This Is… Thursday

This is probably not what they had in mind…

I’m sure when Thomas Saint patented the first design for a sewing machine, he wasn’t likely thinking “Someday people will be using their sewing machines to charge their Kindles in order to watch bad Scottish TV shows on Netflix.”  Seems the logical progression.

 

Figuring out my Triggers

I had an interesting occurrence at work today.  It kind of made me put into very specific words some issues I’ve noticed over the years but wasn’t able to quantify.

I was out of the office yesterday, Valentine’s Day, and the team had decorated our pod w balloons. Evidently at the end of the day they decided to put all the balloons on my desk.  Funny.

And suddenly it reminded me of a comment I heard once, “You get unnecessarily upset when things don’t go your way.”  Which, frankly, is not true.  Things don’t go my way all the time, and usually they roll right off me.  But things that get in the way of, say, clocking in to work on time, or making it to a play on time, or finish a project on time, those upset me.  More specifically, they trigger my anxiety.

So instead of forging ahead in my attempt to ween myself off drugs at work, I found myself panicking and causing my coworkers to all say “It wasn’t my idea!” and “I’m sorry, it was just a joke!”  I don’t really want to be the girl with no sense of humor, but the anxiety makes me… different.  It’s not that I can’t see the humor in it, I just didn’t want it to be the reason I potentially lost attendance points to be because I was trying to get to my equipment to log in.  Because I was visibly upset, people helped me out, and I was in in plenty of time, but it just set a tone.

I still tried to muddle through, but the first couple customers were crabby and demanding.  So now I’m medicated.  And trying to be compassionate toward myself.  I’ll put a note on my to do list to find compassion, I really will.

Better Living Through Blah Blah Blah

It’s no secret I am fighting really hard not to have to drug myself to get through life.  I have the utmost respect for the people that know they need it and for whom it helps–my feelings are completely, 100% personal.  And maybe I could stand to take a little advice from my shrink and “reframe” the way I think about them (she was trying to speak to me as an artist, it was really quite adorable and frankly a little genius).  That said, I find pharmaceuticals to induce existentialism in myself.  Namely, it feels that there isn’t a whole lot of point to life if I have to drug myself to get through it.  I know it’s not the healthiest attitude, but it’s the one I currently have, and I’m just being honest about my feelings.  Maybe one day I’ll try a different frame around it.

However, I do fully admit there are times when medications are needed.  I take antibiotics (grudgingly, if I absolutely have to, and then I also take additional meds for the unintended consequences), I take pain killers and anti-inflammatories.  But I’d also be pretty upset if I had to take them all the time.  Like, really upset.

I’ve recently also started taking anti-anxiety meds.  Benzos.  Because I didn’t want to have to take something every day.  At first I was pretty “meh” about them.  Not really understanding if they helped at all.  After I had a panic attack at work, I started taking one every day, as a preventative, but I’m really trying to get away from them.  Again, I don’t want to have to take them every day.  If I have to take them everyday, then that says something pathetic about my job.  But even still, I wasn’t sure if they were working.  Maybe I’m just starting to feel more confident because I’m getting more experienced?  Who knows.

So I tried something I knew would absolutely tell me, without a doubt, they were working.

I took one, and promptly made my way to the Mall of America to go for a stroll.  First floor, easy peasy (always is).  Second floor, smooth sailing (usually is, unless I go close to a rail).  Third floor, hey, are we still on the second floor? (Usually at this point I have to start walking faster to get back to the second floor as soon as possible).  Fourth floor… I know I should be nervous, but there are literally no physical reactions.  None.

A little history… I could probably count the number of times I’ve been on the fourth floor, and each of those times my heart practically beat out of my chest, and I had to fight the urge to crawl flat on the floor.

But not today.  Today the fourth floor was my bitch.  Take that, fourth floor!

Next stop? Ropes course!  Who’s with me?

And Then That Happened…

One of the biggest things I lament in my lame attempt at calling myself a writer is that nothing ever happens to me.  I don’t have a wild youth.  I’ve never really gotten in trouble or had much in the way of adventures.

