Sunday, January 31, 2010

That's right, I MADE a dog!

A lot of the dissatisfaction I have been feeling in recent months has had to do with how nearly impossible it has become to find time to *make* something. I made some fingerless gloves for myself around New Year's, with some yarn I had ordered online and then ordered Chris to give me for Christmas. Then I made a pair for Cora, who implied she might die a horribly whiny death if I didn't know her something immediately. Gratifyingly, she wears them almost every day. Then I made a pair for my grandma (which resulted in my mom buying me yarn so I could make her a pair, and my grandma commissioning a pair for an aunt).

When I was visiting my mom recently, I saw an ad in one of her quilting magazines for a book called "Sew Me, Love Me" - the cover appealed to me and I thought it would be good browsing, and my local library had the book, so I picked it up when we got back home. This past Saturday, Cora and I snuggled up on the couch to look through the book. She spotted a dog she especially liked and asked if we could make it.

I was pretty sure I had everything I needed already in-house, including socks I no longer was wearing (heel holes) that could serve as a body. So we headed upstairs and chose our materials. At this point Cora lost interest in the process and while I cut out the pieces, she completely unpacked her dresser and spread her clothes in piles all over her room. This had something to do with a dance performance she was planning, but we never got that far.

In short, I made a stuffed doggy this weekend, and while I can see the ways I would do it differently next time, and have some other ideas, I like this little dog. I think she's pretty cute. And, considering I have not attempted a stuffed creature in quite a few years (I think jr. high was the last time), I'm also pretty proud.

I read a number of blogs by creative, crafty people, and often I have envied their "I wanted to make this so I looked around and found the stuff and did it!" capabilities. Making this little pup brought me some delight of a kind I've been missing. It felt good to realize I had everything I needed. It felt good to realize I certainly had the sewing skills to do this quickly. It felt good to watch the dog take shape. It even felt good to do it all by hand!
And, does she like her new doggy? After about 36 hours of deliberation, she named her Alyssa.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh. Hi. Um....

My mom pointed out to me recently that it has been over a month since my last update. But I can explain! (Not that I need to...)

We had a very nice Christmas season (as Cora likes to say, as in, "is it still the Christmas season?"). Chris was home for three weeks, and after a "storm and form" first week we settled back into something like our old routine. I know the old routine will never really come back - but I would like parts of it to revive themselves once we are all together all the time again. Because of the weather - a Christmas Eve blizzard makes for a pretty winter scene, but can also disrupt plans - we ended up staying home Christmas Eve (which also explains why we don't actually have photos of Cora in her Christmas dress and Swedish braids - perhaps a dramatic recreation will be staged at some point), and basically holing up for three days. I loved it.

The day after Christmas, of course, I worried that it would be a big letdown for Cora that there were no more presents to unwrap. But, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that the Advent calendar was done. No more doors to open. No more morsels of chocolate. No more little verses about woodland creatures decorating a tree. She asked after that calendar until New Year's. Something to anticipate next year.

New Year's came and went. I found that this year I am feeling incredibly resistant to the idea of evaluating the last year, let alone the last decade. Likewise, I've had very little interest in contemplating the new year or the new decade. Things feel stagnant to me, with less than satisfactory times behind and before me. 2009 had its bright spots, but the last few months have, over all, just been really freaking hard. And, let's face it, there's more of the same for the next five months.

Still, the drive to resolve something at the beginning of a new year is strong. So, here's the one resolution I am prepared to make: To spend more time with friends this year. I feel like over the course of the last few months I'm moved to the margins of some of my friendship circles. A lot of this has to do with my need to hunker down and figure out how to be a solo parent, to make a routine and reinforce it so we don't completely drown in chaos. There are a lot of things that I have, in the past, depended on for my sanity and equilibrium, and I don't have time for those things now. So I had better make time for friends.

OK. Next time, photos.