Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hexagon Blanket: Crafty Update

It's been a little bit since I've done any crafty blogging on here... It has been a run of moving and how I'm feeling posts. So! I'm here with an update on my latest project. ^.^

During my first week here in Florida I (in true Caleisha fashion) went to visit the local thrift stores. Unfortunately, the thrift stores in this area are nothing compared to what's available in Huntsville... le'sigh... One of the shops I went to was a St. Vincent De Paul store called Second Chance.  It's the third largest shop I've seen so far, after Goodwill and Salvation Army.  Anywho, in Second Chance, I found a basket of yarn balls (HURRAY!) I was a good girl and only got 2 for $0.50 each a blue and a green.  I decided to make a blanket. I created a granny hexagon motif and ran with the colors. It reminds me of flowers a bit.
Layout and pattern notes.
The layout I put together called for half hexagons.  Creating that pattern took me like 2 days! But I got it and whipped up the pieces I needed.
Thrifted yarn and hexes.
I've been crocheting and watching thrift haul videos on Youtube. It makes me happy to see that at least some people have awesome thrift luck.  (Gah Florida!)
Also in true Caleisha form, I buy a teensy bit of yarn and decide to make a huge project out of it... It's not like Jesus is going to miraculously multiply my yarn supply. Luckily, I had similar colors in my stash so I didn't have to buy any new yarn. Yay!
This is the progress shot, complete with Kiva in the middle :) The white bordered part is the middle so this is only half of the piece.  I'm seriously considering adding an additional line of hexes to the left and right sides to make it wider.  What do you think? 

So yep, that's what I've been up to crafty-wise. I'm going to start doing some blanket designs soon.  I've decided that that makes more sense than making hats and whatnot in Florida.  Everyone can use a blanket. ^.^

Well I'm off to wash the dishes or something. I hope you're having a great Wednesday!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Goodwill Clearance Center

I have been trying not to write another depressing post, but I can't think of anything else to write about. *shrug*  It's going on 2 weeks in Florida and some days are good, but on other days I don't want to get out of bed.  I don't have friends here.  Well, evidently I know a couple people around here, but "here" is a huge city where I'm just a speck.  

Ehh... On a lighter note, I went to the Goodwill Clearance center today. It was a completely different thrifting experience to say the least.  If you've never been to a clearance center it's a big room with large bins with clothes chucked all over in them.
There is no organization whatsoever.  No size buckets or anything... It made me nervous but was like a supercharged treasure hunt.  The clothes are sold by the pound.  $0.99 per pound.  Ah-stinkin-mazing!

While I was in there, I noticed that most of the people in the building were just standing around looking.  Now I don't know if you've been somewhere with a lot of strangers standing around suspiciously, but it makes shuffling through clothing really hard. 
Turns out, they were all waiting for the new stuff to be brought out.  And when it was it was like someone just chummed the water! Sharks to a bleeding whale! I just sat back and watched the madness.  I tried to get video but one of the cashiers stopped me.  I only got a couple seconds.
Just pay attention to the people grabbing things and forgive my shatty camera work.  It looks like they're just throwing pieces of clothing over their shoulders!  It was like a bunch of piranhas! Anyway, let me show you what I managed to get.
My total cost for 3 shirts, 3 sweaters, a dress, and 3 bags was a whopping $6.58! Crazy right?!?  Some perks of the pieces I picked: the peach sweater on the right is 100% cashmere, the blue blouse is 100% silk and the blue dress is from Ann Taylor so it could have originally cost anywhere from $40 to $60!  Oh! And the tapestry bag in the top right corner is a perfect replacement for one I thrifted a while back, but was unable to get the smoke smell out.  This one just smells a bit old. Nothing a day outside won't fix ^.^  I'm pretty proud of my first visit to a Goodwill Clearance Center.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The BIG Move

Hey there!  I am alive in the super sunny state of Florida ^.^

Bye Huntsville!
My room looked so big after all my stuff was out.

