Saturday, July 11, 2015

Another Zippered Pouch

I made this lined zippered pouch for my niece.  She wanted one for her combs, particularly those long tail combs, so I made it  9" L x 3.5" W x 2.5" tall.




 It took me awhile to figure out how to determine the size of fabrics and zipper I would need for the pouch size I wanted.  I'm not really a numbers person so I had to draw and re-draw, measure and re-measure until I was sure.  And then I made one first out of scrap fabric just to be doubly sure my calculations were correct.

It's happened to me before that I've figured sizes and then measured fabric over and over again to be on the safe side and for some reason after it's been cut and sewn, it's off and I sit there not having a clue where I went wrong.  So, whenever I'm measuring and calculating, I'm always a little nervous.  However, in other areas of design I can just "eyeball" things and they are right on.  One example was when my husband and I were wallpapering the laundry room - correction, I was wallpapering the laundry room and he, being a general contractor, saw my methods and decided he needed to step in to make sure things turned out right.  Well, I started putting up a piece of wall paper on the wall and he said, "Wait! Did you measure and mark the wall to make sure the strip goes up straight?"  I said, "No, I know it's straight by looking at it."  Well, we debated for a couple minutes and he decided to pull out his tape measure and level and sure enough, it was right on.  I decided not to rub it in and he decided that I had just gotten lucky.  I knew better.  ;)

So, being more visual than anything, the most challenging part of sewing for me is when I'm not working with a pre-made pattern and I have to start adding measurements and seam allowances and 8ths and 4ths and halves together.  It's slightly embarrassing but here's my worksheet.


As you can see, I had to draw it over and over again, mainly so I could visualize it, and keep redoing the numbers.  Sheesh, my 12 yr. old son could have done this in his head.  He and his brother take after their dad that way.  C'est la vie  At least it's finished.  :)

I've contracted some sewing for a woman who sells children's clothing and accessories online, so I have megabillions of hours ahead of me to finish the products for her latest orders.  After that marathon, I want to make this triple zippered pouch I saw at the Sanrio website.
 http://www.sanrio.com/product/hello-kitty-triple-zip-pouch-super-duper-collection/
I'm thinking of brighter more colorful fabrics, but I love the 3-Zip.  I'm also thinking that I would probably add a little wrist strap to it.  I know a few girls who would love one of these, myself included.  Work first, then I can "play".  :)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Destruction of Faith

Every morning I look for inspirational words - things I can meditate on to get me through the day.  I used to look into the Christian scriptures every morning.  In fact, I would spend a lot of time reading, praying, meditating.  And then at other times in the day, I would read again, praying, studying, searching for truth.  And all throughout the day my mind was in almost a constant state of prayer.  I can see it better now looking back on it and comparing it to where I am today.

Back "then" I didn't realize how much of my life was based in faith.  I didn't realize the extent to which it filled up my being -- my mind, my heart, my soul.  But, now that it's been exploded and pulverized, I see the deep cavern of darkness that is left and I know.

Even so, apparently it wasn't even as big as a grain of mustard seed because I wasn't able to move mountains.  I yearned and longed in prayer for my children.  I was in a constant state of prayer for them, and a family member and I weekly prayed specifically for Hillary.  Not because we thought she was considering ending her own life, or that we thought she was depressed.  But because there was a longing in her heart to overcome and to move into a place in her life where she had peace, joy - where she was living out the hopes and dreams she had for herself.  Where she was moving into that place of fulfilling her potential.  Where she was free to love and be loved.  Yes, she did have struggles, but we all have struggles to overcome.  I certainly didn't think she was in a state of mind considering ending her life.  If anything, I saw her on the verge of beginning her life in many ways.  During the many conversations I had with her regularly, she expressed anticipation, excitement about the plans that were churning in her.  Things she wanted to do and accomplish in her job, her personal self, her relationships...etc.  I didn't feel a despair from her.  And I personally had a sense of hope about a breakthrough for her.  I really did.  I believe this was confirmed to me in spirit during a time of meditation and prayer for her.  In fact, I had joy in my heart because I felt something special coming for her and so much so, that I shared that fact with someone close to me.  I never once was drawn to entertaining the thought that this breakthrough for her that was coming was the end of her life here on this earth.  That still shocks me.  Besides continuing to endure the shock of her death and how it happened, besides the pain involved in thinking about that moment that it took place, besides the grief of missing her and feeling so many unresolved things, besides mourning the life she could have had that no longer exists, besides the guilt that envelopes me pressing down hard on my being because I'm her mother and I was unable to protect her or help her so she wouldn't have done this...there's an endless list actually of pain and suffering and anxiety and grief that is punctuated with lost hopes, lost faith, lost relationships.  I really don't know how to get out from under this mess, let alone begin to clean it up.

I think of the poor people who have suffered a catastrophe, the hurricane victims of Katrina, the many, many war victims in other countries - that list is endless as well.  I'm amazed when I think that any of them have been able to pull themselves back together and not only move on, but rebuild.  Their strength and courage amaze me.  Images of thousands of nameless souls pass through my mind and I bow to them all with tears in my eyes and feelings of great respect in my heart.

How do people move past devastation? I don't want to be lost in a hopelessness and live the rest of my days on this earth out in a non-functioning or low-functioning state.  It's not just the physical that I'm talking about.  I look at people with physical disabilities that they have striven to overcome and have...overcome.  Not just compensated for...but truly, aboundingly, overcome.  That's what I want for myself and for my family, my children but both in the psyche and physical plane.  I just don't know how to get there.  It's like a land of Enchantment that you've heard rumors about from the time of your childhood.  You've even talked to people who've been there and you long to go there.  You dream about that beautiful place where forgiveness and compassion are practiced regularly; where peace and love permeate life.   But there is no road map, and the directions you get from vast numbers of people you ask are all conflicting.  So, where do you begin?  And how do you know you're going in the right direction?  This type of dilemma does tend to discourage even the beginnings of preparation for that journey.  Also, the things I would have packed in my bag before are no longer suitable or no longer belong to me.

Things I've believed with all my heart that have been obliterated by the severe and far reaching explosion of the devastating event of my daughter's tragic death.  And, by the way, I do not place any blame on her whatsoever - none.  I should have been able to help her prior to and at the time, but I wasn't able to and I'm not sure I can ever forgive myself for that.

Words I used to believe and see beauty in now only provoke emptiness or disdain and leave me with a cold, still, feeling.

Yes, I used to get comfort from these words, for myself and for my children.  Now when I read them it's like words coming from an unfaithful partner who has hurt you over and over again and they are asking you to trust them..."this one last time".   And you've been "here" before, and you've wanted to believe so much that they love you that you find it in your heart to forgive them and say "ok" and move on.  But this time, you stand there staring into their eyes for a long searching moment, and even though you realize that you wish, really, really wish, that it were true -- that you could trust them -- their words no longer seem like a confirmation of their heart but only a desperate attempt to keep you in their realm.  So, you offer them a quick but resolute smile and then turn and walk out the door, determined that you won't be duped by them, or anyone like them, again.

Where does that leave you?  Walking down the street with your backpack slung over your shoulder, and nowhere to go.