All Clean Now

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I cleaned up my office/studio space–which is also the actual office area on one side and the dining room on the other…video evidence may make you think otherwise…but I assure you–we have cleaned, organized, re-organized, thrown stuff away, donated stuff, and moved more out and about…and then organized again–which is one reason why it takes so long for me to do things…I work in circles anyway–and then add in all the critters and the kids and their clutter…and it gets even more complicated.

Cleaning can be annoying.

For one, I put things away in safe places…which means–I put them somewhere and forget where that may be…a lot…and it is always stuff I think I will absolutely know where I am putting it.  I spent three days, no joke, trying to find my three hole punch last week.  I found it, after asking my husband if I could borrow one from his work…and then I put it on the shopping list–figuring if I bought a new one, the old one would show up quickly.  Apparently, the threat of having another hole punch in the house did it–the old one showed up.

Good things come from cleaning as well.  I found some old sketchbooks and art journals.  I mean old as in before I ever took an art class, online or otherwise.

As I flipped through these journals, one thing struck me, rather loudly.  I used to have some real fun doing this stuff.  I am not saying I don’t have fun painting faces, or girls, or whatever.  I do … I am currently working on a very large canvas of a whimsical face right now…but I’ll talk more about her some other time.

Before, however, I wasn’t as concerned with … faces, shading, doing things right, shadows, outlines, perfect lines.  I doodled, a lot.  I always have, ever since I was a kid.  In these journals, I would cut stuff out of magazines or wherever, glue it in.  I would sew things to pages.  I would staple and tape.  My brain did not squinch over the whole–is it archival? thing…no, I was worried more about … being me, expressing myself, playing…and that is what I miss.

My new desktop and my printer, with me as a translator, have communication issues.  We’re working on them…but until I learn to speak the required languages and in turn, teach these two to work together…pictures of my work here are going to be few and far between.

You can follow me on instagram if you like…but I almost never post finished paintings there.  I always post works in progress.  Now, if you love knitting projects–those I post all finished and usually being worn by their happy new owner…

I may not show any new work until the finished journal flip-through videos…which may take a long time…but we’ll see…I have to come up with something here soon because I am enjoying what I am doing right now.

I took the silver leaf journal I made/bound myself…the one where I glued in questions from Brave Girls Club and then sort of traced an edge along the inside edge of the pages to make it pretty.  Today I took that journal because I am trying to get back into both a written journal and art journalling…and I wrote out my answer to the question…but I felt very quickly that there needed to be more.  So, I added some paint…and then some more because it just wasn’t covering what I had written.  I had intended to slap on some colors, maybe doodle a bit around the edges, and then write a mantra or main thought of what I wanted to happen around what I had answerer/written before the paint hit the paper.  I did that–didn’t really like it…used a black Stabilo over top of it — in one word, I summed up the entirety of what I had written and what I wanted to remember moving forward…

There is no face on this page.  I guess the word is the focal element.  There is paint, and doodling, and edging…and I really like it.  One day–I’ll show it to you.  It finally feels like me…and that feels good.

I expect to be doing a lot more work, in and out of my journals, using paint, using pens, using yarn…from here on out.

Thanks for following along.

 

Sharing…

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I have been more on hiatus in these past few years since my now 5-year-old was born than I want to admit…even though this has also been such an incredibly productive and creative time for me. I have taken many paths I never thought I might step foot down…and here I am, on the other side…

The interesting thing is I have become sucked into my own wind tunnel…I have been so busy doing other people’s stuff (as in taking classes, reading books, etc etc) and trying to stay sane with two teens and a little guy….and the cats, and the dogs, and the gerbil….and my poor fish…and the plants…I somehow managed to get lost in all of this.

I have been looking at my to do list…the courses I need to create, the ones I need to pull out of outline form, the things I need to test knit, the items I need to knit by request of family members, the things I need to paint, the stories I need to write, the … tails I need to chase…all these strings and things…they all add up…

I have had to admit that I have taken so much time away from me, away from my stuff, that I feel as if I am beginning at the very beginning all over again. My knitting was in such a good space when I got pregnant with my youngest…and now, I often feel that the quality of my abilities has gone down. I don’t read as much as I used to…not just because of the boy, but because my eye sight has shifted and I am still trying to find the best way to deal with that. I want bifocals or something, but the ophthalmologist doesn’t think it’s as bad as I feel it is. If I need a magnifying glass to read…it’s as bad as I feel it is…just sayin’…but I am working on it. My writing…ahhh…when I sit down to write, it feels…stilted and wrong….I have a plethora of pages in my fiction journal now that are all X-ed over…something I have done my whole life, since I was about nine years old….and I feel as if I can’t do it anymore…and that is a shame.

I started doing what I normally do in these situations…I start researching. I start reading blogs and newsletters and what books I can. I start…studying…I start looking outside…and since I am in the midst of creating courses for different things, it hit me in a particular manner that the stuff I am reading is not something I would be offering to myself if I were to create something for someone in my situation.

