And so they begin

It's been months since I've woke up from tornado nightmares during the night. In fact, it's safe to say that it's been since before my mom passed away. The dreams I used to have weren't scary, just stressful, very very stressful. I wake from them feeling lost, without a safe place to hide, and disoriented.

The break from those dreams ended last night. I woke in the early hours of morning with my mind racing. I couldn't tell if I was upset from the nightmare or because I had the nightmare. It's funny when I think about the actual dream, but I can safely say that I wasn't laughing about it at 4AM in the morning as I lie there, on my pillow, unable to drift back off to sleep.

Interestingly enough, today's feelings reflected those in the dream almost to a "T". I'm left at the end of the day worried, apprehensive, and way more stressed about the next month than I have been leading up to today. Work is going to be a bear. I'll just leave it at that.

I've spent the evening trying to think of something to do. Yes, the entire evening has been spent pacing the house, pulling out projects, deciding not to do the project and putting back the project. In an attempt to de-stress and relax I'm left frustrated that I have nothing to do. I absolutely hate when I do this to myself.

I decided to sit down and stop forcing myself to find a relaxing activities. Instead of doing something creative this evening, I've spent minutes upon minutes watching old Elton John videos on YouTube. I stumbled upon a Heart cover of this (Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters has always been one of my faves of his):

I really like it so I thought I'd share.

Maybe I'll go dust off the piano and play a bit before bed. Tomorrow I'll start the day off with a 5K walk in the name of colon cancer and perhaps will clear my mind a bit.


See this???

I knit it. With my own two hands (well, and 2 different sizes of knitting needles and some yarn). I can't remember a time I've been more proud of something I knit. This took time, it took learning techniques I hadn't used before, and it took frustration.

Lots of frustration.

It's not perfect, I messed up a bit in the lace work but I'm still going to wear it. I'll just make another one. Kind of a "before perfection and after practice" study.

I said I'd knit a shrug and I did. In fact, I'm just going to go ahead and call this a sweater... for summer. So hey, I knit a sweater. Hooray for being a grown up knitter! And hooray for being done with a project that actually took concentration. Now back to some no brainers for a while.


Gardening... at last

I finally found myself squishing dirt between my hands, carefully moving earthworms out of the way of my little shovel, and digging holes today. I took some time, and the opportunity to work with damp earth, today and worked on my herb garden.

When I moved here, I brought peppermint, lemon balm and spearmint with me. Last year I planted some oregano and chives (both of which came back up this year). Earlier this season I planted rosemary, sage, thyme, chocolate and apple mints. So all I needed to add to it was some catnip, cilantro, Italian parsley, dill, Genovese basil, and Purple Opal basil. The seeds were from last year, so I hope they sprout. If not I'll just head down to the local nursery and buy more. I didn't want to throw these away if they were still good.

I've also started some squash and melon seeds today. It's far too late for peppers and tomatoes from seeds, but squash takes off. These seeds are a few years old... so we'll see if they sprout. No biggie if they don't, it's more an experiment than anything.It felt so good to get back out into the garden. I love designing where I'm going to plant thing. I love using broken pots buried in the ground for visual interest (and mint containment). I'm always scavenging for rocks in other parts of the yard to add height to my beds... it's just refreshing to get to do that again.

But now that I'm finished for the day, and showered, I'm thinking I should get back to that knitting.


A Day Spent Indoors

The view from my window today was a wet one. It rained most of the day only letting up long enough for me to steal away to grab some groceries. I had planned to work on my back patio to get it ready for spring and summer cookouts, but instead I sat on the couch and knit on my next project.

I'm knitting this.

Remember, in my last post, when I mentioned that I would knit my first shrug in the next couple of months? Well, I'm actually sticking to that statement. It's my first "grown up" project. It's an actual garment AND it has lace work in it. Wow, I know, I'm shocked too. After 5 attempts to get through the ribbing (I do ribbing all of the time, so I'm not sure what my hang up was) I finally got to the lace pattern and it's been smooth sailing since. However, the combination of small yarn and small needles have left my hands cramped up about halfway through the project. So I'll call it a night for now. Perhaps I'll finish it before the work week starts.


The Chair Finds a Home

The antique chair and quilts from a few posts ago found a home in my bedroom. They look perfect next to my antique dresser. However, now that I've cleaned and organized my bedroom to make room for the chair, I can't ignore how terrible those floors are. If I owned this house, the floors in the upstairs bedroom would be the first to get some attention. I just wanted to throw that out there, so you know I'm not a floor hater.

