Sunday, February 24, 2019

Grieving with Gratitude

The problem with social media is everyone puts on their best face.  Their life is wonderful and perfect.  Their children are perfect.  They are married to the love of their life.  Their house is always ready for a photo op. It really gives us all such unrealistic expectations.  

I always have believed in being truthful and I don't want you to think I am breezing though this grief thing.. I am currently having a huge meltdown. The sadness has crept into my whole being and it’s hard to shake it. I feel like I am going to be sad forever. The same thoughts keep cycling  through my head. It comes after feeling guilty that I was coping with momentary set backs and wasn’t sad enough. This is truly a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I miss him. He lifted me up.  He empowered me as a designer.  He reminded me over and over again how talented I was, because I always doubt myself.  Our relationship wasn't perfect, but his encouragement helped me get to here.   I keep thinking about finding that “something” that will spark joy. Right now I can't think of a thing.

It’s early morning. I’m sitting in his recliner. Bailey is asleep on my lap. Henry is asleep upstairs. I’ll search for a project to do today. I hope I can find a distraction and try to continue to put one foot in front of the other or is it 2 steps forward and one step back?  I think I need to go make something.

At the beginning of the week, I worked on my project for a blog hop for this new book: Text It! by Sherri Noel, who blogs as rebeccamaedesigns. 
The project I chose was perfect for the dog panel fabric that I bought at Stitch Central a few weeks ago. You'll have to wait for the blog tour.  I'm at the end! I'll keep you posted. I do have another idea for it. I'm just crazy about it.

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Grieving with Gratitude

I bought the pattern "Dogs with Sweaters" a couple of years ago.  I bought it to make a gift for a friend in Key West.  Dachshunds are very popular there and this friend owns 2! On New Year's Eve day, there's a parade down Duval St of dachshunds and their owners.  Some are dressed in costumes and some are au naturelle.  They invite all dogs to be an honorary dachshund for the day.

It starts at noon  and it's a short parade due to the shortness of their legs (LOL)!
I was so surprised to see so many doxies with such different looks.
After being spectators for a couple of years, Bailey became an honorary one and we marched in the parade, in a very appropriate costume.

If you want t read more, I wrote an entire blog post about it HERE.

The original pattern by Elizabeth Hartman is named Dogs in Sweaters. 

Since I was making it for a resident of Key West, I dressed the dog in a tropical shirt. The dilemma was the direction of the print.  Logical vs eye pleasing?
I chose eye pleasing.

Follow on Bloglovin

With glasses or without?

 And of course Bailey had to get in on the action.  I call this photo "Dog on Dog".
I'm heading down to Key West in April and I  can't wait to gift it.

I should be in Key West now, but couldn't bear to go alone.  We actually made the difficult decision to release our rental hold on our place back in October, because the trip would have been too difficult and we didn't want to be so far from Don's doctors, and what if he worsened while we there? It certainly turned out to be the right decision. 
This April trip was planned for a while. Don wanted me to go, because he couldn't fly. We had major work done to our place.  We had never seen it, so the plan was for me to go down in April, when it wasn't rented, to check it out.  Back then, I invited my DIL to come with me.  Now I'm so relieved that she is coming with Henry and my son, because I am so afraid to go.  All the wonderful memories from sitting on our porch to courtyard dinners to all the restaurants and art classes, riding my bike and the sunshine.  It was a special way to spend the Winter.  I am so grateful.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Grieving with Gratitude

Mini projects have worked out the best for be.  Small, quick to finish and without much planning.
My DIL's mother is undergoing chemo for breast cancer.  I wanted to make her something to let her know I was thinking of her and rooting for her wellness. A wonderful friend of mine (Thank you Jeanette) suggested I make these small pillows to protect the sensitive area by the port when wearing a seat belt.  

I found a few places with sketchy directions.  There were even some for sale on Etsy.  I thought I would share my easy peasy way of Chemo Port Pillows.   

I liked using fun and cheerful fabrics.  Who wouldn't smile every time they buckled up seeing some colorful flamingos.  You don't need much.
2 rectangles:  3   1/2" x  6   1/2"  
3" of  1/2" sew-in Velcro

Pin the Velcro in place, overlapping the edges, making sure only one side is in the seam allowance.
Place the fabric right sides together.  Stitch around with a 1/4" seam allowance leaving a 2" opening at one of the short ends.
Trim the corners and turn right side out.
Turn under the 1/4" seam allowance by the opening and press.
Stuff and stitch the opening closed.  
The velcro belts wrap around to keep them in place on the seat belt.
I made a bunch.  I thought she could use them for different cars or different outfits or share with other chemo patients.

I am also working on a quilt using someone else's pattern.  It's also easy peasy, but it's secret sewing.  I'm hoping to finish it soon.

I try to keep busy when I'm not in my studio.  Packaging orders from my Etsy shop really keeps my mind occupied.  I've learned so much about the best way to ship and how to label. I so appreciate my loyal and new customers.  You just don't know how much it means. Thank you.

I've heard from many friends from the past expressing their condolences.  I hooked up with my bicycling friends from years ago.  Did I want to go on a hike at Linvilla Orchards for Pie Day? Last day of the sale! I brought my little friend and had a wonderful time just not talking and just thinking about walking up and down the hills without tripping over roots and rocks.  Bailey was the star!
I was planning on buying the Dutch apple pie, but was lured away by the pineapple upside down pie that was one of the most delicious pies I have ever eaten.

I just never know when sadness will overtake me.  Sometimes the memories are hard.  The other day I was sitting in the parking lot outside of our Supermarket, crying my heart out,  remembering the last time Don went supermarket shopping. I can't even remember how long ago it was.  I received a phone call after he was gone about an hour. It was him. “ Could you please come get me?” He was sitting by one of the front doors. He didn’t have the energy to walk any more. It was the last time doing something he loved to do. He so enjoyed shopping and cooking.  I then became his shopper with his detailed lists.  I didn’t mind at all. I knew how hard it was for him to ask for my help and lose his independence. He’d give me coupons and codes. Sometimes I spent a good amount of time walking up and down the aisles looking for that special new product that neither of us would eat!  

Follow on Bloglovin