I made the trip from Huntsville to Orlando with Lamar a week ago Sunday.  We drove the 12+ hours toting all of my stuff and the pups.  Lucky for me, they slept the majority of the way.  Before coming up to Alabama, Lamar check out 2 copies of The Hunger Games audiobook for us to listen to on the road.  Let me tell you, the movie is completely different! The audiobook lasted us the whole trip, which was great. 

This cover is awesome! And the silly guy in the background is pretty cool too :)
We stopped the next morning in Valdosta to visit the $3 book store.  It was a reader's dream!  I got a copy of Commitment by Elizabeth Gilbert for $0.50! Whaaat? Yep $0.50!!  After leaving the bookstore, we went to an antique shop. There were a lot of pretty little things, but everything was SO expensive...

Lots of old tea tins.  Awesome, but too expensive for my tastes.
Antique working spinning wheel.  I want one SOOOOO bad!!!
Candy colored glass vases
I love colored glass. I'd like to have a collection one day. We'll see.
 We made it to the house late Monday night and unpacked the truck into storage a few days later.  So far, I've put in a couple job apps and have a strong shot at a photography position at the JC Penney portrait studio. (Please pray for blessing in that area!)  I also dropped an app at a nearby Animal Hospital.  I'd actually like both jobs. Kids and animals are great!  OK, that's it for this post, I think it's gotten long enough.  In the coming days, I plan to get settled into the guest room, put in some more applications, and make myself useful around the house (there will be much sweeping and dish washing).

Friday, March 8, 2013

On Moving

Hi :)

Last night (well 1:00 this morning) one of my friends asked me to pick him up from work. On the way home from dropping him off, I found myself mindlessly driving home. Past my favorite thrift store, my Alma Mater, and then along a stretch of road that is peppered with memories of ex-boyfriends.  Cul-de-sacs where my first and I had our verbal knock-down-drag-out fights and also spent time soul searching and star gazing... The path my second and I walked having our first great conversation...

Huntsville is littered with my dating past.

And I can't wait to get out.  

I didn't really think about how much the memories of old boyfriends and interests bubble up in my mind based on where I am in the city.  Even when I'm with Lamar, I'll think "Hey, that's where Paige and I had our first date." Or something like that.  I'm excited to be in a new city that will be fresh for the making of memories with only Lamar. (excuse the sappiness here please ^.^)

I'm glad for the experiences of the past, but it's time to fold Huntsville up like an old quilt and set it away in the attic.  It's been an interesting 9ish years with lots of growth.  I have the feeling now, that I get when I realize that I only have a couple pages left in a good book... I don't want it to end, but I know it has to.  Then when you read the last paragraph and close the cover, you sigh.  And you're glad it happened.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Poems and New Music (Thanks Shakti!)

So Shakti left a link to the song "Addict with a Pen" by Twenty One Pilots on my self-injury post and I really like it. There's a part that seriously compelled me to write. It goes:
"but you specialize in dying
you hear me screaming father
and I'm lying here just crying
so wash me with your water"

I put the song on repeat to see what it would channel out and this piece started coming.  Then I thought of a student I met at the last poetry show I was in (I did half of a poem about depression, but had a panic attack and didn't finish it- I'll share it soon).  He came up to me after the show and said that my piece touched him because he suffers from depression too and it's reassuring to know that he's not alone in it.  He gave me a hug and I wanted to cry.

