Friday, January 28, 2011

Miss Crafty Smarty Pants

I am a Crafty Smarty Pants.

I like to weave and design and make things beautiful....steel rings, embroidery thread, beads, hair...words, images, principals and morals....I like to integrate things and make them whole, more than they were before, but still possessing their individual beauty within the whole construct. 

Last week I was constructing a pretty decorative headpiece and had all these grand ideas about how it'd come out.   My fingers were flying weaving and twisting, knotting and braiding and I realized I had not stopped to think about the best way to do it before I started in on it.  I had in my hands at this point a pretty braided twisted weaving line of about an inch.  Looking down I realized I had a tangled nasty rats nest of embroidery thread coming down from it.  Not only did I start with the piece at the wrong end, but I also didn't take the time to pull each strand through - resulting in an hour spent untangling a gigantic knot.  There were times I gritted my teeth and restrained myself from yanking things around.  I had to use a soft and consistent touch to ungnarl the beast of fraying threads that seemed to be actively defying me.  There were times I would stop, take a deep relaxing breath, look back down, and feel like it was squiggling back into knots while I was looking away.  Patience wins in the end, however, as I finally got a strategy that worked to unravel the tangles and undid all my work.
So I looked at everything I had un-done, all my beads and clasps and tools and options before me. I had a simmering popping exploding ideas of creative genius of what I wanted to do.  I grabbed a pencil and a piece of graph paper and immediately wrote something at the very top of the page. 
Think Before You Act.

I immediately started sketching out designs - side views, back views, detail views.  Things were crossed off, things were adjusted in the middle, loops were created and then moved....and I left room and space to embellish as I wished. Then I set out with my thread and beads and steel rings and started again.

While my fingers flew, weaving their energy into the knots of the strings, keeping pressure at the places where things could fall apart, pulling strands through one at a time to ensure no tangling, I started meditating about the phrase that struck my frontal lobe like lightning. 

The phrase was so simple, so obvious.  How often it's forgotten though.  How it's so true to everything from crafting a decorative hair piece to approaching my career to how I handle my personal relationships.  Not thinking before I act costs me so much time and frustration in having to un-do everything that wasn't working because I hadn't really thought about what I wanted and how I was going to achieve that goal.

Halfway through my piece, I realized I had gone too far - I was planning some beaded loops and pieces that were going to be in particular spot per my plans and I had glossed over that.  So I stopped and wrote down the next directive that seared across my frontal lobe -

Follow Through on Your Plans.

Follow through.  Thoughts and plans are useless without follow through.  This applies everywhere.  Doing what you're going to say you will do.  Being on time.  Holding true to your word.  Being dependable.  Reliable.  Having forward thinking and a proactive approach reduces hassles, mistakes, and reduces miscommunication.  It's so simple and basic, but so essential.  Most of the time, it's the simple and basic things I know but I don't fully grasp or completely understand - deep in my core, that make the biggest differences in my life.

I'm awe struck sometimes about the beautifully intricate and simplistic and spasmodic ways my brain works.  Why simple phrases that change how I look at life are generated when I make a pretty bauble.  It's so interesting.  Life is flowing around, out, through me and I draw from things these concrete directives that are like signposts guiding my way towards the future I want. 

Think before you Act. 
Follow Through on Your Plans. 

Imperatives I roll around in my brain like I would a fine wine on my tongue.  I draw my spirit and essence around those phrases, tasting the way they would flavor my life interactions and how it would color me as a person.  These sentences that flare across my brain I mull over and if it's a tasty tidbit that strengthens my pillar of character, that brings me closer to being the person I know is inside of me, that enriches my life and bestows me with wisdom - I weave those phrases together, string them along. I put in gems of my personality like accents in this beautiful tapestry I'm creating that tells the story of who I am. 

Who's up for a crafty night?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

choices choices choices

I've had to make a lot of decisions lately.  Some areas I don't have a lot of experience in the subject, some of the decisions scare me in their importance, some are simply day to day decisions. Decisions ARE important - they determine the course of your life, the path your headed down.  Decisions have also been really complicated and scary  for me sometimes.  There's churning in my hollow spaces, knots of dread in my stomach, swirling vortexes of endless loops in my brain, and a cloudy confusion that warps my perspective and makes everything a little too fuzzy around the edges. 

In the beginning I think I was simply afraid of being wrong.  I wanted so badly to be SuperWoman and perfect that I stopped dead in my tracks when I had to chose a path because there IS no path that leads to perfect.  My goal wasn't realistic.  I cannot be perfect.  I cannot please everyone.  I cannot maintain everything all the time. 

