dear blog,

i could tell you how sorry i am for neglecting you so... but i'm not. 

i've been writing. i've got nine chapters of book 3 done. i'm a long way from being finished but i'm getting somewhere.

i've been making stuff every single day. like i do. yoyos, you ask? a few of those, yes, for custom orders, and they've been awesome. but i decided right after january 1 to take a break from making yoyos except for custom orders. i marked everything way down in the shop and i gotta tell you, it was a good decision. i'm not entirely sure it was showing in my work but i was getting bored. so bored. and you know, i think my regular customers were too. bummer. but, i've gotten a couple of wedding orders and there's a few more in the works and they've all been really fun. i'm actually starting to think about a small "collection" for the late spring. we'll see. right now, i'm making whatever occurs to me or has been on my list forever. some skirts out of fabric from my stash, some embroidered pieces for friends, some for the shop, some just to see if i can. like this:

last weekend, shawn went skiing. i had planned to spend a lot of time laying around, reading and writing. but no, i was searching my pins and likes on pinterest for something specific i'd pinned ages ago, a hat pattern that i thought i might finally make. i never found it but i did see a whole lot of inspiring embroidery. so much i ended up making a board for it. i looked at kick ass thing after kick ass thing and realized, i love everything i'm embroidering right now but i needed a mother fucking challenge. i needed to make something amazing. then the idea struck like lightning. within an hour, i'd printed a picture from my instagram photos and was starting to sketch some of the basic lines of my face onto linen. i stared at it a long time before i started to stitch. i wasn't really sure i could do it. 

oh, blog, here's where i should also interject that this winter has been rough on my psyche. i've been sad. not constantly but a real lot. i've been plagued by creeping self doubt. with no good reason. although, depression doesn't need a reason, just a place to hide.

so, i wasn't really sure i could do it. even though i've been embroidering forever, i was certain i couldn't do it. but i told that voice in my head to shut the fuck up and went full steam ahead. i started stitching friday night and had to stop when i realized i didn't have the right floss to do my hair. saturday morning, i woke up bright and early and went to joann's where i got the side eye for holding skein after skein of rust colored embroidery floss to my hair. i brought my purchase home and got back to work. after hours and hours, hours i barely noticed passing, i was done. and you know, it is amazing. 

more amazing? by the end of the weekend, i felt like myself again. today, i feel great. the sun is shining. i've got a lunch date. i'm going to do some writing and some stitching and its all going be good. because life is good, no matter what bullshit my brain goblins were trying to tell me. 

so, blog, i've been neglectful but i really needed to just take care of myself. i can't apologize for that. 



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don't feel sorry for yourself. only assholes do that. - haruki murakami

i woke up this morning feeling exactly like i have the last few mornings. filled with snot, coughing, unable to breathe freely. i've been sick for 11 days now. eleven days of phlegm and mountains of used kleenex and cough drops and vomiting and more tea than i normally drink in a year and resenting shawn because he's not as sick as i am and no energy for even the smallest tasks. i am not pleased. 

but i'm trying to not feel sorry for myself. i will get better and my life will not always be ruled by coughing fits and queasiness. i'm trying to work on things as i have the energy and cut myself some slack. i'm also trying to be grateful for naps and the ability to take them whenever i need to. life may be a little gross right now but its also pretty sweet.

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tight (not)

its been a long time since i've had a good wardrobe malfunction. i'd like to think that i'm little older and more together but i'm sure it has more to do with the fact that i wear pajama pants half the time. not getting dressed for work everyday reduces the odds. it also means i'm out of practice. things that would've been on my mental checklist when leaving may not be so obvious anymore. my sartorial spider sense may be tingling but i ignore it. as i said, out of practice. like last week when i said to shawn as i was leaving to run errands, "i think these tights are done." 

yes, shana, those tights were done. they were done being tight. they were done being tights. they just wanted to fall to the floor and find their way to hoisery heaven. which is exactly what they decided to do. at the library. 

the elastic at the waist was going. i was having to pull them up more than usual as i set out on my errands but whatever, i'd get my errands done quick, go home, take them off and hopefully toss them. i say hopefully because i have been know to put seemingly unwearable tights in the laundry and then absent-mindedly put them on in a pinch. i wish i could say this hasn't happened more than once. i wish. 

i knew what was happening to these tights was different when i got out of the car to go into the library. i was wearing a short skirt and it was a bit breezy. i adjusted myself, thought i'd fixed it, and went on my way. i walked into the library and the person sitting behind the front counter gave me the once over. 

in addition to wardrobe malfuctions, i am also used to judgy stares from library staff. if i prayed to saints, my patron saint would be "our lady of perpetual library fines." you know, if i wasn't jewish. 

