My boobs, which have nothing to do with art.

Lately, there has been an influx of cancer around me. 2 family members have been going through it-whether its the diagnosis process, or in the case of my aunt, surgery X2 and treatment. A couple friends have gone through surgery as well recently. I just got a call from an agency to help low income women who are going through breast cancer. It reminded me I wanted to write something.
I don’t even know how to write this blog.
I could tell you-go get checked, male or female. Start early. Check often.
I could tell you my story.
I could tell you how art got me through my tests.
I could tell you how scared I am for myself, my mom and all the members of my family.

So I will.

I’ll start with the common sense.
Go get yourself checked. Women-do your self exams monthly (I use to remind me). Men, check your ladies, too. Ladies: Go make sure you get your yearly exams. No body image concern you have should get in the way of you taking care of yourself. Men, do your exams and follow up with your MD’s as well. If something isn’t quite right, get it checked out. Its not rocket science.

I lucked out, but I was damn lucky given my family history. My breast health issues were fine-but the long waits and the various exams I had to go through were torture. YOU HAVE TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF. They tell you that you have to wait for an appointment? No you don’t-call every day, ask to be pushed up. They don’t want to give you a second opinion? Too bad, They will. I went through three specialists and dozens of phone calls before I got what I wanted.  They don’t want to do a sonogram in addition to the mammogram? They can go to hell. Ask for what you need, and deserve.  Know what tests you need for your breast tissue and your age!

Also, don’t just sit there-do something. The sitting and waiting for the results will drive you nuts. I happened to go back to crafts-sketching, crotcheting and sewing. I had to keep myself busy. I also started writing again to get what was in my head out. That was just me though.

Lastly, the fear. I’m concerned that the next exam I have won’t be flying colors. I’m concerned that after the next surgery and the treatments my Aunt won’t get through. I’m concerned for all the people I know. But I am so glad they got in, got checked and got treatment.  I remember being so ANGRY with my mother for not going in for exams. SHE was my best chance at knowing what I was in for. She was selfish for not going in and taking care of herself, as in turn, she was failing to take care of me.
So I told her
And she finally went in for testing.

Women, Men, friends, the like: Get up, take care of yourself, do what you can to be healthy. You’re the only you people have, so do what you can to stick around.
Cheers-yours in health

Movin’ on!

Its been a while that I have been on WordPress…I like it, but I don’t love it…Its not as upgradeable as I would like, so I am movin’ on!  Come follow me at my new blog site:

The new site is shiny, exciting, pretty and HAS MUSIC!  I know, how could I not move on?!  This blog will stay up, but won’t be updated, so be sure to change your links and your favorites!


Order with in the chaos

My friend Jen likes to come into my office. I’d like to think it’s because I have cool stuff, and  there are pictures of our adventures on the walls, but that’s not the case. She likes my room, she says, because its like a living thing (and I know I am misquoting her as this conversation is usually had after too many drinks). I usually look at her quizzically, to which she replies-“its always changing. I’ll come here one day and it looks like a tornado hit it, and then I’ll come back and its all picked up, like nothing happened”.
I smile, ’cause it’s true.
My office is a living, breathing, growing beast. It’s the start of my personal photography studio, which hasn’t completely taken over my house. Its my fabric studio/sewing area. Its my yarn storing area for knitting projects. It’s the bead shop, where I make little necklaces. It’s my scrap booking station, where I can make a handmade note for a neighbor who watched my dog, or an employee as a thank you for their hard work. Its my music studio where I pluck at my old guitar and pretend I know what I am doing. It’s also my library, where the bookshelves are brimming over with books. Lastly, it’s actually my office-where I meet with employees and attend project and other meetings and listen to interventions to ensure my participants are getting a fair deal. It’s a big ol box of me-ness.

Right now, that big ol box is a big ol mess, but there’s still order in the chaos.  Ask me where my cashmere yarn is, the soft purple with white threads here and there, I can tell you that it is in the closet, second shelf down in the green bin. What about the recipe for the soba salad I make? That’s in the Nigella Lawson cookbook, the white one on the top shelf in the first bookshelf.
Much like I know myself, I know my room, but I can tell there’s been a lot going on in here-just like in my life. Work has been busy transitioning into my new role, spending time working with block watch stuff, working with the Park organization (go 12th and Trenton), getting healthy again. But I can still see the order in the chaos even there (thank god for calendars!)  That being said, its time for some more order, and less chaos. Even though I am sick, this weekend will be spent thinning out the crafts, finishing up at least one sewing project and hanging up my photography. A little more order just may let me make a little more chaos, and let the whole process start again 🙂

Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth.” Tom Barrett

Bigger, Faster, Better

I’ve had a few sewing machines in my life. First was my mothers’ machine. An old beast that I only remember as being slightly yellowed and likely to take off my finger at any moment. It served a purpose in my house for my mom: to make me clothes. For me, it encouraged me to learn hand sewing. I hated that machine, and for the life of me I cannot explain why.  I hand sewed everything I could-quilts, doll clothes, odd-looking stuffed animals. I couldn’t get enough. Of course, once I figured out boys were way more fascinating, sewing took a back seat.

My next machine was an old 80’s beast that was secured nicely into a desk. It was a salvaged item from my then father in law’s garage sale. He had no interest in it, but I did.  I remember having my ex put it in the van to drag it into our tiny little apartment, where it sat. It hadn’t been serviced in over a decade, and wouldn’t even thread. Defeated, it went into the storage area below our building. When I eventually moved to Seattle, it stayed with the ex after having moved with us 3 times.  I stuck to hand sewing then too.

A few years later I spied a cheap machine at a Target post-turkey day sale. It was less than $100 and I had to go to 3 Target stores to get it. I toted it home and peeked in at the box. I quickly forgot about it after I got my new Subaru. I later opened it up to do a little sewing and crafting. Either something needed mending, or I wanted to make sure it worked. My love of sewing was renewed!

In the past year or two, i have been making blankets, and quilts and have ventured into sewing bags and pants. Its been nice to be a little more self-sufficient, and to have something that is all mine.

Recently my cheap little Singer was starting to annoy me, it wouldn’t stay threaded, and it was just a pain to sew through fabrics. I vowed when I could afford it I would buy a new machine. That happened a few weeks ago, after I finished the new fabric cabinet. I bought a Brother machine, with 100 something stitches and 6 types of button holes. It has quilt and embroidery stitches and when programmed can spell my name. Its crazy, and I love it.

I’ll be doing more with it, making pot holders and aprons from designs I have sketched, and I’ll be bartering with an amazing local seamstress to learn more tricks.  I’m excited, it’s a nice contrast to an otherwise busy life.

As I complete projects, I’ll post em and show folks what I am up to, I’ll also post some of the garden barter pics too, stay tuned.

Yours in craftiness and playing with bigger, faster and better toys!