Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The something unexpected...

So a while back, before all of this craziness with the kidney stone getting in the way of life happening, I promised to reveal photos of the something unexpected that I was using for crochet.

So here's the story...

In mid-April I visited a shop in Philadelphia with my mother, I always find great things there - never anything I'm actually looking for, but beautiful and inspiring things nonetheless.  We stopped there on our way to the Van Gogh exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (that was incredibly inspiring, too!).

There I found fabric for my husband's train table skirt project (to hide all of the junk that has accumulated underneath).  I found beautiful Queen Anne's Lace upholstery fabric for less than a song and a dance that I'll have my husband's grandmother's chair reupholstered in once I can actually move it.  While that was being cut my mother called to me that there was clearance on spools of stuff.  And what glorious stuff it was!  I had such a difficult time figuring out what I should buy and what I should leave there - even though I could have purchased it all ... sometimes regret that I didn't ... but it wouldn't have all fit into the car!

I bought spools of cotton twill tape, polyester drawstring material (you know that you find in the waistband of sweat shorts), ribbons and trims that I'll use for card making and the such.

The drawstring material was quickly worked into five sun hats - two midnight blue, one espresso, two dark slate blue, the espresso and one slate blue are gone already.  I didn't even photograph them, but I know the owners and can always ask for a photo!

the three remaining sun hats
dark slate blue, midnight blue with French knot band, midnight blue with flower band

I have just begun to use the cotton twill tape.  One spool of charcoal twill tape has partially dried out and isn't good for crochet, but it's fantastic for using as ribbons for the handstamped favor/gift bags that I offer in WoodstreamPapery.

the aviary No.2 white kraft bag with charcoal twill tape ribbon

The dark olive twill tape I'm crocheting into a vest for myself.  I had a customer last December ask me about making a vest.  I thought about it and I've finally come up with a pattern that I like.  I'm making this for myself so that I know how much I would charge for one, but it's a huge time investment... not to mention material - gosh the cost if I hadn't gotten this on clearance!

the dark olive twill tape vest in progress

I have other colors of twill tape - a bit of red, some natural, a little bit of ice blue, and others I can't remember right now...  I have a huge rubbermaid container filled plus a big bag sitting on top of that filled with these supplies.  I have plans and patterns floating in my head.  I will be creating for some time - I'm excited, it's so interesting to work in a medium other than yarn.  

I also have gold cording that I may be using to make some holiday garb ... funky belts or maybe a really open stitched dress or vest to wear over tights and a stretchy top.  Something different.  Something unexpected.

All of this may not be reality this year, I have so many supplies I could literally work for a couple of years and still have surplus.  But it's something to look forward to.

I also have all of that cashmere and merino wool.  Only a few pieces have been felted.  I have a huge stash that still needs felting - then cutting and stitching.  It's a huge undertaking, but it's going to yield so many awesome items!

I plan to have both of my shops back up and running by the end of June, but that will depend on my recovery after next week's surgery.  I will keep you updated.

Thanks so much for stopping by to read and have a blessed week!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank you

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial - December 27, 2009

Thank you to all of those who have served and are serving to keep us safe and free
so that we may live without being on guard... because they are.
Thank you to the families who have lost loved ones and who are missing their dear ones today.
Thank you to my grandfathers who served long ago.
Thank you to my brother who serves now.
God Bless America.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lost Spring

Well, my recovery from gall bladder surgery went pretty well.  On Monday, May 14th I reopened my shops, shifted around inventory and started adding items to WoodstreamPapery.

Then on Wednesday night I woke with such horrible pain.  I eventually drove myself to the emergency room at 1am on Thursday morning.  I was diagnosed with a 1.8cm kidney stone, not passable - it's only 4mm smaller than an inch.  I had a procedure done that drains the kidney to reduce inflammation and allows it to heal before surgery, yes, more surgery.  I was supposed to go home on Friday.  Then the fevers started.  At the worst on Friday, in the wee hours, it got to 105.1 degrees.  I was started on antibiotics on Friday morning and continued to improve.  I came home on Tuesday afternoon after a six-day hospitalization.

Needless to say, I'm exhausted and still healing.  I am on antibiotics and trying to care the best I can for myself and my family.  My shops are closed, again.  I want to garden, but I can't.  I want to cook, but I am thoroughly drained and can't.  I want to crochet and sit to make cards and felt cashmere and wool to cut apart and create new things... but I am not able to muster the energy.

