The Magic in Me

 

We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.

This quote is particularly inspiring and empowering to me.  I used to have a pretty bad case of the blames, that dreaded disease where we blame anyone else for our problems.  It’s one of those chronic conditions that takes a lot of work to get rid of.  Sometimes other people are the cause of a problem, but most of the time it is something that is within ourselves that we just don’t see or don’t want to admit to.  Whatever the cause, the cure is within us.  I used to be a very strong, I can do anything kind of person until things got tough and people tried to prevent me from doing things.  Oh, there are infinite reasons someone can give as to why you shouldn’t do something and some people can make those reasons sound very, well, reasonable.  Sometimes this is good, depending on the person, but sometimes it is just manipulation.  When one person is constantly giving up their own plans and dreams to do what someone else wants, eventually that person is going to either break or rebel.  I rebelled.

It took years to wear me down to the point where I had had enough and it is taking me years to get back to being me.  I will never be just like I was and that is okay.  Truthfully, I was very stubborn and opinionated and thought that I was always right.  I still lean that way, but have matured to realize that every single person has a different perspective on any given situation.  The maturity comes from knowing my own mind and my own dreams and going after them and still respecting the opinions of others.  I had to overcome that little nugget of self-doubt in mind and dig deep to remember and find the strength within myself to keep going.  I have learned that not everyone wants for me what I want for me because it will change the way they live also.  I believe that change can be good.  It keeps our minds limber.  I found a new me and I am stronger and better than ever before, and I am a work in progress.

The first difficult part of overcoming manipulation is realizing that our own mind didn’t recognize it and overcome it.  The other part is changing the way we respond to it without destroying a relationship.  Sometimes, that is not possible, but, sometimes it is.  Whenever  someone changes a behavior, the people close to them notice, some cheer and some fight it, depending on how it affects them.  The person doing the manipulating is usually the one fighting the changes.  I finally remembered who I used to be.  It was always there inside of me, but I was put away in a closet.  It took a lot of courage to open that closet door and release that power inside of me, the power of Me.  I am every bit as deserving of my dreams as anyone else.  I have talents and skills and want to use them.  If that changes how things get done, well so be it.  In short, I had to be the one to realize that I was the only one who could make the choices and take those steps to change my own world.  There was no magic spell that could fix me.  I had the power inside me the whole time.  I just had to discover it and learn how to use it. It is the power of choice.  Free will.

Writing this has shown me that I have a lot to say on this subject, but I won’t try to fit it all into one post.  Don’t be surprised to find more posts on this subject. 

Have a Creative Day!

Julie

P.S.  Can you tell me who the quote at the top of this post is from?  I will randomly pick one person who gets it right and send them a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble bookstores.  Just leave your answer in the comments section before midnight on Halloween.  Good Luck!

Dream House

Doppelgänger Alert

You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?

I rub my eyes vigorously to make sure I’m seeing clearly, or maybe to wipe the image from my retinas.  Still there.  I sit on the couch and hold my head with my eyes closed trying to focus my mind on where we were going and where I am now.  I am positive this is not my house, but it is.  My family pictures are on the walls, the quilts that I made, even the same antique clock that belonged to my mother-in-law.  What is going on? It even looks like my dream house from the outside.  You know, the one that I have kept the plans for in  a special file for “someday”.   I want to run out of there and back to my own house to double check.  I want to flee from this person.  She works with my husband, but I have only met her a few times.  I have been out of town for a week and she offered to pick me up at the airport because my husband’s car broke down yesterday. We just had to make a quick stop at her house on the way back to mine.  Is she a stalker? Does she want to kill me and take over my life?  It’s like a nightmare!  The house is a little off the beaten path in a heavily wooded area.  I am frozen in shock, eyes wide, mouth open, utter confusion on my features.  This woman, who says she wants to be my friend, welcomes me to her home like nothing is out of the ordinary and  asks if I would like a cup of tea?

“Yes….no…..yes,” I respond.

She proceeds to fix me a cup of tea exactly the way I like it, with a teaspoon of honey and generous lemon….fresh, not from a bottle.  I take it, stunned, and sip it as I stare at her in silence.   I am second guessing my judgment and am feeling very disoriented, almost dizzy.  I want to cry and run away and attack her all at the same time, but am now completely unsure of myself.  Did she put something in my tea?  I set it down on the table….my table, and sit on one of the chairs….my chairs.

I quickly decide that it is time to leave.  I’m just going to start walking and call a cab and my husband on the way.  As I stand up and walk towards the door she grabs my arm and says, “Wait, you have to meet the family who lives here before we go.”