It's time for a shift - for me to redefine - really define - in concrete, articulate, quantifiable and measurable ways my long term personal goals.  I also need to clarify and articulate which basic moral principles guide me the most in my life - which are most important to me that I rely on when making important decisions.

These things when used as a measuring device against life decisions and situations, allow me to deal with decisions in an ....almost......easy manner.  It's amazing.  I have a situation.  I can react several different ways.  I can go through this beautiful process of elimination and logical reasoning and deduction. 

Which choices are contrary to my end goals?  Throw those choices out.  It doesn't matter if I really really really really want it or if the other options are way harder - if it doesn't line up with my basic morals and long term personal goals, it's not an option for me.  After throwing the ones that don't measure up out - I'm typically left with a few options that result in consequences that are in the direction I want to go.  I feel liberated.  Relieved.  Free.  It's like trying to cut a piece of ham with a spoon all your life, and then someone hands you a sharp knife and a fork.  Eureka!  TOOLS!  They WORK!

So I get the awesome chance to create this amazing tool to measure my decisions up against. I'm SO excited.  What do I want in my future?  How do I want my life to progress?  What are my dreams?  What things do I want surrounding me?  What things do I want to celebrate in my life?  Because each decision I make is celebrating a way of life I'm chosing for myself

.....which means it's time to sit down and be a schedule list making glitter goddess!  Why glitter?  Because it makes the calendars and graphs so much prettier!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Brain Today through Quotations

"It is far more powerful to live your truth than to preach it."

"Nobody said that it'd be easy they just promised it'd be worth it."

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Assert your right to make a few mistakes. If people can't accept your imperfections, that's their fault." Dr. David M. Burns

"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want in the moment”

“Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” ~Mary Tyler Moore

“If I had more skill in what I'm attempting, I wouldn't need so much courage” ~Ashleigh Brilliant

“Learning is like rowing upstream; not to advance is to drop back” Chinese Proverb

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.” David Starr Jordan

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wish Want Love Covet Housewares

So once again my interest is swinging back around to fashion and pretties, design and motifs.  I dressed up all pretty today in red and black with some kitten heels.  I'm heading out to a rock show my friend is playing in.  And besides the corset I'm going to throw on later for the fun of it, I thought a beautiful feather boa would complete the outfit just perfectly.  Unfortuneately, I don't have one...but this one would go PERFECT with what I'm wearing today.

I've also been madly rearranging my apartment any chance I get and I just want it to look - different.  First time since I was 18 that I get to have my own space to decorate and I realize how little I've developed my houseware style in those adult years except for odds and ends here and there.  There've been little ideas floating in my head how I can adjust the ambiance by the decor I chose and there are quite a few things that are just going to have to go, and a few things I'd love to start prolifferating around the house. 

Candles are definitely one of those.  I think a few unique cnandleholders would really bring something to the room, and here are a few I really liked.  Red. Black. Classic Metal and Sensual Glass.

I'd also like some natural elements as well - I have a small collection of stained bamboo holders and darker stone oriental urns and containers.  I think the red dogwood branches would be a wonderful addition when I have a larger place.

And mirrors! I want appropriately placed mirrors throughout my home.
I like the fame on this one.

And I think this one has a great sense of depth to it.

As pretty as all of these are, there are 
so many things that I need to focus on first. 
Responsible things.
Ah, responsibilities.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Running over Puppies

My dreams have been getting more and more interesting lately.  At this point, I'm ceasing respond to them like nightmares and have begun dissecting them with an intrigued but distant scientific perspective. I don't put much stock into the "supernatural" nature of dreams or think by "divining their meaning" you come one step closer to enlightenment.  I do think it's a nifty tool to figure out what your brain chews on while you're unconscious.  Viewing common themes in your life, difficulties, internal struggles, etc... through the tools of a highly personal and symbolic mini movie sometimes allows you to gain some greater insight into yourself simply because you look at it from a different angle.

So, for instance, I dream of being behind the wheel of a car that has NO BRAKES on icy dark roads almost hitting a shaking tiny puppy in the middle of the road over and over and over again - missing it  only by the skin of the tires. I habitually got lost in this dream, sliding out of control and wandering around in circles, not able to reach my destination. 

While the dream wasn't super *pleasant* to experience, waking up, I thought - hrm....interesting. Through the symbolic lens of the dream meshed with my own personal stresses lately, I see an interpretation - I obviously don't feel in control of where I'm going in my life.  I'm definitely striving towards a milestone I don't feel I'm making much progress in obtaining.
I was chatting about this with a couple of friends of mine one night before getting my geeky gamer thing going.  One of them suggested that I was on the brink of a self-revelation, but I'm stymied.  Which I kinda feel like is true.  With all this hemming and hawing and analyzing and anxiety and adjustment, I feel like I'm missing something obvious.

