Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Carry On the Fight: A How I'm Feeling Post

I did all this brainstorming trying to come up with a really cool/interesting 300th post, but this is what it's gonna be.  I was and am really reluctant to post this because I feel like I'm being a debbie downer, but this is me.

Yesterday I got out of bed once.  I spent the vast majority of the day in tears freaking out about all kinds of things.  It was like the first worry woke up the melancholy and then the clouds settled in, the rains came and the waters rose and I was trapped.  Days like that make me want to sleep indefinitely...

As someone who has had her own dance with depression, I'm always hyper vigilant when it comes to fighting against its familiar pull. But yesterday... I wanted to welcome the quiet of giving up.  The peace of the bottom.  The silence of putting my weapons down and letting the waters swallow me whole.  I could feel it. The weightlessness and cold of disconnection.

*sigh* But for some reason I can't not fight it.  I get tired.  I think about drinking half a bottle of benadryl and spending my time glazed over... I think about burning and deepening old scars... I think about driving with my eyes closed or walking out in the street.

But I'm fighting all these things.

My mom prayed with me yesterday that I would be able to focus on the good things.  But sometimes the discouragement and the bad gets so big that everything is overshadowed and no matter what good things I recite they don't make a dent.  So I end up crying to God please help me.  Praying and hoping for a break.  Do You really have plans for me or am I just adrift in a sea of 7 billion other faces all calling to You with 7 billion other problems?

Last night I had 'Holes' by Passenger on repeat. I painted this.  It's kinda what I'm always telling myself... Everyone's got some struggle, but we carry on.

Water color brush lettering hand lettering

Yesterday I barely made it out of bed... Today I did, but the feelings are the same. Small victories I guess.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

DIY Product Labels

Ever since I started gifting and selling my crochet work I've known I should have some kind of label.  My mom is the main person reinforcing/reminding me of this fact.  So I decided to search on Etsy for customizable ones.  All the ones I was finding were more expensive than I could justify.  So I did what I always do, I found a DIY soulution.  ^.^
On Pinterest, I came across this pin of how to make name labels for your children's clothing and I thought the method would work perfectly for my needs.

The materials you'll need for this are:
  • fabric transfer paper
  • an image flipped horizontally to print
  • ribbon (I used 3/8" and 5/8")
  • scissors
  • iron & hard surface
  • needle & thread
I started off with the idea to hand-letter the design but it didn't translate well to the computer (I need more practice with my lettering I guess ^.^)  I liked this idea with the mixed fonts so I reproduced it digitally.

diy fabric tags product labels
not bad for my first foray into hand-lettering huh!

diy fabric tags product labels

Next I flipped the image and copied it into a table in a Word document.  Each row of the table was 1/2 inch tall.  I printed the whole page onto the fabric transfer paper and cut off the first row of labels.

diy fabric tags product labels
Avery Light Fabric Transfers from Walmart -here-

Following the transfer instructions, I ironed the printed labels onto the ribbons.  They had to cool for a couple minutes before I could pull the backing paper off. 

diy fabric tags product labels
The instructions say to iron on a hard surface, but all I had was the regular ironing board.  It came out fine.
Here are the finished labels before I cut them apart.  I'm going to go ahead and iron labels on to all the rest of the ribbon spool soon.  That way I have them ready to go whenever I finish my next project.

diy fabric tags product labels

The finished labels cam out pretty great!  I'm very proud of myself :)  I like the white and cream colors I have, but I think I'm going to get some smooth satin ribbon instead of the grosgrain I used.  Also, the 5/8" thick ribbon worked a lot better than the 3/8" one.  The only thing I didn't do on the finished labels was try to burn the edges so they don't unravel.  Hopefully that doesn't mess up the transfer.  I'm really happy with how they came out ^.^ 

diy fabric tags product labels
I think the little cross stitches add the the cuteness :)

Now on to put labels on all my hats and blankets and anything else I crochet!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Chevron Lace Cardigan

About a week and a half ago I finally started working on a crochet sweater! In my 30 before 30 list I have "crochet a shawl, a top, and a sweater" and I'm so excited to have my first sweater underway!