Except for that one time I was a clown.

Photo by James P. Jordan, just like the watermark says.

Let’s back up.

Clowns give me the heebie-jeebies.  If a man carrying a chainsaw was walking down one side of the street, and a clown was walking down the other, I’d probably side with the chainsaw.  I don’t trust people whose faces I can’t see, and clowns and mascots are at the top of that list (I initially said “a man wearing a mask and carrying a chainsaw”, but I had to change it because the mask would freak me out as much as the clown).

So when a friend of mine said she really wanted to make a Steampunk Clown costume, I was all, “You’re crazy nutso.”  And when she asked if I’d do them embroidery, I was all “Of course, but you’re still crazy nutso.”  You already got to see some of the embroidery, so obviously I obliged.  And really, the embroidery was awesome.

And then I dropped the embroidery off at her house.

And she roped me into even more embroidery, which was fine, because it was even more awesomer.  But while I was there, she somehow managed to talk me in to modeling the costume for a photoshoot.  Hindsight tells me that when she said “Oh, if only someone in our group were my size” what she was really thinking was “If we just pad out the chest a little, DK will be perfect.”  I’m on to her.

So because I’m the very best friend in the world–and because despite the fact it was a clown, I knew this costume would be amazing beyond belief–I agreed to model.  Which was silly, because I’m almost as uncomfortable in front of a camera as I am in front of a clown.  Thank god I didn’t actually have to look at myself the whole time, or I would have been downright terrified.

We met Jim, photographer to the peeps in the know out at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, at Starbucks at about 9 Saturday morning.  I got myself a green tea latte (because they’re awesome), and we hit the road for a nearly two hour journey to the wilds of Mantorville, MN where we would find ourselves at the Mantorville Opera House.  Once there, I spent 78 hours having my hair and makeup done and then another 46 hours putting the costume on (give or take).  The dear, sweet women who met us at the Opera House to do hair and makeup were phenomenal, but none of us really had any idea it would take so long.  Poor Jim.

124 hours later, I was on stage.  Literally.  Under stage lights and in front of photographer’s lights, with a man on a ladder telling me to be a clown.  Have I mentioned I don’t like clowns?

I tried to research how clowns emote and how they act, but I ran short on time.  Getting ready took so long, I really had no chance to practice looks before going in front of the camera.  The makeup was very unique, and I really wasn’t sure what it would look like if I did certain things on camera.  I know I shouldn’t have cared, and I should have just done anything, but I’m a self-conscious person in general; putting things on camera makes it that much more permanent (though, really, almost everything is digital now, I should relax about that sort of thing).

Once I loosened up a bit, and once people started shouting out suggestions, it became a little less weird.  And honestly, despite my unease, I had a freaking blast.  And as I look back on it a bit (and as I see the interwebs growing more and more enamored with the project), I realize it’s one of those things that few people can say have happened to them.  Maybe it’s not a story I’ll tell at parties, and maybe I don’t have a very promising future in modeling or being a clown, but it’s still unique.

You really should read all about the project on Laura’s blog.  The work she did was incredible.  Honestly, the embroidery I did for the project, and even modeling the costume, are small potatoes compared to the vision she constructed.

Photo by James P. Jordan, possibly the world’s most patient man.

Prepare to be Astounded

No, really… this post is going to blow your mind for multiple reasons.  First of all, prepare to be blown away by my terrible photography skills!  If anyone knows of a way to photograph a blanket that doesn’t make it look like a giant lump of fabric, let me know.  My space is limited, so this is what you get.  Sorry.

Secondly, I shall amaze you with my follow through.  Yes, folks, I have managed to keep my January goal!  Granted, I gave myself a ridiculously easy one, but I followed through nonetheless.  Here’s the proof!

D’awwww!

Innit cute?  Little pirate boy and his swashbuckling whale friend!  And a little octopus that you can just barely see in the photo!  What could be better?