Which, ironically was illustrated in game that evening quite well, actually.  I play Vampire the Masquerede, don't ask me what edition, I couldn't care less.  I enjoy playing the game because the storyteller is amazing, the people I spend 3-6-8 hours with are really enjoyable to be around, I get to play pretend - one of my favorite games, and I get to learn life lessons in an environment in which messing us doesn't mess my life up.  My Gypsy Oracular Rune Tossing Seductress Deranged-beyond-all-realms-of-thinkable might bite the undead big one after realizing a life what does family mean, reallyBut I'd gain that knowledge and not suffer from it in the least.
One thing I learned last night at game was that it's really easy to miss the obvious.  Like....there's a strange thing where you can go through the wall....we go through it but we don't stop and take a look at what makes it different so we end up traipsing all over the place, dodging squishy bad things, jumping over death pits, fighting zombie hoards, and almost entering demonic death chambers because we didn't take the time to stop and look - really look and see why this way was better than the other way.

I kinda feel like that's happening now.  I'm sliding around on ice with no brakes, feeling like I've barely got this shit under control, feeling a bit emotionally and mentally constipated because I'm simply not looking at the writing on the wall.  If I could figure out *how* to just *see* the signs that'll lead to achieving 'self-enlightenment' at this stage, all this pressure would be relieved. 

I feel like internally I've done all this growing and expanding.  My brain is firing in ways it hasn't before, but I haven't figure out how to move beyond this initial stage, and it's getting past cozy into cramped in mental/emotional space I've got.  Which is frustrating.

I know I'm going to get there.  Something'll happen, something will click and I'll have the key that'll allow me to move on to another stage in my development, the pressure will be released, there will be less internal conflict, and I'll have the opportunity to take on another challenge.

Until then, I'm coasting around in a car that has no brakes, where the seat's pushed forward to far, the steering wheel is over sized.  I'm uncomfortable and straining to maintain the effort *not* to hit the puppy in the middle of the road.   That scenario played out in my dream is filled with as much irritation and tension as if I were walking a tightrope high in the air with some one on the end yelling and screaming at me.  I'm walking a fine line that's vibrating with tension, distracted by things that aren't where they should be.  Maybe the enlightenment will come if I just changed the dynamics, ran over the puppy.  If nothing else, it'd stop that loop of nervous frustrated anxiety and tension that wears me down and wears me out.  Even when I'm sleeping.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Zombia = the zombie like state you achieve after weeks of suffering from insomnia

Zombia = the zombie like state you achieve after weeks of having no quality sleep suffering from insomnia.  That state where you can't pay attention to anything, you stare off into space, occasionally drooling.  Sometimes you revert back to that toddler state where you scream and throw fits, occasionally things, because you're tired and cranky.  Other times, you start crying because you're just too tired it hurts that bad.  I have been under the plague of Zombia recently, but I'm working on a cure.  For about a month now, there's been really ?three? nights where I've not encountered the below problems in epic proportions.  Which means my Zombia has gone into severe stages.  So it's time to fight back.

All right, maybe a massive bazooka style gun isn't necessary in order to get good sleep.  But I can sure-as-heck tell you I'm approaching solving this problem with all my ammunition and the biggest guns I've got - and I've got some big guns! (I mean my brain).  So...plan of attack?

Symptom: It takes anywhere from one to four hours to get to sleep after laying down initially.

Point of Infection? I'm used to someone puttering around the house, in the next room, or going to bed with me.  There's a sense of time awareness that is suddenly gone since there's not another person to use to gauge time against.  One scenario that typically occurs is that I get busy and just keep going.  I'm rearranging the apartment, or sewing, or coloring, or something.  I'm either not aware of what time it is, or not caring what time it is while I'm doing this.  OR - I'm lying down watching a few shows and think - I'm not tired, so I'll watch one more.  This continues.  For a while.  This is typically what I do after more than a couple of days of insomnia, which has plagued me occasionally throughout my life.

Plan of Attack! CREATE A BEDTIME ROUTINE!!! Sounds exciting, right!?!  Well, it helps, so I'm not knocking anything that works right now.  First I turn off all sound making devices.  Then I clean - wash my body/face, brush my teeth, put on lotion, etc...A limbering up song to dance to then two sun salutations later, I turn off lights, crawl into bed, and meditate on NOT THINKING for ten minutes.  I don't really count the time, or look at the clock, but every time I catch my mind wandering away into icky thoughts, I bring it back to NOT THINKING.  I figure I do that enough and by the time I reach "ten minutes" I'm sleeping.  So far, it's helped.  Rock!

