Well hey there.
I'm feeling a little seasonally depressed right now. I'm having a little malaise. I've written about this before, so I won't stretch the subject much further but over the last several days, swilled in the murky, turbulent neural juices of post-Christmas shock and gazing across the long, soggy expanse of Pacific Northwest winter ahead of me, I realized that this feeling, this shifting shapeless fog of ennui, has become so very old hat to me that it's very much like being, say, nauseated. We all know when we're nauseated, we all hate it, we know that it has some cause or origin and we know that it will subside eventually (and if it doesn't, we know to seek medical help). We use comfort measures, like fizzy drinks, hot broth, and lying on the couch wrapped in a warm blanket watching television to help it along a little faster. That's exactly how I feel about this brain feeling when it pops up (predictably, this time of year). What I mean to say is that when depression crops up, and when my thought patterns begin to trend towards the "despair" end of the spectrum, I realize it's just my head needing to hurl, figuratively speaking.
This week I've been applying comfort measures (chocolate and copious amounts of caffeine) and forcing myself to expedite the departure of the sadness train by dragging myself around the house putting Christmas away, sorting and organizing the kids' stuff to make room for their Christmas bounty, and eating good-good-good-for-me food. It's helping, and this feeling shall pass. Hopefully without regurgitation of any kind.
(I hate vomiting so. much.)
I left my camera at my father's house on Christmas day, so that's the other half of the reason for not checking in sooner. I'm not sure anyone needs to read my writing without pictures to look at.
Baby was hugely, fabulously cute at Christmas. The whole gift thing was still very "Whaaa...?" to her, but every time she opened a gift she made a face, with her eyes popped open and her mouth hanging down in a perfect gaping oval, that was a perfect cartoon expression of surprise. I wish I'd been able to get a clear picture of her doing it, but in the fray (of the whole day, really), I was only able to capture a handful of small, quiet moments.
She is an unmitigated delight. Even when she's waking me up repeatedly from the hours of 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., I love her to distraction. And I also want her to be quiet and go to sleep.
Sleep! That is my #1 goal for this year. More and better. I like that goal best of all.
It is #1 because a lot of the shit that I don't like about my life directly follows from not getting enough sleep. My other goals are, in descending order of importance, #2: Be nicer to my children, #3: Stay on budget, #4: Eat less crap, #5: Get some exercise, and #6: Make some shit.
In pursuit of goal #5 but directly contravening goal #3, I've been doing some fabric stash building.
I would like to make a bunting for Baby's birthday two weeks from now, so I've been picking up fat quarters that seemed cheerful. It wasn't until today, unpacking my bag from Joann, that I realized that my bunting-fabric collection was shaping up to be something else entirely.
Well, would you look at that.
I've had a picnic quilt in mind for a long time now, because over the summer I take the girls all over the place and often set down on a park lawn with a basket and a blanket (which is, I think, my favorite confluence of conditions ever: dappling sun, children laughing, a cold drink, blue sky, a book...I feel contented just thinking about it). I've been using plain, unsightly bed blankets these years, or a flannel rag quilt that belongs to Big Kid that shouldn't be out like that, but I don't own anything exactly right for throwing down on grass or sand or springy aromatic forest litter. But these fabrics! Shazam!
With significantly less "Shazam!", I ordered and received these fat quarters from Heather Ross's Far Far Away 2 line.
All along I have planned to use these fabrics as the foundation for a twin/full size quilt for Big Kid's 6th birthday, and they are just wrong.
Let me be clear: the designs are absolutely as charming as I'd hoped, and I love the fabric. But they are printed on what seems like an unbleached linen-cotton blend. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself; the fabric is beautiful and sturdy, the printing is great...but if standard quilting cottons are Wonder Bread, this is Dave's Killer Bread. That's not a bad thing, but the designs look faded, for lack of a better word, in such a way that when they're placed side-by-side with crisper, brighter quilting cottons, they recede. The other issue is that the Rapunzel print is huge. One repeat, with the whole tower and surrounding flowers included, is about 12 inches tall by 4 1/2 inches wide. It either needs to stay whole on a project that will take a really large print well, or be cut up into fragments, which I really don't want to do.
Unfortunately I'm back to the drawing board with Big Kid's quilt (so far I have a collection of pinks and purples; I was relying on the Heather Ross fabrics to draw in marigold/orange tones and make it less saccharine). I'm also sitting around with six Heather Ross fat quarters that I love, but don't quite know how to use. I would like to make a quilt with them, and I have seen some that are lovely, but maybe bags or something would be better (tea towels might be nice). Suggestions more than welcome.
I'm also daydreaming about other quilting projects (I'm freaking out about Anna Maria Horner's quilts right now...this one is amazing, but I am thisclose to getting some Folksy Flannels) and, ahem, digging my other Heather Ross WIP out from under the mess it got buried in.
This weekend I'm working more on getting the house straightened up, starting out each day with a few cleansing breaths and a reminder to myself of how I want to be remembered as a mother, taking a (wet) walk or two, and maybe, hopefully, putting in some time on the sewing machine and at the knitting needles.
And buying some fabric. It's legit; I have a birthday bunting to make.