Funny you should mention it… That brings us to astoundingness number three.  THE MOST PERFECT FABRIC IN THE WORLD.

I am known for hyperbole, yes, but in this instance I am not kidding.  There are a few things I’m obsessed with, and this fabric brings them all into one perfect little bundle.

image

 

Let’s get a close up on that, shall we?  And also ignore how freaking blurry it is.  No matter what I did, every picture of this side came out blurry.  That’s life.

image

 

It’s a monkey.  It’s a monkey pirate.  And this fabric completes the hat trick with a monkey pirate pun.  Puns are quite possibly my favorite form of humor in the history of ever.  But folks, while this fabric is completely made of win, it also tells me one very terrifying thing.  There is another person out there that thinks exactly like I do.  I’m not really sure the world needs that.

My only regret about this blanket is that it’s only 2 yards long.  Despite my short stature, I prefer 2.5 yards for my blankets.  But the first pirate fabric had been something that someone got cut and decided they didn’t want.  I figured I’d take it off the store’s hands.  Since I had that fabric first, when the MOST PERFECT FABRIC IN THE WORLD came along, I knew I needed to cut it to match.  But at least I have my new favorite blanket.  I won’t even tell you how long I’ve been holding on to the fabric (at least two years….).

Wonder Clips

I can’t recall if I’ve talked about Wonder Clips before.  I would be equally surprised if I had and if I hadn’t.  Because for the former, I’m forgetful, and for the latter, they’re just so freaking awesome.

I was introduced to Wonder Clips by my friend ArtisticEdition because she is, frankly, the coolest person in the world.  And also on top of the latest advances in quilting notions by virtue of her workplace.  So she gave me the opportunity to get my hands on these babies before a lot of other people could (ie, before they hit the shelves at places like Jo-Ann) and I was immediately in love.  And this was, like, three years ago, so I’m way overdue in blogging about them.

I was reminded of their awesomeness on a recent project I worked on.  I was replacing the zipper on a winter coat.  If you’ve ever put in a zipper, you know that pinning frankly isn’t a very good option.  Pins warp things, especially zipper placement (or maybe that’s just me).  And in a winter coat, pins can’t even begin to be an option.  I would have U-shaped pins by the time I was done.  Wonder Clips, however, refuse to shy away from the task at hand.  See for yourself:

Ooooh, aaahhh…

No buckling, no bending, no warping.  The zipper is held in place exactly where I need it and every single layer is held tightly.  My only complaint about Wonder Clips is that they aren’t magnetic.  When I sew, I like to be able to throw my pins in the general direction of my magnetic pin “cushion”, instead of slowing down to get them in their home or leave a mess to clean up later (I already do enough of that).  But, really, the pros of the Wonder Clips far out-weigh that con.

So, there you have it… Wonder Clips.  As in, “wonder how I ever sewed this long without them” clips.  You can find them now at Jo-Ann for sure, and probably Hancock and Hobby Lobby, maybe even Michaels.  Quilt shops will most definitely have them.  But if you get them at Jo-Ann when the quilt notions are half off, they are a steal.  And don’t bother with the 10-pack.  Go with the 50, even if only just to get the case.  At least then there’s something to throw in the general direction of…

That’s A Tasty Snack!

I’ve been making my shopping lists on ZipList.  It comes in really handy, because I can type the list out on my computer and automagically flies over to the app on my phone.  But every time I make a list, I crack up a little because the program sorts your items into the areas of the store it thinks you’ll find the product.  Let’s look at my current Target list, shall we?

ziplist

I was also a little worried about that Worcestershire sauce up there, because when I was typing it in, the drop down list said “Personal Items: Worcestershire Sauce”.  I mean, yeah, I’m the only one in the house that uses it, but I don’t think that word means what they think it means.  Just sayin’.  Thankfully once it was on the list, it ended up in the proper category.

BTW, in case you were wondering, I checked it with duffel spelled correctly, and it still puts it in snacks.