Green Crochet Sweater Cardigan

It took me a really long time to settle on a pattern, mostly because I wanted it to be simple enough to to not be frustrating at my first try, and also something I could wear in Florida.  I had spent days scrolling on Pinterest and Ravelry when I came across the Chevron Lace Cardigan.  It was very pretty in the pictures and I was pleased to see it was a free pattern ^.^ huzzah!  So I started working on it on August 9th and it's been as simple as I hoped.  Starting the sleeves has been the most fiddly part.

Green Crochet Sweater Cardigan

My plan is to finish it up in the next few days and wear it... Everywhere!  It's light enough to wear to church and hopefully warm enough to keep me comfy in the studio.  After this one is done I want to make another in white maybe, bolero length with cap sleeves.

Green Crochet Sweater Cardigan

Green Crochet Sweater Cardigan

Green Crochet Sweater Cardigan

Green Crochet Sweater Cardigan

One of my teacher friends has already asked if I can make her one for her classroom.  I love it when my friends like my work enough to ask me to make things! Plus as far as I'm concerned that's free advertising ^.^ 


Monday, August 17, 2015

National Thrift Store Day 2015

Today is National Thrift Store Day and in honor of this auspicious occasion I, of course, went thrifting :) I went with my friend Cherie and it was a lot of fun since we haven't really gone thrifting together since we lived in Huntsville.  We both got some nice pieces but better than wardrobe enhancement, it was great to get to hang out with her.

Also in the spirit of National Thrift Store Day, I wanted to share the story of these candle holders.  I found them a few weeks ago in my local Goodwill.  While looking around for a new work bag, I detoured through the candle section and came across these brass deer candle holders.  I immediately knew they were coming home with me... Why? Because my mom has the same set in her Christmas decorations. ^.^

I remember being young and in boxing all the tree decor pieces... our engraved baby ones, old DIY ones, all the many glass and plastic balls, and the singing string lights.  For some reason these candle holders caught my fancy and became one of my favorite decorations.  Funny thing tho, I never remember them actually holding candles, lol!

Now I have a set of my own to start my and Lamar's Christmas decoration stash.  I love the thought of one day having kids that maybe will like these candle holding deer as much as I do ^.^

Have you ever found something in a thrift store that you bought for the nostalgia or even because it reminded you of a special person or event?  What was that thing? 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Apopa, Florida in Photographs

Continuing with my 30 Before 30 List goals, I went out today to shoot photos of downtown Apopka as one of my historical downtown areas.  The first was Longwood, FL (you can see the shots -here-) and I think my next might be Mt. Dora.  Anywho, Brianna came along with me to make sure I didn't get kidnapped while I was absorbed with my camera.  There were a few times when I was adjusting the settings to capture what was in my head and when I got it, I felt sooo happy.  Like jump up and down happy ^.^  So yep, enjoy these shots of downtown Apopka!


Part of the West Orange Trail runs through downtown Apopka.  All along the trail there are these emergency markers just in case something happens.  I've never seen markers like this before and I think it's really awesome.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Garden Update: Tomato Time!

Holy Canoli! We have TOMATOES!!!

Yes! My tomato plant has birthed a whole bunch of little tomato babies ^.^ One morning while watering and inspecting the plants for bugs last week, I discovered 3 tiny green tomatoes.  I was probably WAY to excited to see them especially since I don't like eating cherry/grape tomatoes (I can't help imagining that they're eyeballs... good luck getting rid of that mental image, lol!).

Anywho, they were about the size of my pinky nail and still had the blossoms at the top of them.  It was so cool to see them actually growing from the flowers.  These photos are of a few of the tomatoes over the span of the past week.  It's nice to know that once the veggies happen they grow pretty fast.  This gives me hope for the cucumbers ^.^

So yeah, I can't wait for them to turn red and I hope the squirrels don't eat them.