Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like ( a very funky) Christmas!


I have just been a decorating fiend, you guys. The apartment is just looking SO FREAKING CUTE! There's a little tiny mini tree adorning one corner, and a wreath on the door, and lights and candles EVERYWHERE. There are ornaments hanging in front of the door, and this INCREDIBLY CUTE sign on the wall.

But it is not done yet, so you get no pictures. Sorry. When it's done, I will take too many and post them EVERYWHERE.

When it is done.

I still have a table runner and table cloth to do, and then the whole place needs to be cleaned within an inch of its life, and then maybe it'll be done. Oh, and I also need to finish my balcony... it is looking downright SAD.

Best part: I've decorated the entire place for less than $75. That's right.

Other than that project, I'm trying to get some of the Christmas crafting done... really, I am. And a few commissions. And I'm also renewing interest in making my own hygiene products- look for a recipe before the week is out!

And look for Christmas pictures very soon!! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Letting Go

This is a tough one. For all of us, but for me especially. I wanted to post this one days ago- today's the 20th, so it would have been 6 days ago when I hit rock, stinking bottom. I've written about this experience in detail, and so I'll simply repost...

I wrote about this last year, so simply change this to two years ago now.

"I've always been kinda crazy for phoenixes, or rather, fascinated by them. I think they are beautiful images. Well, a year ago today, I burst into flame, and I died. Nobody told me that that part hurt so incredibly bad.

A year ago today, I got cut from my Musical theatre program. When we went to pick up our letters, mine politely but firmly denied me from moving forward. "At this time, it is the wishes of the faculty..." The rest of that evening is a blur. I remember falling, eyes filling with tears, throat full of a wail that I couldn't release, skin burning, the smell of my burning feathers as my wings caught in the blaze... My roommates carried me home, I think. I don't know how they didn't burn their hands. I called mom, and my squawks were all but incoherent. "I got Cut", I sobbed. I was shaking as the fire burned higher and higher around me, the smoke making a haze that I couldn't see through. I went to the after party my classmates were having, several hours later and said goodbye to them. These people were my family, and I didn't know when or if I would see them again. As I said my goodbyes, my heart burst into flames, shards of it flying out of my body and piercing my skin. The next four days, a total blur. I was a pile of ashes. I didn't eat. I didn't sleep. I didn't charge my phone, turn on my computer, nothing. I closed my deadened heart and soul off to the world. I tried to find the way back, but could barely force myself to be interested. My parents watched, helpless. There were whispered conversations and arguments, which I still swear they started just to see if I would fight them back.

In the midst of that, I discovered DM. Today was my technical one year DMiversary, although I didn't become active for about a week, when I forced myself to check my email. Life began to rekindle in my ashes. The edge of the pain fro that burning fire began to recede.

Weeks passed as I started to heal. My parents relaxed a tiny amount. I started to try to think about things:was I going back to school? As what?

Could I handle it? What would people think? Was I going to spend the next three years seeing people look at me with their eyes full of pity? Could I deal with that? Did I want to? Did I have to?

I did go back to school. I switched to a Theatre Studies Major so I could take voice lessons with my teacher. I joined a choir. I added some more classes to my schedule. I tried to look forward. The year ended with me still barely a rehatched hatchling. A tiny, sputtering baby of a bird, no feathers, no wings, no trust, no faith.

I went to camp, and I healed some more. I spent my summer in the woods recovering, and healing others. Days in the trees, nights at the beach. My feathers grew in, brown down first, soon beginning to be replaced by orange and red plumage. I looked forward to coming home again to school and DM. Work and play, not necessarily in that order.

Fall quarter started. I returned to my apartment, a junior, yes, with two new roommates. I came home to my new, true family, my bondeds and other friends and family here on DM, where I knew I belonged. The quarter began, and it was a long one. No real classes I liked, lots of classes with stupid people. But my feathers continued to grow, golden tail feathers sprouting, and wings growing stronger.

I met my long lost sister, and grew stronger.

