8.06.2014

Having A Voice



A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine approached me to speak at a summer camp being held through her job. She wanted me to talk about my history with self image, self worth and where I stand today. My first thought was "Why me? Do I really have a story to tell?" Actually, my first thought and question to her was, "How many f-bombs can I drop?" 

But seriously, I was shocked she considered me. Yes, I've been through things (and am still going through some) but do I have anything to offer that could be inspiring?

Last night we met with the girls whose ages ranged from14-17. 

My high school years were some of the roughest years of my life. Never had I felt more insecure and ugly than I did during high school. It doesn't help when people tell you to your face you are ugly. Boys suck. I had a group of friends but not the core group like I had imagined. I didn't have anyone I could truly confide in. Granted, I didn't give anyone a chance to know me but I saw too many girls flip on each other so quickly I was not going to let that happen to me. So, at school, I would be happy, bubbly, talkative, and never let anyone see what was really happening with me. When I got home, I could let my guard down. I would go to my room, turn on the TV, and mellow out. Pretending to be happy is exhausting. Because of this, my grades sucked, I didn't try out for any sports or extracurricular activities (because I was concerned what people would think of me).  I didn't have the motivation to apply myself to anything.  I definitely focused on the things that should have been secondary: my hair, my clothes, getting a car (I rode a bus all four years. Only driving my moms car here and there my Senior Year). I would always think if my hair was longer I would be prettier, get a boyfriend, be happy, and then I would start doing better in school. I'm pretty sure you are furrowing your brows right now because that logic makes absolutely no sense. You're right. It doesn't. But the mind is strong as hell and it can make you believe anything you want. Countless times it made me believe this world would be a better place without me. 

This mentality occurred during the majority of high school (and beyond) until the second half of my senior year I had asked my parents to check me into a mental institution. I thought this would be the "cure all end all" fix I needed. It wasn't. I got out and went back into the same routine. My parents didn't understand. No one really understood.  And I don't blame them. Depression is one of those diseases many people didn't understand or talk about. There is still a stigma surrounding it today. A lot of times I was told to "Get over it!" "Suck it up!" or informed of how everyone has problems too. Some advice: DON'T say these things to someone struggling with Depression. These words may be the tipping point for something very bad to happen. 

I'm a huge believer in signs and that "everything happens for a reason." So why did I go through my own personal hell for a majority of my life? To be there   last night for these girls and share my story. I know to some that may be outlandish but as we spoke to these girls last night I scanned the crowd and saw myself in a lot of them: the ones who don't feel beautiful, who are depressed and hiding everything inside. I made sure to be as open as possible about my Depression. I think this allowed some of the girls to open up about their own struggle with Depression, no matter how mild or severe. I hope I was able to show them it DOES get better and there will be those days that it completely sucks but realize it and then fight tooth and nail to be happy. Being happy is hard work but if you find innerpeace and surround yourself with the right people, you can do it. 

And yes, some days you will fall but it's OK, you're not perfect. On those days, I watch The Twilight Series and knit. 

The girls I met last night have been heavily on my mind today. I hope they all heard something from one of us that will impact their life in a positive way and to rise that extra step towards getting help, being compassionate, speaking up, and not feel ashamed. 

7.31.2014

Craft and Draft, Gather and Draft

I was asked by the local chapter of Girls' Pint Out to host a craft night. Of course I immediately said yes. I decided to keep the craft simple and teach the ladies how to make Kusadama Origami Flowers. As the time for the event got closer, I started to go into Panic Mode. Everyday I checked the number to see how many people were coming (just to make sure I had enough supplies) and each time the number continued to increase. The last time I checked 95(!) people had RSVPd to come. Granted, the chance of everyone showing up is unlikely but even if half of that amount came, that is still a lot for one person to teach.

The Craft and Beer Gods were with me that night because amidst all the craziness, everyone had a great time and everything turned out fine! 





These ladies took it to the bar

After everyone made their flower they stuck it in a grapefruit, creating one big bouquet.

Me yelling at April to not take the picture because the lighting is not good. 
April clearly not giving a damn. 