Symptom: I wake up three to four times during the night.

Point of Infection? Before when I heard a noise, or some noise would wake me up, I used to half raise my eyes, reach out and touch the other person - I'd have my grounding point, and then I'd go back to sleep.  Now I consciously wake up, trying to figure out what woke me up, then identify it, then try to go back to sleep.  Which is sometimes difficult.

Plan of Attack! I make sure when I go to bed I double lock the door and window.  Just a double check, but somehow it's reassured me and I've not woken up as many times during the night recently.  More pillows in the bed, so whenever I reach out, I find something soft and fuzzy that's reassuring.

Symptom: My sleep is plagued with unpleasant emotionally frustrating and upsetting dreams.

Point of Infection? Everything in my life right now? :chuckles:  The message in my dreams typically boils down to one of three things 1. Not having the right 'tools' for the job at hand - i.e. being unprepared for the task at hand 2. Not being able to get where I need to go.  i.e. I live on the second floor and there's no stairs, no access points or I'm stranded without transportation, or reliant on people who are late.  3. I am not in control i.e. driving a car on ice with no brakes - the stereotypical recurrent dream I have when I don't feel like I'm in control of my life.

Plan of Attack! Time.  There's no real 'thing' I can do to decrease the anxiety I feel about being in a new place in my life for the first time besides time proving that I'll be fine.  I try to build self-soothing techniques into my routines - candlelight, bubble baths, warm fuzzy fluffy soft things to cuddle, pretty colors, being crafty and creative, etc...  But it'll just take some time to adjust to the new environment.  I'm thinking of this as kicking Patience's butt.  Or conquering patience.  I know it's an aggressive stance to take to 'conquer' something that's fairly passive, but whatever.  It gives me strength and stamina to deal with patiently waiting.  Something I've not always been good at before.

Techniques to conquer ZOMBIA - or at least my techniques to conquer my version of it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Earthy Poem

I've built my foundation
upon the earth of who I am.
The ground is shifting and twisting.
Rumbling with changes that
sound ominous and menacing.
I throw my roots down into
the ground which vibrates with potential energy.
All I can do is hold on.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Growing Through

I'm entering into a unique time in my life. For the first time in my life I'm single. Solitary. Alone. No partners. No sweeties. No metamores. No polycules. By myself in my own apartment with no one else to clutter it up (or clean it up). With no one to coordinate my schedules with (and no one to automatically share awesome events with). It's different. In ways I can't describe. It's beautiful and wonderful. It's also dredging up emotional stuff I thought I was prepared for, but really wasn't. Which sucks.

I see this period as a time of training my emotional and mental 'muscles' to be stronger and more healthy. Like when decide to be healthier and you go to the gym and it kicks your ass and your muscles are sore and sometimes you have to drag yourself out of bed, grumbling and irritated to go to the gym early in the morning before work. That's what I'm doing to my emotional and mental self. To my character. I'm giving it a thorough work out. Sometimes it's awesome to see the progress I've made and sometimes I get tired, and sore, and everything hurts.  But I know it's worth it in the long term. 

Everyone starts thinking about personal goals and long term plans around January 1st. That's not my bag. Everyday is a new start to think about the future and work on things I think will contribute to my personal growth and development. However, it's been a bit since I sat down and MADE A LIST of the things I'm focusing on.  We all know how much I am in love with Lists.  So here goes my

Focus/Goal List.

I am going to be single (no primary partners/sweeties) for an undetermined amount of time. 

 I suspect it will be several months to a year, however. I don't want to specifically put down a time frame, as that seems arbitrary and unrealistic.  I like to be able to adhere to my word (something I need to work on).  But this is a crucial element of the next chapter of my life.  Simply being by myself, doing what I want to do, being who I am free of as much outside influence as possible. 

While I will probably develop strong/close friendships, or possibly engage in flirtatious interactions, I'm not going to engage in dating again until I feel that I've reached a milestone.  I've yet to determine quantifiable, measurable, articulate benchmarks that define that milestone, but that's on another list of things to figure out :)

I am not going to cut my hair until that period is over.

Besides obvious trimmings/minor shaping so it grows out well.  This seems like a weird goal/focus to have.  Symbolically though, this has a lot of meaning.  I've been cutting my hair frequently in the past few months, and every time I do it gets shorter and shorter.  The last time I was an impulse away (several times) from just shaving the whole damn thing off.  .  I wanted to shed myself of a lot of things in my life at that point and for me, what I do to my hair is a representation of my emotions at that time. 