One day, I got pushed out of the nest. My voice teacher and accompanist nosed mme right up to the edge, and down I went, spinning, a whirlwind of tears, and red-gold feathers in the wind of my own swift descent. "Even out!", she shouted, high above me. "Calm down!" he added, "this is easy and natural!"

And I flew. It was a short glide, barely an hour long, before I was back in my nest, hiding my beautiful plumage and flight from anyone else who might try to see. They sighed, bemoaning my attitude and lack of confidence.

And then, this week, I set out on my first solo flight. I willingly jumped out, and to my honest surprise and delight, it was easy, natural. I glided my way through, and got through to the next round of auditions easily. The next night, I jumped again, hoping for a repeat performance. And I flew, circling, calling my joy to those below me.

It worked. Less than one week from the anniversary from my cut from my program, I got cast by the head of that program. I'm going to be in Jekyll and Hyde next quarter. The next day, I found out I'm also cast for Spring Quarter.

What a difference a year makes. A year ago, I wanted to die. I did die. I thought there was no hope.

I questioned everything I thought I wanted and was good at. I stopped believing that this is why I was created. I was almost ready to make public my decision to not pursue a career in theatre, but something else entirely, although I had no idea what.

This week, I was cast twice, attended a workshop with one of my idols, and worked crew on another show.

What an unbelievable difference a year makes. I have become a new person, even if I do still have the scars of the old."

*DM is the fantasy site I'm a member of.
The thing I couldn't see then is that I STILL wasn't over the whole thing. I'm not sure I ever will be, honestly, not that kind of hurt. But another year away from it, and a whole lot more has become different in my life.
I've met another of my soulmates. He is one of the most wonderful men I've ever known, and it was this circumstance that brought us together. 

I got a job, in the costume department at my University. I adore it, and I'm very good at it.

And I forgave him. The person, who, in my mind, masterminded my Cut. I have forgiven him. It took me two years, and I'll never, ever trust him any further than I can see him, but I have forgiven him. 

And that's the important bit, really. I couldn't see it last year yet. How tied up I still was in the mess of that whole situation. I couldn't see how unhappy it was still making me. I couldn't see how dark things still were. I deluded myself into thinking I was free of it. 
I'll never be free of it, the same way I'll never be free of the pain in my legs from the car accident I was in over 10 years ago.

But the same way I've let go of that, I have let go of this. I can celebrate it, in a way, now. I can honestly say that if I had to have gone through that to get where I am: the people in my life, the circumstances, the work I've done, I would do it again. I wouldn't jump at the chance, but I would take it, knowing what I do now.
But I can only see that because I have let go of it.
What's holding you down? What memory, circumstance is tethering you to the ground? What's keeping you from soaring like a Phoenix? Let go of it. 
Let go of anger.
Let go of fear.
Let go of hurt.
Let go of grief.
Let go of discord.
Let go of pride.

And find the peace you were meant to experience. Find the peace that welcomes you home, frees you, lifts you up, creates joy, love and bounty in our lives.

Let go, and fly high.

Friday, November 18, 2011

End of Fall Quarter Recap!

Hello all!

Goodness, what a quarter! I turned in my last final this afternoon, and now I am officially free to do as I wish until January. That's right, JANUARY! Oh, the plans I have made... Hopefully I will get back to regular updates here too.

The quarter went well, but it was long  and very grueling. I must admit that as much as I dragged my feet about getting an account, I love having pinterest to be inspired by. I have seen all sorts of great DIY things: laundry detergent, shampoo, hand soap, et cetera, et cetera. I'll DEFINITELY be trying those out in the days to come- they're sure to be frugal, and probably greener than store bought ones.

And then there's the OODLES of Christmas decorating, crafting and baking I intend to do. And i do mean OODLES. I tend to make a LOT of my presents- I think I'm up to four or five projects before Christmas, and then there's the baking that I want to give away to friends and employers and such, and then there's all the items i want to make in order to decorate the apartment. And THEN there's all the projects that have been growing in stacks because I have just been too gosh-darned busy to even look at them!