anyway, that's why it didn't register completely that i should be praying to our lady of droopy tight until i was walking across the crowded lobby to the hold shelf and glanced down at my skirt and legs. the crotch was below the hem of my skirt. below the hem. oh my god. i tried to appear nonplussed as i approached the hold shelf. i got into the stacks and wiggled and writhed back into my tights. i took a deep breath, grabbed my books and went directly to the self checkout. the backside of the self checkout station. the side facing the wall. i figured if it happened again, well, i'd rather flash the wall than the entire room. and i did. oh yes i did. then, i flashed everyone driving down SE 39th as i RAN to the car.

once in the car, i readjusted and thought the situation was under control. so great was my confidence that i stopped at the weekly flea market at the eagles' lodge. the situation? so not under control. but i did buy some nice baubles for $3. 

the worst part? climbing the steps to our front door while buses and bikes and dogwalkers and kids walked by. mortified. at least i was wearing cute undies.

i have hopefully learned my lesson. hopefully.

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blog, 2, 3, 4

so, when you stop blogging for almost a month because you're writing a book and that's taking all your brain power and then you blog very little for the following month because you are brain dead from writing that book and its also your busy season, its hard to get back to it. i had every intention of blogging last week. i did. but i started the week with a cold and then was too busy trying to get back into the swing of all the other things to even think about the blog.

but i want to. i need to. this blog is a nice place and has been with me for 10 years. although somehow in the move from blogger to typepad to here, i lost three years worth of posts. but i digress, i love my blog; i love the people i've met because of my blog; i love that old friends and family read my blog to stay caught up with what's happening; i just like writing here. that whole doing better in 2013 thing? it most definitely includes my blog. i have about 6 posts started in my head - including a new recipe and a new synagogue story. so, tomorrow i'll start posting regularly. i swear i will. and putting it in writing here will help make me do it. 

but for now, here's a quick rundown of what i've been up to:

kateri moved! she's staying with us until she finds a place, which can be challenging in portland. its been fantastic having her here. we've been doing portlandy things that i've been super excited about doing with her. we've been to the bagdad twice to see a movie in three weeks. we even got to have a regular saturday night last night, complete with sparkle production, wine and a bad movie. i don't know that i'd actually realized just how much i missed that, and her, until now. 

i've been reading a lot. recent books include: breed by chase novak (this book made me MAD), i am a strange loop by douglas hofstader (also annoying but interesting), what we talk about when we talk about anne frank by nathan englander (outstanding), moranthology by caitlin moran (awesome. her love of ghostbusters makes me love her even more) and i'm about to start busy monsters by william giraldi. things are piling up on the tivo since i've been reading so much but whatever. i'll need tv to marathon while working.

i've started working again. i've got a lot of fun ideas in the works for spring and am really enjoying making new things again. december can suck a litle bit of the fun out of a crafty business. but december is 11 months away and i get to just play with fabric and sparkles for a little while.

i've started a tap dancing class. i'm actually shocked at how much i remember. heel heel toe toe shuffle kick ball change ball change ball change... make no mistake, that doesn't mean its easy. i had a brief moment of panic when class started and the teacher cheerfully said, "let's warm up! just follow me!" and then put on music and had us dance for three songs without any real instruction. that was when i realized it was a bit like riding a bike and that muscle memory is a funny thing. it was a blast and i'm really happy i decided to do it. even if my ass really hurt for a couple of days after the first class.

that's it for now. i leave you with this bit of awesomeness:

i'll see you tomorrow. pinky swear.

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sunday nights

as long as i can remember, i've disliked sunday nights. i feel restless, a little anxious. i don't like going out on sunday nights but i always stay up too late. i think it started when i was having a difficult time in junior high. sunday nights meant the end of my respite and i'd have to face the horrors of eighth grade on monday morning. so, i tried to stretch the evening out as far as i could. i noticed this again when i was working at the synagogue. i got mad at shawn once for buying tickets to see BR-549 on a sunday night. it was, i will admit now, a fantastic show but i'm pretty sure i tried to pout through it. i was reluctant to give up any of my time on sunday nights because who knew what the next five days would hold.

sometimes sunday nights still bug me. its silly since all my time is mine now but it happens. i think the many years of loathing sunday nights left a mark. i'm sure it'll eventually go away.

over the last few months i've spent more than a few sunday nights writing letters. that seems to combat any itchy feelings and seems to be the perfect way to start my week. that's what i did tonight. i wrote a few thank you notes, a couple of responses to more recent letters and wrote one very long overdue letter. it was great. i'm going to try to make it a weekly thing. maybe then i can actually stay on top of my mail. 