The truth is…I am not a beginner. I have faith in having a beginner’s mind, yes…but that is not the same as being a complete beginner. The only sources I have come upon of late are for those who are complete beginners…I am someone who is …beginning again. It’s all in there. It’s all inside me. I have to stop—and I have to be allowed to have the silence and the space to be there with myself for more than a second or two at a time—which happens to be the hardest part of all around here…and then…I need to do the work.

I don’t need someone else telling me – this is the work you need to do and this is how you need to do the work. I know what I need to do…and I know how I need to do the work in the way that is best for me…or I did…and I just need to find that space once again…my big issue is with all these voices saying….this is how you do it…don’t do it that way….do it this way.

Ok, so your way works for you…and that is a good thing. I am truly happy for you. You are not me. You are not here. You do not respond to my circumstances as I do. Only I do that. So only I can decide what way works best for me.

And that is the space I am currently in…the whole I know what used to work best for me…I know where I want to be, how I want to do things, where I want to go—it’s just in our currently very shifting paradigm here, finding that space and that quiet time to make things work for me again. It also requires me getting over my fears.

The ground beneath me has not been solid for a long time, in my eyes. In the past few months, especially the past few weeks, things have settled down. Foundations have strengthened. Healthy boundaries have been set and others are being set. The energies around me have grown closer, instead of being all these random shooting stars. I feel I am on solid ground. I have a clear focus. I have some strong goals in place. I no longer worry that these goals won’t be met, or that attaining these goals will be hindered. I feel good. Life feels good. I feel stronger.

I know it is merely a matter of time before the outer shifts come into place as these inner shifts have come.

That feels good.

So what is all this about? This is just me sharing my path with you…it’s a bumpy road…there is a lot of work to be done…but I am back on my own path…and I am doing my own work once again. I hope to start sharing more with you.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.

Announcement

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We wanted to wait to announce it…and now we can happily announce:

We finally got married!

We had an amazing and beautiful private civil ceremony on July 12, 2017.

Now, we’re official.

Yee-haw, ya’ll!

Slow And Steady

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So, some of you may know that I have been fighting some sort of germ for well over a month now. It’s one of those things that you start to get better…and then you get worse…and then you get better…and then you get worse. Well, last week, it went from feeling decent, but not entirely well, to feeling sick…feeling sicker, to not getting out of my chair if the house is on fire because I just don’t have the ability to do so.

With some coaxing from my loving partner and from my loving mother, I finally gave in and went to the doctor…and am now on antibiotics. Let me just say, with my “faith” in the medical industry, I have to be really sick before I agree to go see a doctor. I did get antibiotics—and I know I have been very sick, very sick. I had no choice. I was getting worse…and worse…not better.

Now I am on antibiotics. This is day three. I am already dealing with that little niggle in the back of my brain that is saying, this isn’t going to be enough to really kick this. But—I am going to try. Today is not a feel good day…today is a day where I am looking at the beginning of the month, nothing other than the Wednesday prompts scheduled and no other real way to reach out and say, hey, I can’t sit upright and type for more than a minute or two at a time, but I promise I’ll get my usual stuff up and running … as soon as my ears pop (it’s been two weeks now—they still haven’t popped) and I can stand up without feeling as if I am going to fall and faint all at the same time.

So, my plan is to do what I can—and no, I don’t have a laptop that I can move around with, so it’s all sit at my desk and type, not roam the house from couch to bed finding a spot where I can tolerate working without complete exhaustion…I have been sitting in my chair for over a week, not moving once I sit down in it except to use the bathroom and to help my 4yo with the same, and to go to bed for nearly a week now.

I will do what I can, retro-post the usual monthly bits as needed, and will eventually get back up to speed. I know that on some level I am feeling better, because this morning I sat down and thought, OMG, I have so many things to do…let me do them…so my brain is feeling better…I just have to wait until the body can handle what my brain can do.

For the past five days, sitting in my chair, I have not been able to knit, nor read, nor sketch, nor doodle, not even cruise the internet on a kindle or ipad…my brain fogged out and my body rested…this is how I know I am at least getting better…my brain is starting to fire up again and the need to do something other than just sit…because I hate to just sit…is beginning to burn again. It’s a small flame, but it’s there…I shall tend it with mercy and grace and compassion…and I shall try to be a gentle as possible.

Thanks for being patient with me as I keep chugging along, slow and steady.

Happy Independence Day!

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Yes, sick as a dog, I went to a baseball game today–not for the cool socks they gave us as we entered the gates–not for the teams playing…I went because I promised to go the next time my partner got tickets…and he got tickets right by the batter’s warm-up circle…I mean, seriously, right there, only fence between us and the players.

For the record, we made it three innings and then had to leave because I was wiped and so was the 4yo…but it was cool enough an experience to say I want to go again.

How to spend a sick day…

A post shared by Tabitha Low (@theknittingjourneyman) on

 

Spooning…

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Is it Monday already?

