Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Startitis and Finishitupism

They say the first step in recovery is admitting the problem. Fine. My name is Beth and I have startitis. I was blissfully in denial about this until my local guild started a UFO challenge. The winner from last year finished off TWENTY projects from her UFO collection. Ever so smug I though, who has so many unfinished projects? How does that happen?

Then it dawned on me that I have so many unfinished projects that I have CATEGORIES! Sure, it's just a sock (or three, the lower left is a mystery sock waiting for the final clue) in progress here, a knit-a-long cowl there (which I can't finish because the final steps haven't been released),
a sweater from yarn that I spun myself (never mind that I really don't like the yellow in the yarn, or that it's entirely likely that the sweater will be a.) too small and b.) I will likely run out of yarn before I finish the last sleeve.

And then there is the lace cardigan I started, also with yarn that I spun:
You can see how most of these projects fall into separate categories and therefore don't count against starting something new before something else is finished. Truly!

But then there is the quilty projects.
A Fine Romance is just two borders short of having the entire top done, but I can't decide if I want to do more embroidery embellishment, and then I can't decide if I want to do hand or machine embroidery. And this is a "work" project, not so now it is in a subcategory. The hard deadline was met, of having completed each step before publication, so in one sense, this project could be considered "done". (Feel free to co-opt any of these explanations if they help with your denial.)
And there is Christmas Yet to Come that needs to be quilted. It's at that awful, awkward stage where I am convinced that the very next thing I'm going to do will ruin it completely. Truthfully, I do need to take this slow because free motion quilting is hard on my neck and hands. (I am so lustful after BERNINA's new long arm machine that I often wonder what the going rate for kidneys is.)

If you've followed the blog for any length of time you might remember this project, from a class with Elly Sienkiewicz in Houston, um, a, four years ago? I love what I've done so far, but, well, just but. That's why it's not done yet. Plus it falls into the quilting category of "not work", so it can safely be ignored when ever deadlines loom.

And then there's this little wool applique project that I put together almost a year ago. See, then I was living in a hotel room, during the transition from Saginaw to Green Bay. I had no stash with me, and I panicked! I bought all the stuff for this sweet little table topper and then felt guilty/relieved to have a UFO in the room. (Yeah, I'm crazy, but you know exactly how I feel, so don't go getting smug on me!)

I had this great plan to finish these projects. A Fine Romance and Christmas Yet to Come will get my mornings, alternating depending on certainty of the next step. AFR is really in sort of a brainless sewing state, stitching down the applique, so I can put off that decision for a while, and the quilting on CYtC in small spurts will save my body. These are "work" projects, so I can consider myself at work while I work on them. The other quilty project will be my "away" projects. I've joined a guild and a bee, so I need project that are small enough to travel, right?

This all made perfect sense and gave me a wonderful sense of control and calm, until last week when I took a workshop with the guild on painting on silk.
Oh, yes please! I loved it, it was so much fun it just about took my breath away. My brains fell out of my ears and I ordered almost two hundred dollars worth of silk painting supplies. They arrive on Wednesday. And I haven't even mentioned the tapestry weaving I want to get back to.

I've decided that finishitupism (I've just noticed that a swear word suddenly appears in the middle of that word, one that seems perfectly appropriate) is just a symptom of January and will pass shortly. If I just hold on for a couple of weeks I can forget all about UFOs, the virtue of finishing and go blissfully back into denial. Wanna come with me?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The paint goes on

I think I may have mentioned how much the previous owners liked brown. Almost every room was brown, from the color of a Hershey bar wrapper in the living room to a mustardy baby-poop brown in the smallest bedroom. The living room was painted a soft green (Behr Chinese Jade) before the furniture arrived and the studio now glows in Blushing Apricot.

It took me a while to find just the right shade of blue for the master bedroom. I wanted sky blue, actually I wanted haint blue, as in the southern term for ghosts blue, the proper color for porch ceilings in the south. I finally settled on Clear Blue Sky by Glidden and Kent painted while I recovered from strep throat. (Four days of fever spent on the couch in front of the tv, I am now an expert on building log cabins in Alaska.)

The mirror in the master bath has a silver frame. The fixtures are brushed nickle. The tile is a warm brown with very dark tones, and, as you can see, the counter top is black with brown bits. The black vessel sink is the dumbest thing ever, every spot shows.

I wanted to use these seed packet prints that came with us from Saginaw, but the frames were antique gold and just didn't look right with the silver mirror. A small bottle of black acrylic paint and a tube of Rub'n Buff in silver changed them right over.

The hardest part was waiting for the paint to dry! They look terrific with the mirror, exactly the same finish, and I really like how the brown tones in the pictures play so well with the counter top. I'm not sure about the silver with all the brown (which isn't going anywhere any time soon), but I love it with the blue.

Friday, January 8, 2016

A lesson on love

This picture pretty much sums up the whirlwind that was Christmas for us this year. Nearly perfect. We laughed until our sides hurt. As a mom I have to say there is no greater pleasure than admiring the men my sons have become. They are hard working, serious, silly, thoughtful, smart, handsome, irreverent and loving. And, now that I know they read my blog, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

My youngest son couldn't get off of work long enough to join us in person, so we Skyped him here. We took turns passing around Kent's smart phone so David could be a part of the Christmas morning silliness.

Christmas Eve morning my two oldest sons and their wives took off for some shopping. Now I would rather be slapped with a wet stick then go shopping on Christmas Eve, but they were determined that it needed to be done. They returned with rustling bags and sly smiles and disappeared to the basement where the wrapping paper was set up.

There was one gift for me that was set aside to be opened last. Amanda (my oldest son's wife) warned me that it would make me cry and she was so right.

This is what they put together for me. They found a framed chalkboard and just the right stickers and then put heart shaped gems where we each can be found. I can't even write about this now without tearing up!

I didn't just cry, I sobbed! My heart was broken with the pure rightness of it. Home really isn't a place, no matter how long the history there. When you're loved, home will always be exactly where you stand, where ever that may be.

How silly am I that this is a lesson that I am still learning at my age! And how blessed I am to have sons who are wise enough to teach me. I have always had a feeling of "otherness" about myself, like I just don't quite fit or belong, the perpetual visitor. This sampler is a charming and gentle rebuke. No matter what, I will always be theirs, and they will hunt me down to remind me, even if it means driving half way across the country, or through Chicago during rush hour.

For those of you who are saying, but of course they will, be grateful that you understand that sense of belonging. For me, I was thunderstruck, both that they would come and that they would understand how much it meant, really understand. And perhaps, most of all, what incredible human beings I helped to raise. That's what I got for Christmas this year, I got love. Well, and then strep throat, but that's a story for another time.