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.

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

Apopka, 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.

Friday, August 7, 2015

What Makes You Smile

[Im going to start a post topic based on prompts from this be inspired journal I recently purchased. Each post will start with a quote and the writing prompt.]

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you." -Walt Whitman
Prompt: Write about everything that makes you smile.

The best thing about this prompt is the fact that I chose it last week.  Then the beginning of this week was kinda cruddy.  It's like God knew that I would need to sit down and make a happy list.  God is awesome!  It is time for me to write a new happy list. The last one I wrote was on my 24th birthday. I wonder how much has changed...

24-Year-Old Caleisha's Happy List:
Handmade things
Polka dots
Road trips
The beach
Thrift stores
Chai tea
Tea in bright mugs
Kiva/Small animals
Game nights

And then...

29-Year-Old Caleisha's Happy List:
God's awesomeness 
Lamar, mah booski 
Kiva & Tootie, my dogs
A good cup of tea
Rebelling Bible stories 
Making things
Learning new skills
Friends & family
Exploring new areas
Bubble baths
Thrift stores
Trying new foods
Handmade soaps & peppermint soap
Cuddly blankets
Christian turn-up
Craft supplies
Polka dots & stripes
Fresh flowers

There you have it... 29 things that make my heart happy.  As I assumed, there are a lot of things that crossed over from my first list.  It was a teeny bit harder to come up with 29 things because I wanted each thing to be something that actually brings me joy.  I might also ask Lamar to write one that way we'll have little insta-happy cheat sheets. :)

What are 3 things that make you happy? Lemme know ^.^

Thursday, August 6, 2015

All About Us Scrapbook: Part 2

Here is part 2 of my scrapbooking adventure!  Huzzah!  These pages were a lot of fun to put together.  At first, creating the layouts was kinda daunting, each for its own reason.  The full 12x12s were hard because I literally started with a HUGE blank canvas... I also felt like I was wasting space if I didn't pretty much cover the whole paper.  On the other hand, the Project Life pocket pages were hard because I didn't think about photo orientation when I was choosing photos to print.  So I'd end up with not enough photos in the proper sizes and have to figure out ways to trim them to make them fit.  *shrug*

With future layouts, I wanna get more into layering and embellishing.  Right now my pages are very simple... photos, journaling, filler cards.  I definitely have plenty of room for growth.

Now lets get into these next layouts!

These photos are from the first time Lamar and I went to Lake Guntersville State Park.  I love everything about these photos!  Lamar was super proud of the black & white one he took of Kiva watching me wade.  He said he had to shoot it a bunch of times to get it just right.  I'm glad he did because it is quite beautiful.

This is Lake Guntersville State Park one year later after the huge tornado outbreak.  It's crazy that wind did all this destruction.  Oddly enough, whenever I look at these or remember this trip, I feel this almost awful reverence for nature... how a storm can chew a tree to splinters.

This paper is uh-MAZE-ing!  I had a lot of fun going through all the text and highlighting the bits that fit us.  My favorite line in it is, "I can't wait to see the journey we go on together." I also love that sentiment paired with this photo from our engagement shoot.

All the photos on this page had to be trimmed and MAN it was so fiddly!  I got to use more of my little letter stickers and did a lot of journaling as you can see.  One of the best parts of this layout is the sticker on Lamar driving the go-cart.  I wanted a race car themed sticker for the photo, but I didn't want to go and buy a whole set.  What I ended up doing was drawing a flag on paper, cutting it out, and running it through my sticker maker.  Ta-da! Handmade stickers in my scrapbook!!

Of course, as a doggy-mommy I had to do a few layouts dedicated to Kiva & Toot :)  The journaling on here are things the dogs enjoy and a handful of their nicknames.  I found these packets of paper die-cut embellishments on clearance at Joann's and used them on this page.  I feel like I was dipping my toe in the embellishment swimming pool ^.^ Not bad. Not bad at all. 

Here's another page of the girls.  I water color painted the background paper, and I think that'll be something I try again.  I used a page of dog themed stickers on here and wrote a little journaling around their close up shots.  

That's it for this part of the All About Us Scrapbook ^.^  I have been working busily on finishing the rest of the pages.  Then I ended up adding the remaining 12x12 page protectors back into the album.  So when they're all done, the album will have 20 12x12 layouts and 10 Project Life layouts.

I've already purchased a new ringed scrapbook album to make it easier to change up the page protectors.  And I'm trying to decide how I want to approach the new book.  It'll probably be just like this one, a running record of our lives as we go. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Chaos or Control: A How I'm Feeling Post

Every so often I find myself in a moment of struggle between chaos and control.  I think "I have too many things on my to-do list to fall apart this early in the day" but at the same time I know that holding myself together is likely to take a while anyway.  SO what makes more sense? Let go and let the anxiety/melancholy wash over and hopefully go on by... or buckle down for the eminent fight against it.

I have these mental debates quite a lot actually.  And I don't know why I even entertain them because I always choose to fight.  Or at least I choose to try to fight. Sometimes I lose, but I think the knowledge of how beastly that seemingly small melancholy can get is what keeps me fighting it off. 

To be completely honest, I do wish that I could drop all the weapons and tricks I've learned over the years and let Mel have it's way.  I always think in the back of my mind that that would be easier.  Just like sitting in a cold bath... eventually you go numb to it... eventually it feels warm.  There's something that seems SOOO comforting about that thought.  Like it would do me good.  But I know how Mel works.  Eventually I wouldn't be able to get out.  *shrug*

So, onward in this fight for control.  Onward with the deep breathing and the meditation music.  Onward with the prayers.  Onward with the deliberate actions.  Onward with forcing my head up.  Onward with smiling.  Onward with working.  Onward with the fight.

I just had to get this out.  If you read this, thanks.

Monday, August 3, 2015

It's a Dog's Life: Mutt's Day 2015

Last Friday (July 31st) was Mutt's Day!  As doggy-mommy to two rescue dogs, Kiva & Tootie, I planned on doing a full day-in-the-life photo post about them.  But alas I didn't have time on Friday.  Instead of the day-in-the-life idea, Lamar and I took them on a nice long walk Sabbath afternoon.  After the walk we sat in the backyard enjoying the breeze.  Kiva laid in the grass cooling off and Tootie rolled around in the dirt :)

This is my first photo-story of the 3-6 I want to do for my 30 Before 30 list.  I had a lot of fun shooting it.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

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