This month, I have been fighting off one infection after another. Every time I think, ok, I am clear of that one…a new one comes up…but…it’s all a process…so I do what I can. Between allergies and germs and other things…what can I say?

I talk about spoons here now and then, the number of spoons I have physically in a day for my own use.

Do you see the irony in the fact that … I actually had to go out and buy spoons, the kind you eat with, the other day?

I do not know what happens tot he spoons in this house. Forks, I have some idea…but they don’t go missing as often. When a fork’s tines get bent, I have zero issues tossing them in the recycling. I will not eat with mangled cutlery. It’s a personal thing. If I won’t tolerate it at a restaurant, I surely will not tolerate it in my home.

But…spoons?

Now, I admit, my two older kids go through periods where they like to bend spoons…not with their minds, but with their hands…and the reason given to the question of WHY?!?! is always … because I wanted to see what would happen…

Hard to argue that sort of logic, isn’t it?

Not really—they get told…don’t do that…over and over…

Eventually it happens again…it just does.

But, where do the spoons go?

It’s like the missing sock from the laundry—well, not here—that’s not a mystery…if the washer didn’t kill it and mangle it, then it simply ate it whole.

Spoons…I know they travel with bowls, most of the time…and they take journeys into bedrooms where they aren’t allowed to go, into the basement, outside (don’t ask me why—but I have seen it), into the living room…

I would think they mostly make it back to the sink…except…we also have a shortage of bowls…and not the “regular” adult bowls, the glass ones, in the cabinet. Oh no. The smaller toddler-friendly and the only thing the youngest child is allowed to touch and since he is the only one who has any real reason to use those tiny bowl it shouldn’t be an issue—and yet—somehow–it is – because he is not the only one who touches them…those too have been vanishing … to the point of near extinction around here…but we have other plastic bowls that seem to always reappear, so the need for more bowls is not yet as urgent as the need for replacement spoons…

I found myself wanting to run the dishwasher three and four times a day, when the machine wasn’t even half full, or even marginally full, just to have spoons…

I pulled the silverware drawer apart…because there is a whole other ecosystem living in that drawer that no one seems to remember…I thought maybe the spoons had been lured over to that side…alas…it was not so…

So, since all I wanted were spoons, we went to the local thrift store, where silverware is six pieces for a dollar…and I spent three dollars, plus tax. I got six teaspoons…because I love my teaspoons…and they were nearly all gone…I moved into this house with twenty-four long-handled teaspoons…and when there were only four or five left…I got ticky. I got twelve regular spoons, the likes of which we use for stirring teas and coffees and who knows what else…for eating soups and cereals…although usually not at the same time…but on a bad day…it might happen…

Now…let’s see how long these last before I have to have another fit over the disappearances in this house…

And, yes, I do get that once we move from this house into another, better for us as a whole, house, I will probably end up with a thousand different spoons that will appear from the Ether just because they can…

Spoons…Ever The Issue…

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I have said it many times, I only have so many spoons available per day…and even throughout the day, the number of spoons shifts.

(Don’t understand the term spoons as it is used here?  Here is one of many articles to peruse.)

I may wake up feeling incredible and energized and think, yeah, I can tackle all these built-up projects…and then I get moving …and one by one by one, those spoons I thought I had vanish…leaving me stranded and exhausted.

This tends to leave me emotionally drained…I have all these projects, all these things I want to do.  I have a toddler to chase, one teen that needs to get here and there on time for various activities, meals to prepare, a house to clean, dogs to chase and cats to … wait til they want something and come to me begging?

Sometimes I walk from one room to the next completely overwhelmed with what needs to be done, with what I want to get done, with what I have planned to get done…and there is nothing I can humanly do to get everything done all at once.

So…I came up with a new plan.  I can count on, usually, having one spoon every day…my new plan is to do one thing a day.  And be happy that I accomplished that one thing…even if a bajillion other things are quite literally piled up and waiting.

This weekend, I cleaned and organized my youngest’s toys…toys that manage to get strewn and kicked all over the house.  I had my oldest gather what she could find and put into storage bags (thank you, Ikea) a day or two before, so that most of the mess would be gathered into one space.  Over the span of two rooms, I created storage nooks with bins and his toys all now have a spot that he can get to…and more importantly, everyone is working to get him to pick stuff up once he is done with it, rather than leaving it scattered on the floor…and this also requires someone to nag the dogs, who are also culpable in the kicking of toys all over the place as they galump through the house.

Ok, so, even with my adoring partner taking the kids out of the house for three hours so I could do this…this project took six hours to do…and it took me two days to actually recover from mostly sitting on the floor, picking through bags and stuffing things in bins.  So, there is a stack of books on the dining room table and another on a chair waiting for me to do something with them…(which is why I haven’t been painting more yet this week).

Yet, those two days while I recovered?  I caught up on email…and I worked on the family website, adding new things, deleting obsolete things, and generally trying to get things together.

I still have an incredible amount of work to do, in many areas of my life, but I am getting there, one step at a time.

Thanks for listening.