My circular knitting needles also found a home tonight - see:
My brother is coming in from Wisconsin on Tuesday and will be hanging out in my craft room (ahem, guest room) so I thought I'd work on straitening that room up too. My bedroom can't have all of the fun.

And in crafting news, because I haven't had a TON of that lately, I've decided that I will knit myself a shrug within the next couple of months. I had one on yesterday and someone asked if I knit it. I'm such a bad knitter (not like I knit poorly, I just tend to buy things that I should knit because it's easier) and had to answer with "No, I got it at..." UGH, I bought that shrug that is made to look hand knit. I'm terrible. I found a pattern and hopefully will find some time in between working and... well... working to get some yarn and get started. Wish me luck.


The rest of the story

And finally I present to you my new carding station. The empty drafting table from the previous post has finally been inhabited with fiber, tools, buttons, jars, ribbon, a scale, and my drum carder. The world is happy again and you all can go on about your business.

I haven't used it for carding yet, just for labeling my new yarn for the Farmer's Market. I'm waiting on a few goodies to get here in the mail and then I'm carding up 7 sets of Woolyhands Batt Club batts for April. I love my theme idea and hope it plays out in real life like I see it in my head. If not, I'll do something else - that's the joy of creating.

In case you lurk in social media world and have noticed I'd been MIA lately, it's because of this - ARTOSPHERE. I've been working on scheduling the Chamber Music Series and the film series. It's been a beast of a project but I think we're almost done with the hard part and then I can sit back and enjoy my hard work. While I didn't select or book the artists for this series, this was the furthest into programming I've worked so far in my career. I scoped out spaces, chose the schedule, arranged the concert times, will help design how the concerts look to the patrons, arranged the description/artist bio sheet that our Marketing team will use to promote this project and other small things that all add up to a BEAST of a project. I'm very, very proud of it.

I should be, it's a big deal for me! Hopefully it will be a big deal for Walton Arts Center, too.


Weren't Sundays a day of rest?

This came home with me today:And because of that, I'm too tired to be witty and smart in a blog post - so please forgive me.

Today was spent making room for this barristers cabinet and a huge, wooden drafting table (seen below). The cabinet is for storing fiber (and since I have more than this massive thing will hold, I had a come to Jesus moment on the floor of my guest room - I have to STOP buying fiber). The drafting table is for my carding station. After making room for those, I cleaned out a VERY stinky fridge, I dug up a ton of daffodils, brought the furniture home, planted the daffodils, and moved my fiber into the cabinet and onto the table.
It was a long day. I'm in pain and I'm tired but it was worth it. Finally my guest room has real furniture instead of plastic and metal fold away furniture. I'm so grown up.


All of the comforts

I've blogged recently about what makes a home... I need to add to that list. Comfort makes a home. Big houses will always impress me with their great rooms, huge kitchens and massive bathrooms, but I need a home that hugs me.

My last house was very old and of the period where ceilings were VERY high. This was great when I invited Big Foot over for dinner, but the rest of the time I was left feeling like someone or something was always lurking in the dark corners, spying on me when I was sleeping, waiting to spook me when I went downstairs in the middle of the night to use the restroom (never get a house with the bedroom upstairs and the restroom down, it doesn't make any sense). It wasn't until I moved into this house when I realized "OH - that darn ceiling was too high" because this house gave me a hug. The ceilings were lower, the woodwork darker, it will forever be known as the hugging house.

A house that hugs deserves things of comfort in return. Comfort is a collection of vacation pictures hanging on a wall, artwork drawn by siblings all framed and on display in the living room, it is cute little tea towels hanging artfully in the kitchen and old pottery jugs painted by my grandma working as things to prop doors open. Comfort is a extra soft bed lined with pillows and blankets just beconning for you to take a nap in it, it is a soft kitty napping in the sunlight, baskets of yarn just waiting to be knit, and it is a pile of family quilts, folded nicely in an antique chair. Comfort is a lot of things.

I've found myself grasping for things of comfort since August. My soul has been hurt and needs comfortable things to land on at night. It needs the constant hug of my house and it needs the constant love that pictures provide. I gravitate towards things that remind instead of things of new and each time I do that, each time I bring another piece of comfort home, my soul smiles a little bigger.

Sure, it's just a home with a chair full of quilts, but it's comfortable and it's a place where everything feels like it should.