Friday, January 31, 2020

Quite the Month


This was a great month. I've been up to lots of good stuff.

These are a few of the numerous things I've been working on...most within the context of working in a sketchbook, or several sketchbooks.

The books are more like sketch-scrap-work books as they hold all manner of creative stuff...not merely sketches.

I'm finding this format a wonderful place to hold/contain small pieces that I do, like these and others. I've been inserting some of my earlier works into the sketchbooks as well.

The top photo is a concertina book I made from multi-marked watercolor paper. The next three are small handstitched pieces, of fabric alone or fabric and paper.

And the last photo is a watercolor I did a few days ago. I'm really chuffed because I see my own style developing, and I'm enjoying it a lot.

In the getting old department... I've had chronic periodic back pain for years, and my hips have really been bothering me a lot for a while now. I had an x-ray recently and saw the doc again today. Glad to say there's only minimal osteoarthritis in my hips, and I don't need further intervention. Unless the pain becomes unbearable.

I have slowed down even more than previously, and walking, my only exercise, has become quite painful. So I'm not doing much of that. I'm trying to balance my time on my feet with my sitting time. Both hurt, if I overextend myself. Lying down is best. And I'm actually in the prone position for close to 12 hours a day these days.

All is well otherwise. Still knitting socks, still reading a lot. Taking it easy, taking care of myself.

Hope this year is being good thus far to all of you, too.
xx

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Happy Holidays

I've been yarn shopping this morning online, so thought I'd leave a post here while I was at it.

Nothing to report. All is well.

I've been doing this particular genre of collage for 3 years now...which is amazing, considering how I usually/used to jump around so much between things. And I'll be continuing on for the foreseeable future.

One thing I can comment on is that this time of year, as the days continue to shorten toward the Winter Solstice, in previous years I would not be excited about the return of the light, and lengthening days. But this year, for the first time, I am. It's like a shift in overall attitude away from the dark and toward the light.

I went to our local Fortuna Community Dinner for Thanksgiving this year, for the first time, and it was a lovely, relaxed event. I'll go again for Christmas, and will continue this new-to-me tradition in following years.

Hope you all have blessed holidays, whatever you celebrate. See you next year. xx



Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Year Later...

This is what I was hoping for when I knit that kimono a year ago...the one that I subsequently ripped out so it could become this: Tormenta Kimono.

Tormenta is the colorway name of this Malabrigo superwash worsted yarn. Although their yarns are considered commercial, they are all hand dyed. So there's tremendous variation between skeins of the same colorway.

Anyhow, I am wearing it right now and I'm loving it. My design, perfectly executed. I actually have another colorway of the same yarn that I'll likely make another kimono with, later next year.

For now, I'm taking a break from BIG knitting projects although still loving making socks, and I plan to knit a couple of accessories during this season.

I'll be getting back to a few genre I worked in in the past, paper/book oriented. I need/want to go through all my early collage work, handmade books and journals etc., and see what ignites my imagination.

I meant to not wait this long to post (Friday will be a month), but I wanted to finish Tormenta before I did. I finished knitting all the pieces late last week, and have been working on completion since.

Nothing else is new here. The days come and go, and the weeks, and the months. And the years.

Wishing everyone a lovely Thanksgiving. I've turned Thanksgiving Day into our Anniversary (mine and BeeGee's), and next week will be 15 years. (I rescued him late November, 2004.) He's been gone nearly five months...but he's right here with me all the time.

Be well and happy.
xx


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Indian Summer

We've got a spell of heat coming, beginning today, throughout most of California. I've also read that this is supposed to be a warm and dry winter in northern CA.

Pacific Gas & Electric preemptively cut the power to 800k CA residents a couple weeks ago, in an effort to prevent wildfires. We had no power here for 24 hours, but thankfully water and gas were not affected.

Since then, I've prepared for the next time -- and there will be a next time, as PGE has declared there'll likely be power outages for the next decade in CA. Yikes!

The inside scoop is that PGE is in bankruptcy (reorganization) as they are liable for billions in damages for causing CA's worst-ever wildfire, the Camp Fire, late last year, as well as many others in the recent past. In addition, being a now-typical corporation, they haven't maintained their equipment well at all over the years, yet they've given huge bonuses to the top brass. So most of CA, and pretty much all of non-metro CA, has to suffer.

Anyhoo, I've gotten myself everything I need to deal with future outages (propane heater, butane stove, solar/ACDC lantern, backup battery for electronics, and a car phone charger for when the backup battery runs out).

I've also been using this time as an opportunity to get together a kit of stuff I'd need if I had to vacate the premises for a while, like in the event of an earthquake or other disaster. So all I'll have to do if that happens is grab a few well-stocked bags/boxes.

This reminds me of Y2K...although I totally bought into that non-event and went overboard buying stuff to hold me for a year or more. That ain't gonna happen this time! But I will be as prepared as possible with as minimal an outlay as I can manage.