That was on odd way to say that I think to myself, but am afraid to say anything.  You never know when a mentally unstable person  is going to snap.  I hear someone coming in the from the back of the house and turn around to see my own family.  What?!  I look at my husband and children more confused than ever now.  I turn back to the front door and then back around to my family and they are all standing there with stupid grins on.  Finally, my husband says, “Welcome home!”

“What?!”

“I built your dream house during all my ‘overtime’ this past year and moved all our things over while you were gone last week.  Surprise!”

I turn to this woman whom I barely know as if to ask for confirmation that this is true and she is just smiling and nodding away.  In a rush my kids grab my hands and start dragging me around to show me everything and everyone is talking at once.  I gladly follow them with a befuddled grin on my face and I know that all is well.

My Soul Cried Today

My soul cried today….heart rending sobs of agony.  My soul cried for my children; for their shattered dreams; for their broken spirits; for their misguided beliefs and ways.  My soul cried out for the gifts of the Holy Spirit and then for the sacrifice I need to make to use them.  My soul cried in remorse for God’s ultimate sacrifice for me and my unwillingness to sacrifice for him.  My soul cried today and the tears washed away the fog and revealed the plank in my eye, and then  washed that away too.  My soul cried today and cleansed itself, and revealed a path for me to follow.  Will my body and mind be strong enough for that path or will my soul cry again tomorrow?

One Project Down–???? To Go

Yay!  I finally finished my first tutorial for my sewing blog, Focus on Sewing.  It’s for the world’s easiest baby blanket.  I had to start with something easy for my first one.  It was supposed to be published on the last Friday in August, Labor Day weekend, but I didn’t have all the pictures I needed.  I learned a few things by writing a tutorial about writing tutorials.  Imagine that!  I think it is easier to write the whole thing out and then do the project and take pictures.  That way I can make sure that I get all the pictures that I need and I can tweak the instructions if necessary.  The way I did it I ended up doing the project twice and taking pictures both times.  It was a little time consuming, but it all worked out and now I know. 

While I was finishing it up this morning, I also thought of what I want to make my daughter for Sew Selfless September.  She plays soccer and the weather here has been pretty chilly so I thought I would make her a fleece blanket with the some appliqued pictures on it representing her school activities.  It would be great for keeping warm while she’s not playing and for watching other sporting events.  I have some fleece in her school colors, but not enough, so I’ll stop on my way to her game tonight and buy some more.  Lucky me, Jo-Ann’s is on the way! 

I’ve also started cutting out the pieces for my husband’s quilt.  It’s a log cabin in light and dark browns with red flannel center squares.  I think it’s going to be really neat.  I designed it myself and am really excited to see how it turns out.

I think I’m going to make lunchboxes for my boys.  I found some cool tool fabric at Pink Chalk Fabrics.  They carry brown bags now, so tool fabric bags won’t demasculinize them …..will it?  They are both hunters too so I could use camo fabric instead.  I already have that.

I also finally figured out how I’m going to quilt my Mother-in-law’s birthday quilt.  Remember that?  That is a story for another day though.

So that’s some of what I’ve been up to.  I’m preparing for a couple of craft shows in the next few weeks, so I’ll be busy sewing up a storm.  Ooh, I shouldn’t say that.  We have had too much rain.  I feel like I live in the Pacific Northwest instead of the Midwest!  With everyone back to school and working….finally, I’m going to try to be more consistent with my posts. 

Happily Sewing!

Julie

Sew Selfless September

I just ran across a great idea from Jess at The Sometimes Sewist.  She decided that it would be a good idea to sew for someone other than herself and without monetary profit (I may be adding that bit in myself, but it makes sense) during the month of September.  She is calling it Sew Selfless September.  I’ve decided to join her in this endeavor so here is my pledge. 

I, Julie, at Crazywonderfullife, pledge this Sew Selfless September to sew one item for each of my family members, that’s a total of 4.

 

If the link doesn’t work on that image, I’m also putting one in the sidebar that should link to her blog. 

It’s really easy to join if you want to.  Here are the “rules” from her post:

1.  Post your pledge in the comments below, using this template:     (Go to her post first.  Don’t post here)

“I, *name*, of *blog name*, pledge this Sew Selfless September to make *your pledge here* for *your intended receipt(s)*.” 

If you want to name specific people to make for or things you’re going to make, cool, if not cool, too.  You can see how vague my pledge is; no problem with leaving some wiggle room!

2. Spread the word! 

Post your Selfless sewing pledge on your own blog, and link it back to this post by using one of the badges below.