What's that? Oh, you want to KNOW what I'm planning?

uhhhhh... ok...

well, I won't tell oyu the present ideas, because they're good, and this is public and my mom (hi, Mom!) is (supposedly) one of my readers. Anyway, let's start with my ideas for decorating, shall we? ok!

Well, firstly, I created a theme (of course). As this is a frugal Christmas, I'm gonna try to use my own stuff as much as possible, or use cheap alternatives if I have to purchase. But the theme is *ahem*
A Very Peaceful Christmas
Great, right? Ok, well, I think so. And it is MY house, after all.I also have a color palette, and I'm really excited about this too. I've chosen to do the house in White, Silver, Turquoise, lime green, magenta and purple. Unfortunately, I bought some fabric that I'm really excited to use, and it has some red in it, but I'm gonna try to restrict it to the bathroom and a couple touches in the kitchen. But it is GREAT fabric, so I'm willing to sacrifice.  So that's the theme.

Ok, so first, I'm going to make a wreath in the shape of a peace sign. To do this, I'm going to use some plumber's tubing (great and CHEAP!) and cover it with... something. Possibly fabric, but I'm leaning towards yarn. Especially if I can get silver yarn. Or oooo! White with silver sparkles. Then, I'm going to add a few paper flowers in a crisp white. I might teach myself rosettes, or I might bunch up some coffee filters. I'm leaning toward coffee filters, because I love that look.  Then, I'm going to fold a couple paper cranes, and possibly a couple origami stars, and glue them in with the flowers. Super cute, and totally eclectic and modern. I can see it. If you can't yet, well, you will when I take pictures!

Then, once the wreath is done, I'm going to go get some washers. As in, the tiny things you put on nuts and bolts and stuff. (I might be able to steal some from Mom, too, actually... uh, hi Mom!) I'm also going to get some cheap letters, probably spelling "PEACE", and I'm going to spray paint (or other wise color) them all. I am not sure what color yet, but I'm leaning towards one of the colors. Maybe the blue. And then I'm going to glue the washers down to the letters, creating nice, shiny, cheap wall art. I saw a piece that used quarters, and the effect was AMAZING, but, well, that's a LOT of quarters.  So unless someone has a good cheap replacement, I'll be using the washers. I'm going to hang those in our living room, probably over the couch.

Next, we move on to the dining area. That's where I start stitching. I found a great tutorial for making your own appliques, and I think I'm in love. I found this AMAZING fabric, which is white based and has peace signs and birds in green and red, and I love love love it. So, the kitchen is getting new towels: little white hand towels with a peace sign, star, or bird cut from that fabric appliqued on.  SO CUTE. And, even better... I have a good feeling I can get cheap towels this weekend. Score! So the bathroom and kitchen are getting cute little towels, and the dining room is getting appliqued placemats. Maybe. The last time I made placemats I HATED them, so... I might give up. But I'd like to try. I'm thinking they'd be so cute in my four accent colors with  a little white applique on them... great, right? Again, a star, a bird, a peace sign, and a what? I don't know. I need to do four, so help me out, friends. I need a fourth shape. I'm trying to avoid out right christmas, which is weird, I know, but I'm feeling like it is SO OVER DONE. So, uh, help a girl out.

There's some more things I'm gonna add, like jars coated in Epsom salts, painted pine cones, some mini trees, and possibly some ribbon, candles, old wine bottles, and some painted sticks.

Not sure how that's adding up? Just trust.

Boy, I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bi-focals.

Anyway, tutorials and pictures to come!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

90 day challenge: some moderate success!

Today, I busted out the inseam of my size twelve jeans. (I know, boo, right? I loved those jeans!) But they were old, and worn out, and on top of it all, too big.

So I took myself off to Old Navy, where I always end up buying my jeans. They just fit me right, you know?

Anyway, I grabbed a pair of size ten skinny jeans and headed for the dressing rooms with my fingers crossed.

AND SUCCESS! All my jeans are now size tens (both pairs, lol) I'm so pleased with that result! And the other (non-skinny) pair fit really well now. We're halfway to the goal!