Back Around Again

It has been a while. A long while. But I have come back around again. Here are a few of the things I’ve been up to while out of sight…
apolarbearhatA hat. Polar bear variety.
acleoflamingoOne of five flamingo costumes.
aethanpaintingA painting of my little brother.
anecklaceA necklace.
anothernecklaceAnd another necklace.
ablanketA baby blanket for a brand new baby.
avalentineValentines…

the Flu

cow2It’s weird to come in here and see that my last post was on February 1st. Man. We got sick. Everyone in the house. It takes a while to fully come through all of that grossness. What does getting sick do for you? I find it to be a really bizarre head space, especially when my kids get sick. When Liam died he had had a normal kid cold. I don’t think that’s what killed him, ultimately, but it was there. I remember. And that’s hard to not think about when I see my kids sick now. There’s this helplessness. So much–not always rational– questioning (why do I let them eat sugar? why did we go to the Y? blah, blah, blah, why?). So we get the flu, I hear on the radio that Wisconsin is only second to Texas in pediatric deaths due to the flu this season, and I try to take care of everyone (just like every other parent does).cow1And we’re fine! We’re all fine. It wasn’t even that bad now that I’m on the other side of it. But while it was on, man, it was on. I wasn’t well enough to go anywhere, I cancelled a lot of stuff, and my house began to look like it had the flu as well. In the middle of feeling bad I got an overpowering urge to knit a hat. That’s usually how it works for me; it’s almost as if I become fixated on the creation of an item and I can’t do anything else until it is complete. So I stayed up late a couple nights with a head cold and an orange cat and knit myself a hat. I love knitting. It’s no wonder that I decided I needed to do it when I was feeling so perfectly bad for myself.cat4We do eat sugar. I’ve been trying to limit the intake, but it’s not gone or anything. I find that when I set extreme limits the limit itself causes way to much anxiety or stress or guilt. If I’m feeling those things because I’m trying to be healthier then I’m not getting healthier. Let’s talk about that for a minute. There are a lot of different belief systems around food. Like, is sugar poison? Is gluten making you ill? Should you go Paleo? I don’t know. I think that each person has their own unique body that functions best when fed in its own unique way. I try to pay attention to how I feel after eating some grub. The more I realize I feel not-so-good after eating certain items, the more I know I don’t want to feel that way, therefore it’s easier to not eat said item. It’s not so much about rightness and wrongness, it’s about finding what works best for you. If eating only organic food helps you feel your best then eat organic food. But if it stresses you out because it’s expensive and you can’t afford other things…if it stresses you out because you are super hungry and you can’t get to the co-op…if it stresses you out and you can’t think about anything else…well then, I don’t know, what do you think? What is your balance?cat1So, speaking of sugar, my two-year-old turned two over the weekend and I made him a cake. I call it the Catty-cat Cake, because that’s what he calls it and because it’s fun. I really enjoy baking and cake construction. I made this one when the three-year-old turned two. I like the challenge. I like that it’s edible. I like that it’s a cat. And even though it’s made of sugar and white flour it brings me a the little people a great deal of joy and that is not stressful, that, I think, is healthy.cat2

What I’m Working On: A Blanket

blanketI love me a cozy blanket. Feels like warmth and safety and all sorts of comfortable.blanketI made this baby for my cousin as a wedding gift. It’s always a little nerve-wracking, giving a handmade item as a present. I want the receiver to want it, like it, and hopefully not feel annoyed that I didn’t choose something off of the registry. Mostly, though, I feel driven to make something that might be meaningful, because, selfishly, it’s meaningful to me. So maybe that’s what it’s really about. Huh.
blanketCheck out the back of this quilt. Faux mink. And you should feel it. Super dreamy. Faux mink because I’ve been reading the Clan of the Cave Bear series and the characters are always climbing into their sleeping furs at the end of the day. I want sleeping furs. There it is.
blanketI “quilted” it by hand by making little starbursts with this beautiful silk thread that I was able to borrow from one of my best, best friends.

Talisman |part 2|

talisman

Here it is, my talisman necklace.

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I created a couple of little pomegranates to place in the back of the necklace, close to the clasp, kind of a little secret just for me.

talisman

I had this interesting thought process over the weekend, like I really wanted to do a lot of embellishments (ie: add a lot more time to creating the piece), but I also felt this urgency to get it done and around my neck. I decided to go with the urgency and finish it today.

talisman

This is what it all means:

Iron (horseshoe)– life-force/life-force of the Earth

Coal (horseshoe)– good luck, energy, possibility of warmth and fire

Pomegranate– fertility, prosperity, abundance

Sterling silver– reflects away negativity and evil intentions; calming and balancing

talisman

To be clear, I’m not creating this talisman and giving it all of my power. I will not forget to wear it one day and fear for my safety. I will not lose it and assume the worst is about to happen. It’s not a superstitious kind of a thing. It’s a reminder. A reminder that I am in charge of my luck and my safety, my prosperity and my balance. It’s something I might see in the mirror and then, remarkably, feel better.

Does that make sense?
You can see where this process started here.

Talisman

It’s time to make a talisman. What the heck is a talisman? What’s this Talisman Project all about? A talisman is an object that is believed to have special powers or magical abilities. Ever since I fell down the stairs (I’m healing splendidly, by the way), I’ve been thinking about what to do next (how to process the emotions, what to do with some of the symbolism, etc). Today I remembered: talisman! Boom. Let’s go:

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This is my process. I like to write down whatever comes to mind; I pulled the imagery from the piece I made the other day, the one I created as a direct response to my fall. Then I like to look at the symbolic meaning behind the imagery with one of my favorite tools, the internet. I googled coal, iron (found out I am a bit anemic the other day), pomegranate, and donkey, to name a few.

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I also consider what I want a talisman for. In this case, for a healthy and safe pregnancy, a healthy baby, and overall a feeling of safety. Learning I was a bit iron deficient made big difference in my life in just a couple days. Adding more of the mineral to my diet has given me more energy and taken away the shaky, breathless feeling that I was just attributing to pregnancy. Here’s a list of the things I looked up and their meanings:

Iron: life-force/life-force of the Earth

Coal: good luck, energy, possibility of warmth and fire

Donkey: intelligence, dedication, stubbornness, creative force

Pomegranate: fertility, prosperity, abundance

talisman

So check it out: Iron is often represented by a horseshoe, being that they are made of iron. Horseshoes commonly represent good luck. Coal also represents good luck. Donkeys do not commonly wear horseshoes–I’m still working that one into the piece, but I really connect with the stubbornness and creative force. As for the pomegranate, that one just makes me feel warm inside. All of the meanings resonate with me on some level and I feel like that’s what kind of energizes a talisman. We all have pieces of jewelry or other tokens that are meaningful to us. It’s this meaning that gives them their power. Know what I mean?

talsiman

I’ve begun this piece in sterling silver. Silver because it is what I work with most often and because it’s warm against my skin. Sterling silver is also known for reflecting away negativity and evil intentions as well as being calming and balancing.

talisman

And that’s as far as I got today. I’ll allow for the weekend to help bring inspiration to the rest of the piece. Thoughts? Ideas? Want to make your own talisman? Want me to make a talisman for you? These are all possibilities. Please contact me or leave a comment.

What I’m Working On: Baby Boots

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Spending evenings knocking these cutie pies right out.

knitting

Have I mentioned I like knitting? And toy horses. I like them, too. Which brings to mind this: say toy boat three times as fast as you can. Did you do it? Always fun. Wait, you didn’t do it…you have to say it out loud. Right now, out loud, “Toy boat, toy boat, toy boat!”

Good job.