overwhelming. Yes, I'm taking some meds to control it, I'm seeing a psychologist to give me someone to talk to. I'm working on it. The shrink says that the anxiety is the pent up energy from not acting on life and the fear of change; acting will eventually give this energy a source to expend and it will decrease.

I've made the clear intentional decision that if I am unhappy and dying in the life I'm living, it is my responsibility alone to change things. To work toward living a live that feels more authentic and more real. To get out in the world more; which necessarily means getting away from the safety net that is this lonely empty house and the interwebs for times each day.

It means building a life for me that IS much bigger than my spouse and our dogs.

I will be looking for work that gets me involved in helping people. I'm good at that. I will be looking for volunteer opportunities that feed my creative spirit; it's almost completely buried under the fear and loathing and fear that I battle every day.

I don't know how my life is going to change in the next few years, but it needs to change. I fear deep in my soul that a lack of change now means that I will follow my grandmother and mother who both gave up on the idea of living their lives.. and lost themselves to Alzheimers disease at ages just a few more than my current age.

My spouse? He will have to make his own decisions. Change, remain the same, move on, or die. It's his life for him to be responsible for not me.

Honestly, this is all very hard and the energy to write this and the energy to live it takes away from the power to do much more.

Let me say that I feel the support from many of you even when you knew what I what was doing. Before the first comment hits the page (or the private email hits my box), I know you stand beside me holding me to my best intentions.

Thank you for this. It means the world.

Now excuse me while I head out into the light of the world and breathe some fresh air.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Say Hey!

Listen to this song and just try to keep your hips from swinging and your lips from smiling.

I Love You!

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Like a 2x4 To My Soul

Sunset over SanPablo Bay, Aug 14 2008
Sunset Over San Pablo Bay, 8/14/08.

I was reading a piece somewhere about our astrological signs and our creativity. While it all seemed true, aren't these things written to sound true?

Creativity is giving birth to your unique vision. It's expressing truths, filtering these truths through your perception and sharing these with the world.

Ultimately, being creative (in some manner) means realizing your full potential and manifesting the life of your dreams.

yada, yada, yada.

So for me, I need a space that clean and uncluttered (gee, no wonder I walk into my studio and immediately run out).

I tend to analyze my emotions instead of feeling them. Breathe deep and simply feel. (yeah.. that's an easy one... but OK, I'll work on it).

And then I hit this passage:

Like the Crab who periodically sheds her shell, your creative risk is to let go of what you have outgrown n order to move toward what you really want. When you hold on to anything that has outlived its purpose - beliefs, possessions, habits, jobs, relationships - your creativity suffers. Your acute intuition tells you when it's time to let go. Although you may fear losing security and safety by releasing the old, the creative energy that rushes in when you take that risk actually provides greater internal security in the long run.


I have been hanging on to LOTS of things that I've outgrown: fabrics and materials, ideas of who I am as a creative spirit, my habitualize living, and several relationships. There is a lot there that can be blocking my creativity.

No wonder I feel my soul stir and it quickly seems to be buried beneath a heavy weight. I need to let go of so much. I need to make room for good things to come into my life. I need breathing room and the time to sit and breathe.

This is going to be a journey. Do you want to follow me through it?

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Refashionistas: What To Do With Jeans

(crossposted BlogHer)

It's been a while since I've done written about the refashionistas, those creative, frugal fashion crafters who take older, unworn clothes and thrift-store finds, cut, paint, sew, style, and design great new functional items from them. A gold-mine of ideas for used jeans can be found at WiseBread's post: Twenty-five Things to Do With Old Jeans by Myscha Theriault.

Let's examine some of her ideas:

2. Cool Quilts. Theriault and I are fan of these jeans quilts. Simple but heavy, these are great picnic quilts and dorm rooms quilts. You can find a discussion on making them written by Susan Druding at the equilters forum, with links to insturctions by some of the makers. There is also an inspring forum on jean's quilt photos.

4. Pocket books and backpacks. Jeans, with their already constructed pockets and installed zippers are a natural for cutting up and making purses and backpacks. CraftBits offers simple instructions for a "no sew" denim bag. My experience with gluing as she suggested, is that the purse will fall apart quickly and usually at the most inappropriate moment. Crossing a busy street, maybe?

WikiHow has great instructions for sewing a similar purse. If you're more of a needle-artist, Crochetnmore offered directions for turning a leg from jeans into a purse with a crocheted top.

5. Patches. Using denim as the base for little art patches is the brilliant idea by B. Original. I don't think I've seen this before, but I'll be playing this idea later this weekend.

6. Embellish. While Simplicity offers an article on embellishing jeans, I'll admit that I would want these fused embellishments stitched down, or at least have the edges painted over (painted fabric embellishments. Doesn't that sound too 1980s for today?) Unless you cut open the inside seams, however, you'r limited to awkward hand sewing. I like the suggestion of checking at local bead shops for classes; that should give you a more modern look!

7.. Pimp Your Jeans! The link to Thread Heads Coffee stained jeans is fabulous! After all , who doesn't love a Thread Heads video??

10. I LOVE the idea of an electronic gadget pocket from old jeans. Something to keep my phone and car key together no matter which bag or purse I'm using? The Instructable How-to by sage femme is complete, even to this warning:

Denim is strong - I broke two needles, a pair of scissors and a seam ripper making just two of these little pocket pals. That taught me some lessons I'll pass on to you: Don't force anything and Always cut through the thinnest area possible.

13. Ofcourse recycling jeans into a crazy quilt jacket has been around perhaps as long as either individual skill. The piece by Magpie Mumblings appears to include some nice embroidery, traditional piecing, and maybe a furry collar?

14. Demin Vest. Turning jeans upside down and using them for the basis of a vest? It's another old idea. But is it old enough that a whole new generation might be ready to adopt it? I can't judge! (that old, "if you wore it the first time, don't the second time around" rule keeps screaming in my ears!). You tell me.

17. Coffee cozies. An office/club small gift idea whose time has come? I like the ones by two straight lines with the little button detail, but pink milk and fairycakes published a whole tutorial on flickr.

18. My favorite idea of the bunch is this custom camera case from Evil Mad Scientist. Maybe because it was designed for my camera, so I don't have to go changing a thing?

OK. I ran through the list, adding a few links and pointing out some of my favorite ideas. Now it's your turn. Which of these ideas are you itching to get to started on? Do you have any other big ideas for used jeans? One idea I didn't see mentioned (again, it may be one whose time has come and gone) is cutting your jeans into strips, joining them together and making a braided rug from old jeans. Should I be wearing my "I survived the 60s/70s/80s crafts movements" Tshirt to even suggest that?

Let me know in the comments.

And a big ole beef-jerky hat tip to the fabulous MizFit for pointing this link out in the first place.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.