Now, I want to grow, to endure whatever annoyances and hardships await me in order to gain a better understanding of life.  To become enlightened.  By denying myself the ability to cut my hair, I'm also gaining self-discipline.  I hate hair in that mid-stage length - HATE IT. It's annoying, it gets in your way, you can't do jack shit with it, and my hair doesn't grow very fast.  Right now is super short...which means the 'growing out' period will be quite a while - which will be a lengthy period of time that is frustrating and irritating. I see this, however, as a wonderful chance to 'workout' my tolerance/patience. 

I also have a strong desire recently to let my feminine side shine since being single.  All that energy I was putting into my multiple relationships now is pooling within me.  I've got time to expend on myself - lots of it.  An unexpected side effect of that has been a revitalization of my interest in fashion and looking pretty. I want long hair for the first time in my life.  I want to be able to braid it, to let it down, to have it cover me like a blanket, to look soft and pretty.

I am going to focus on taking care of myself.

Basic.  Simple.  But kinda all encompassing.  Really, this is my primary goal right now.  I have started to cut down on things that don't aid in that and want to continue on with that theme.  So the specifics would be:
  1. Reducing greatly the amount I drink and smoke, although I still smoke and occasionally drink, I was doing far more of that than was really healthy, so I want to keep it at a light to moderate level. 
  2. Getting up early so I can have time to do a morning take care of my body routine instead of doing it whenever I have time/erratically.  This would include things like making a healthier breakfast, listening to NPR, making my lunch for the day, doing the shower/ brush teeth/ wash face/ doing makeup/ doing yoga thing.  I was happy that I got up this morning with enough time to do all of the above in a relaxed pace and still enjoy some time to clean up around the house and do some simple chores.
  3. Eating healthy.  My tastes have already drastically changed since being single.  Suddenly chocolate which used to be the be all end all of amazing - doesn't really sound appealing.  No sweets really do.  I suddenly like sushi - after years of my partners taking me out to delicious (VERY GOOD) sushi places - I suddenly have gotten cravings for sushi, and have really enjoyed them.  I'm not very hungry very often, but when I am - I've been craving vegetables and meat.  The distinction I make in the quality of my food - my standards for "good" food has dramatically risen.  I've been eating more soup as well.  I'm not going to go OCD like I used to, but I've been more and more aware of what I'm putting into my body and how that effects my body.  I want to continue on with that.
Explore and utilize my crafty ability to make beautiful things for me, for my home, for my friends.

No real push for anything in particular.  Due to the increased amount of time I have available, and the expanded amount of energy I have at my disposal, I've been more crafty.  It's also helped me process and deal with some of the harder emotional responses I've been experiencing since being alone.  I've started a couple of collages, mostly finished a skirt that's been sitting on my "to do" list for six months, made a few sets of earrings, done a bit of leatherwork (and subsequently practiced my knotwork).  It's like meditation for me, fingers working over and over again, my mind able to relax and soothe itself.  Plus, it's SUPER fun.  And there are beautiful things that come out of it.  It gives me so much joy - this is something I don't want to let fall by the wayside again.


There is a particular areas of interest in my life I enjoy doing, but haven't had the opportunity or avenue in which to explore to it's fullest.  I'm currently working on expanding my social network to people who enjoy similar things, working to experience more in that area, and learn more about all the different aspects of it.  This will make me happy.

To sum it up - it's all about taking care of myself - physically, mentally, emotionally - and giving myself space and time and freedom to explore, relax, and wander.  I'm looking forward to the upcoming chapter of my life, even though I know it's going to be really challenging at points.  For all the reasons these quotes imply and many many many more....

Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. ~Author Unknown

Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is? ~Frank Scully

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. ~Seneca

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves. ~André Gide

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.  ~Ray Bradbury

Wish Want Love Covet 3

It's been a while since I had a Wish/Want/Love/Covet Fashion Post.  I've had some more time on my hands lately and 'lo and behold - the desire to dress up pretty and invest time and attention into what I'm wearing and how I look has returned!  YAY!  So - without further ado, a new list of wish want love covet....

I'm totally not wrapped up into the whole 'Steampunk' movement that's sweeping my area.  However, there are some pieces out there that frankly just kick ass - this belt being one of them.  *Drool* ....I'm also wondering if I can make something that would resemble this with my newfound leather crafting skills....I'm pretty sure, however, that this amount of design would supercede my abilities at this point.

And This is Just Freaking HOT....
ELEGANCE.....STYLE.... I love retro looking things that emphasize the elegance and prettieness of curveacious women...

I also am thinking about adding more blues and purples into my wardrobe...

My favorite colors...babydoll like pretty....