I am grateful for my husband who has not lost it after a spring full of unexpected health issues... having to take over all of my duties so many times -  and still go to work everyday.  I am grateful for travelling nurses.  I am grateful for friends and family who are able to pick up my children from school, bring meals, and clean my home - eventhough it humbles me so very much.  I am grateful that my husband can slip out of work to attend the milestones that I'm missing... things that I planned to attend, but am saddened to miss.  I am grateful for modern medicine and hospitals and doctors and nurses and techs and the housekeeping people at the hospital.  I am grateful that there is air conditioning in my home... the plastic dressings make me so uncomfortable in this heat, but fortunately I can stay inside and remain more comfortable.

This is my lost spring.  I've had lost summers and lost winters, but I think that I am really missing spring so much more.  It is a time of new life, new growth, newness everywhere.

peonies among the mint at my in-law's home, May 12

So in order for me to get through the next two weeks until surgery on June 8, and then the recovery afterward, I am focusing on renewal.  I am focusing on how God is speaking to me in this time that I am unable to be the person I thought I was and who He is directing me to be during this time of healing and afterward.

I appreciate those of you who will pray for me and my family during this time, keeping us in your thoughts, it really does mean a lot and I believe in the healing power of prayer.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!  Please go out and enjoy the world around you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Almost there

Hello, how have you been?  I've missed sitting here and writing.  I've been sitting in my family room with my notebook, crochet hooks, and spools of the unexpected - creating and healing.

Like most other modern moms, I have a hard time not doing, even when I'm not supposed to be doing.  So on a few occassions since my gall bladder surgery two weeks ago, I've over done it.  No surprise.  I praise the Lord for the invention of Advil.  I thank Him for my wonderful friends and family who have helped in ways big and small over the past two weeks.  We really could not have gotten through without the phone calls, help pick up children from school, meals delivered by our church family, and friends coming over to chat while the children play.  It really is so lovely to have such a community of givers.  We are so blessed!

I am almost there, almost ready to reopen my shops.  They need some sprucing up.  Don't be surprised to see certain items dissapear or relocate to a different shop.  Unfortunately while on "Vacation Mode" I am unable to alter inventory in my shops.  So, I'll be working on that over the next several weeks.

On April 30th I finally felt well enough to pick up the hook and start crocheting again.  In the past twelve days I've made six items.

The first thing I crochet was a pair of apple green bamboo blend fingerless gloves.  I've seen them around and I thought, I can make those.  So I tried.  And I did.  And they're simple and warm and soft.  Two days later I was talking to my mother-in-law.  She mentioned the doctor told her to wear gloves around the house to ease the coldness in her hands from her osteo-arthritis.  I told her that I'd made a pair of fingerless gloves and that I would gladly make her a pair.  I altered the pattern to a small hand, since I wear a medium and the green gloves fit me nicely.  I am unsure if I'm going to add fingerless gloves to my line of items.  They're quite time consuming to make, but they're very nice.  I will have to pray about it.

I also crochet a newborn baby hat from a bamboo blend and two short-brimmed sun hats out of a spool of the unexpected.  The cotton fingerless gloves for my mother-in-law and a merino wool blend hat for a friend.

The spool of the unexpected... I look forward to sharing this with you.  It's so incredibly fun!!!!  Something for you to look forward to seeing!

I have not gotten into paper arts too much, only for lack of wanting to shift too much stuff around because I fatigue easier than I think I should (getting well takes so much longer than I think it should!).  I do have some cotton twill tape that's gotten brittle.  It makes for a beautifully shabby-chic ribbon for my handstamped bird favor/gift bags - quite the beautiful look!  A bit of frayed edge with the crisp white bag - fill it with whatever you like - perfect for baby or bridal shower or baby's first birthday.  Whimsy and beauty all in one!  They'll be added to WoodstreamPapery in the coming week.

I have yet to pick up a needle and thread...  I have plans in my head and have begun to felt the cashmere and merino wool - oh the colors for Fall 2012 are stunning!  I cannot wait to reveal all that I have stored up in my brain!

I'm easing back into life.  I am enjoying doing things as I can.  I am reminded that I am not fully healed and cannot do everything just yet.  But I look forward to reopening WoodstreamDream and WoodstreamPapery next week.

Until then, Happy Mother's Day to all of you mommies out there!
Thank you for reading and have a blessed weekend!