Thank you to SC Girls' Pint Out for having me and to Craft and Draft for letting 30+ girls invade your space!

Wanna get crafty? Be sure to check out our site stay in the know. And "Like"us! 





7.22.2014

Class Recap: Modern Calligraphy with Paulene Cruse of Leen MachineCalligraphy

No matter the words, they always look better in beautiful handwriting, right? At least they do with calligraphy. 

Last night Paulene of Leen Machine Calligraphy  taught a Modern Calligraphy Class.   

Each student was provided with the tools needed to get started on their new skill (pen, nibs, ink, wipes, and guidelines). 



First, they practiced making basic strokes which was followed by them tracing the lower and uppercase letters of the alphabet. 





Once they were comfortable, they started to freehand and create their own personal style. 



Playing around with white ink.


Throughout the class Paulene instructed the students on how to properly hold the pen, ink flow, and provided them with sources on where to buy ink and nibs. 

Happy Students!

Be sure to check out the other class being offered here


7.15.2014

Thrifted Sisters and I Made a New Top!

This past weekend I went with Jordan to Thrifted Sisters Pop Up Sale. I wasn't too familiar with them but a quick search through their Instagram feed showed they were definitely my style. 

The lovely ladies behind Thrifted Sisters. 
Shannon-left, Jeanette-right

Animal Planters


This scarf caught my eye. 

I fell in love with this coat. 

I even had Jordan try it on. 



I left with this black dress(which I later discovered was handmade!):

And this stretch knit fabric:


Which was transformed into a top the following day:



Natural Dyeing: Purple Cabbage Outcome

It has been a while since I have experimented with natural dyeing. I had a head of purple cabbage in the freezer, just waiting to be used. I finally took it out, let it defrost in an old container, added a little water, and let it be for about a day.


Before this, I prepped unbleached natural cotton fabric in an alum bath and let it dry completely. Then I wrapped it up, not really caring what pattern it would form, dunked it in cabbage and let it stay in the fridge for a day or two. 


Next, I thoroughly hand washed the fabric until the water turned clear(ish)

I decided to make a basic top with it and I am very happy with the results.




The back:





7.02.2014

I Built a TV Stand!

It looks more like a table but the main purpose for it is to be a TV Stand. I did not have any directions. I just made it up as I went, working with the material I had. I must say I am very happy with the way it turned out.

         Before sanding and painting.

Ta da!

DIY Casualty 

I added more paneling to the front and I feel it gave it more of a "finished" look. 

I have to figure out what to do with the wire situation.  I did get some great suggestions: add fabric, add another piece of wood, install a wire basket, a hole at the top and run the wire through it. I think I'm going to try to run all the wires through some tubing (probably PVC piping, painted) and use wire ties. I don't want to drill any holes or add another piece of wood because the stand is at a great height to be used as a work table one day (especially for cutting fabric).


6.30.2014

Kusudama Origami Flowers

Yep, another craft picked up. But in my defense, this craft uses items I already have: paper, a boning tool, and my hands.

Kusudama Origami is the folding of paper to create flowers which are used to form a ball or bouquet.  

 I took this class along with Rachel (who runs our local Yelp who is just as crafts-obsessed as I am. She and I met when I took the bookbinding class and we just clicked. We also discovered we both get competitive when it comes to crafts. We both want ours to be the best (Mine was better. Duh). 

First there was the practice round:

Lots of folding 



To create one petal. 

Glued together to make a flower. 



The flower I created.


An arrangement the teacher made for a wedding. 


Various types of paper can be used: book pages, music sheets, wrapping paper, scrapbook paper. 

This video shows you how to create the petals to make a flower:




I have a story that is too great (to me) to not tell. While in the class, I'm not really sure what was happening, I hear Rachel sing "Rip iiiiittt!" You know, the same way they sing "Whip iiiiiiitt!!!" in Pitch Perfect. My head popped up so quickly as I let out a loud gasp. Another bonding moment between us. I LOVE that movie. Not a Pitch Perfect fan?




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