I just have the back to do on my kimono, and I'm doing it in two pieces to better distribute the variegated yarn colors. Then sew it together and knit on the collar. But I am taking my time on this one.

Hope you're all having a great fall.

Happy Halloween! xx

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Autumn News

"News" is actually a misnomer, as there isn't any to speak of.

But hello, and Happy Autumn!

Thought I'd just post a few of my recent collages.

I'm well on my way into my knitted kimono -- both fronts are finished. In a day or two I'll start on the sleeves. I'm doing the back last this time.

I've been missing my guy, of course; otherwise all is well. I decided to wait on that 3rd tattoo; thought I'd put the money away instead, since I've been in one of my frugal moods for the last month or so.

More of the same for me for the duration: knitting, reading, collaging, enjoying living.

Hope y'all have a great autumn. xx



Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Outside the Lines

Been making changes. Small things; not such small things.

Had my second tat three weeks ago and in September will get my third. This one is on my inner left forearm.

I had virtually all my hair cut off last week, photo below. I'll likely always keep it close to this length from here on out. No more curl...that's the thing.

It's a testament to how good I'm feeling about myself -- how comfortable I am in my own skin now -- that I could willy nilly decide to make such a big change in my appearance without freaking out.

I decided definitely not to get another kitty. Which was my original decision when BeeGee first got sick several months ago.

His physical body is gone, but our connection and our love continues on. He's with me every day, and always will be. I don't need someone else to love. I have him, and I have myself.

Also, on the practical side, I honestly can't afford to have another cat for its lifetime. My savings are small, it's already difficult to make ends meet on my social security, and god knows what unforeseeable thing(s) might come up between now and the end.

And not being under constant stress and anxiety is worth its weight in gold. It's in my DNA to get stressed about everything, and I won't do that to myself anymore, given the choice.
I've really been enjoying this summer, and looking forward to autumn. At first I thought that BeeGee's dying was going to ruin the season for me. But it's actually been a wondrous experience, the grieving, the sadness, the healing, the growing. And I'm in way better shape than I was going into it.

Here's to living and growing. xx




Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Rocky Road

The color for this yarn had a number but not a name. So I'm calling this my Rocky Road sweater. I enjoyed knitting it and will use it as a template for future sweaters, with several tweaks.

Summer continues, with mostly beautiful weather here. I feel so grateful to live where I do, as weather extremes here are v. v. seldom, if at all. And nowhere near what so many folks in the US and globally are dealing with now.

I feel grateful for a lot of other things as well...actually, I feel grateful for everything. Life is good.

Below are a few recent fave collages. Enjoy. xx


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A Simpler Life

Today is one month since BeeGee went home. It's been a hard month; it's been a good month.

I'm well. I've digested and assimilated this big change in my life, and am moving forward.

Life is a lot simpler now. It's largely how it was previously, sans BeeGee. Altho I'm now walking every day, spending more time outside reading (and/or eating) on the patio, making more collages than I was earlier, and knitting about the same or more.

And I'm taking excellent care of myself, which I've only really learned how to do in the past year or two.

After many months of having no heart palpitations, they began again around end of March, when we got BeeGee's diagnosis of old-kitty medical issues. And now, a month after his passing, they're slowly starting to go away again. It takes a while for stress and anxiety to exit the body, where they're stored during trying times, after the source of the stress ends.

I'd recognized over the last few years my pattern(s) of dealing with just about anything in my life -- relationships, friendships, work situations, et al. And it was really brought home to me with BeeGee's passing...

Everything has been a huge source of stress/anxiety in my life. I never learned how to do anything with grace, aplomb, ease, etc., rather as a survival mechanism, I only learned how to "fight," and the necessity of always having to prove myself. So everything has been difficult, throughout my life.

I know where this comes from, I know why it's so, but I'm not going there. What I don't know, though, is whether I am capable of taking something on without unwittingly harming myself. It's not actually the committing that's the problem for me. It's how I inevitably think and behave when I'm under pressure of any sort, which has been always, because I don't know any other way.

Right now is the first time in my life that I have no commitments to anyone but myself. No one to take care of, except me. And I am committed to listening to my intuition, letting my body guide me, and to not feeling compelled to make any major changes, especially if I'm getting mixed signals from my gut.

We only have the present moment. How we deal with that determines how future present moments go. The rest is unknown.

I had BeeGee tattooed on my left foreleg last week. Now, in addition to always being in my heart, he'll be where I can look at him for the rest of my life. xx

Monday, June 24, 2019

The End of An Era

The thing that I feared the most for about the last 10 years, has come to pass...

I had to put BeeGee down this morning. Just in the last 3 days he started actively dying. It was a really tough weekend. But the timing was right for him to go today.

As Pema Chodron says, "Things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together and fall apart again. It's just like that."

That's exactly what this last three months has been like. And it's been phenomenally stressful for me.

Pema goes on to say, "The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy."

I love you my darling BeeGee. I'll see you again when I cross the Rainbow Bridge.