3.  Join the Sew Selfless September Flickr group.

4.  Come September, make all the things for not you and post them to the Flickr group!

 

I don’t belong to Flickr, but I will link back to her original post and she can put my pictures on Flickr if she wants.  Now, I just need to decide what to make.  I already have fabric for a quilt for my hubby.  I should at least be able to get the top done, and my daughter wants a camera bag with dividers for her lenses and supplies.  She also needs a new quilt for her bed.  As for the boys, that will take a bit more thought. 

I sure hope some of you decide to join us!

 

Happy Sewing!

Julie

It’s All About the Sewing

Well, I almost have my stuff together.  I think it took me 44 years to figure myself out, and I may not be done yet.  I love to sew and craft, but I’ve been trying to do everything that catches my interest on a large scale instead of picking something to focus on.  I have decided to focus on sewing which is ironic because that is the name of one of my other blogs where I never write.  The projects that catch my eye and my interests in general lean significantly towards kids and babies so I’m going to focus my sewing projects there with a few things for the grown ups too.  I’ve sold a few things on the side and have a few orders from friends and acquaintances, so that is going well.  I have some baby/toddler blankets listed in my Etsy shop and I’ve started a Facebook page, Flamingo and Owl to promote my Etsy shop of the same name.

I was really trying to do too much and found that I didn’t have time for what I really like to do, which is sew.  Now, I’ve made several blankets and some really cute burp cloths and am working on a few other projects that I’ll show you when I’m done.  I forgot to take pictures of the projects that I’ve already finished that are the same as what I’m working on now, but here are some of my blankets and the one burp cloth that I’ve gotten a picture of.

DSC01763DSC01765DSC01761DSC01767

I have a couple other baby blankets with different patterns and colors now and a lot more burp cloths, mostly Winnie-the-Pooh themed, and they are reserved for someone.  I’m so excited that by limiting myself, I actually freed myself. 

Another thing that I’ve learned about myself is that while I still love creating quilts, it’s actually the tops that I like making and I’m not as enthusiastic about doing the quilting itself.  It’s a good thing that I know a few people locally with long arm machines who are willing to hire out their services.  One lady from my quilt club actually invited me over to her house and taught me the basics of using a long arm machine.  It’s something that I would love to learn as well as practicing free motion on my small machine, but I’m content for now to let someone else do it for me, at least the big projects.

Happily Sewing,

Julie

 

Off To A Crawling Start! :)

Hi there!  It’s been an exciting couple of weeks, at least for me.  I worked hard on the quilt for my mom (in law), but didn’t quite get it finished.  We visited her yesterday for her birthday.  We gave her the quilt and told her she couldn’t keep it.  How bad is that?!  Well, she loved it and didn’t mind that it wasn’t done.  All that’s left is the quilting and binding.  I say that like it’s nothing, but I’m doing all free-motion quilting.  I really need to practice.  If I were better at it, I may have finished.  I had to take out most of what I had done because it looked so awful.  Now, I’m back to about a quarter of the way done.  I’m using a square flower motif that I learned from a tutorial by Lori at The Inbox Jaunt.  She helped me with my first (large) quilt for my cousin David and his wife.  I didn’t even know that I had to quilt it before I added the binding.  She was very nice and gave me good tips.  She does excellent free-motion quilting and has a bunch of tutorials.  I’m also using a lot of outlining.  I hope the quilting turns out as good as the top did.

I’m also full to the brim with ideas for market and Etsy crafts.  I’ve been doing a lot of prep work in between working on the quilt and living life.  I even skipped the market last week, although, I did go and visit for a while.  I got chewed out for not being set up.  Not really, but some of them did mess around with me.  It looked a little sad because there were so few vendors last  week.  I think most of them didn’t come because the main road in is under major construction and is detoured.  If you don’t know your way around town it might be confusing and you still have to cross the non-road to get to the park.  Business has been bad because of it, at least that’s what we think, so the vendors might be skipping out.  I have a whole new appreciation for the  people who do these markets and take the time to set up and take down and make sure they are well-stocked for the events.  It’s a lot of work. 

Like I said, I’ve been doing a lot of prep work for new crafts and also trying to implement some marketing strategies.  I had shut down my Facebook page, but I reopened it so that I could start a Gardengirl Creations page.  I want to interconnect this blog and Facebook and Etsy and even Pinterest to try to boost sales of my crafts.  I do have some outside orders from word of mouth business, two pillow beds and a t-shirt quilt.  Those will really help a lot to get the ball rolling I think.  I’ve been putting my disorganized thoughts to paper so I can organize them better and I’m really excited to see where this all goes. 

Well, I’m off to bed.  Tomorrow I’m going to bounce some ideas off my friend and have a little down time shopping with her.  Smile

Have a creative day!

Gardengirl