Anyway, as I was writing tonight, he came to mind so I spoke to him.  When I finished the piece, I read it back and definitely cried.  I hope you can feel it.  And if you know anyone struggling, share this with them.

this isn't so much for me as it is for
sometimes you bleed to remember life
and recite common things
colors of trees
to make sure you haven't lost it
pass through each day
missed by everyone around
none to hear you
they don't see you
self inflicted slits gracing wrists and
thighs and
fleshy parts
never press deep enough though
burn just enough to feel the sizzle
drag blade teasingly to pull the blood to the surface
desperately trying to bring yourself back to

These are the lies it tells you:
NO ONE will understand
they'll think you're CRAZY
NO ONE cares
you're too BROKEN
but I've felt that - feel that
have heard those same lines
filled my nights with wailings
those heaving heavy tears
that come up from the base of your spine
called out to God so many times
only to find myself crumpled outside a church
palms to heaven
face to earth
willing God to come down and touch me
hold me
me- this speck of dust
awash in the expanse of the universe
"but you specialize in dying
you hear me screaming father
and I'm lying here just crying
so wash me with your water"

i had a vision once
i was standing on a cliff
my toes over the edge
and everything in my rational being said
it made perfect sense
so i did
hoping the earth would embrace me
sweetly kiss me swallow me
but instead
i landed
suspended above everything
my left hand traced a lifeline heartline
knees rested on callused skin of a carpenter's son
he caught me
as my right hand slipped through a ragged hole
he caught me
held me up as my sorrow slid through that same hole
he held me
kept me from killing myself too many nights
just so i could get up and say

you are not alone

Here's the song. Thanks again, Shakti, for sharing this with me. It felt good. :)
~Peace to you~

Friday, March 1, 2013

Self-Injury Awareness: My Story

On Facebook, I get updates from the To Write Love on Her Arms page. Today is Self-Injury Awareness day.  I didn't know there was such a day, but I'm glad there is. It makes me feel like as we go forward, less people will be alone in their struggles.

I was a burner throughout my junior and senior years of college.  I had this whole belief system about it in my mind which went like this: yeah things suck, crap happens in life and it hurts, but if you can take the pain of a burn then this external pain is nothing. No one is going to hurt you as much as this burn will.  You see, when you get a burn, it hurts initially- the burning part.  Then it goes numb.  Then it starts hurting all over again, a throbbing constant pain- the healing part.

I felt a sense of relief and control after adding a new burn to my wrist.  It was something that I made happen... which was a big thing when I felt like everything else was out of control.  I wore a ribbon around my wrist so people wouldn't ask about my 'collection.'  Most people assumed it was a fashion statement.

Me circa... umm... 2006ish

I would take an x-acto knife and hold it over a candle or lighter, then hold the blade on my wrist until I couldn't feel it anymore. Eventually, I collected two neat rows of burn lines.  I also used incense sticks by pressing the red tip into the skin next each of the lines.  The scars became some sort of reminder- a "you can do this" nudge everyday.  Every time I looked down.  Healthy? No. Do I understand it? Kind of.

Most of the scarring has faded as they're over 5 years old, but if you look to the bottom left of my tattoo, you can see some of the remaining incense burns and along the center line of my tattoo is the worst of the scars.

I decided to tattoo the Wawa Aba Adinkra symbol over that particular scar as a testament to the whole ordeal.  The depression, the burning, and coming out of it. The Wawa Aba is a symbol for a person who perseveres through hardships.  I wanted to be able to see that encouragement instead of the reminders of that low.

Even now, when I find myself getting really down, I'll still get the urge to pull out a lighter and 'control' something.  Most times higher thought wins and my lighters stay where they should.  I'd love to be able to say that I never burned again, but that's not true.  But I can say that I've only done it a couple minor times since stopping in 2008. Hurray for me :)

So yeah, that's my self-injury story... It felt good to share.  I think the biggest thing that can help others struggling with depression and it's "coping" mechanisms is showing them that you're there.  Maybe they need someone to listen to them rant or just sit and play a video game.  Maybe they need someone to insist they come shopping or come do anything.  Depression has a way of swallowing a person up and blinding them to reality.  It sucks the colors from everything and the pleasure from everything.  It's a beast and sometimes we can get caught by it in the worst way.

You might know someone dealing with something like this.  Even if you're not sure what the case is, being a true friend is strong medicine no matter what.

The most powerful statement for a person to hear (at least for me) is:  
I see you and you're not alone.

Peace ^.^ Have a wonderful weekend!