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mama said (a list)

  • fighting with shawn. he's under deadline and feeling under pressure. so, not really fighting but snarking, for sure.
  • making a double batch strawberry jam of questionable consistency despite its passing the freezer test.
  • wanting to call my grandma to ask her WTF about the jam. alas.
  • i cleaned out my closet this week and got rid of a ton of clothes. people told me not to get rid of the the things that are too big, that it'll jinx the weight loss. yesterday i wondered if that was true.  then i was bummed out for even thinking like that. 
  • because the truth is that a week of munching on rare, homemade bread caught up to me. one word: bloat. 


so, nothing devastating. just some annoyances that added up to a not so great day. tomorrow will be better.

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the truth about thursday

i posted a few tweets yesterday that had my friends a bit concerned about my stress level. here's what was happening:

  • the house was (and is) still in chaos, as you can see.
  • i'd called shawn an asshole as he was leaving for a meeting. i was laughing while i said it and i don't really think he's an asshole. it was the stress talking.
  • my printer decided to be all temperamental when i sat down to print tags and cards for the shows. tagging, carding and pricing is kind of, you know, important for craft shows.
  • i needed to work on my display but shawn needed to finish up something for it and i hadn't realized it wasn't done.
  • i needed to make pixelparty earrings but found we had no jump rings. i'm not even sure how that happened.
  • the smoke detector fell on my big toe. i could explain how that happened but it still wouldn't make any sense.

i had a list. there was nothing on it i could accomplish at that moment and things were falling on me. nothing disastrous but my day had been planned out pretty much to the minute. there was no wiggle room. and there i was, stuck waiting for shawn to come home until i could make any progress on the list. so i tidied a bit. i finally folded the laundry. i did the few things i could. then i made a skirt. because, well, why not? i had the fabric washed and ready to go. i had a zipper and bias tape. i had the time while i waited. from start to finish it took me just over an hour. everything went smoothly, including the zipper installation. let me tell you, the successful installation of a zipper is a magical thing. once it was finished, i felt almost instantly better. that is, until i had to get back work on the real list again.

sleep is overrated. a-line skirts with viewmasters printed on them? completely awesome.

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sometimes the internet can be annoying. if you're having a bad day, feeling not so great about yourself or frustrated with the way business is going, the internet can be your worst enemy. a trip to the blog reader on a pms-y day could wreck you. i've been there - wishing i had more fabulous clothes, all found thrifting, of course; wishing i had time to do ALL THE THINGS. it can feel really isolating sometimes when all everyone is sharing is the good stuff, the successes. does no one get pimples in the blogging world? or have a week (or two) with no sales in their shops? or forget to do their dishes? 

of course they do but they aren't talking about it. we don't see what's just outside the frame of the photo or what things look like pre-photoshop. 

then jenny over at frecklewonder posted this. it was a breath of fresh air that prompted me to continue the ongoing project of cleaning out my blog reader. i unfollowed people on twitter and unfriended some people on facebook. it wasn't easy but within a day i was feeling less distracted and well, better. 

i also had an email exchange about some of these issues. i realized that there's so much talk about manifesting success that i think there might be a fear of manifesting negative thoughts. we just sweep them under the rug.

and then this popped up in my blog reader. 

so, in the spirit of the epidemic of truthiness that seems to be spreading...

  • my house is a MESS. we're preparing for two shows in the next few weeks and there are supplies everywhere.
  • and laundry baskets. i need to fold laundry desperately but its entirely possible that i won't and that those baskets will just be emptied as we wear the clothes. 
  • i've debated including this item a bunch. i've got my period and i'm trying a diva cup for the first time. its WEIRD. no further details, just weird.
  • i am having a really slow week on etsy and its making me twitchy.
  • i've watched more than one lifetime movie this week while working. yeah, i know. 
  • i have been unable to remember that i have a hair appointment tomorrow while trying to make other plans for friday repeatedly. you'd think the two inch roots would serve as a helpful reminder but no. i am a fucking space case this week.
  • when i'm stressed i swear. A LOT.
  • in happy news, after months of frustration with my skin, i went back to using proactiv. i've used it before and it works fabulous until it just stops working. right now though my skin is looking pretty fucking great - for me at least. that's all i can ask for.

also, no pretty picture today. because there is nowhere in my house that isn't cluttered with piles of books, work in progress or dirty glasses and clearing a surface to take a picture or just posting a picture of flowers or something seems like bullshit. so, i'm not doing it. 

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there will be no picture today. because of reasons.

its the week i miss lucy the most.

the weather has been crazy, hailing one minute and sunny the next. it doesn't really matter because we're both really busy getting ready for crafty wonderland and bazaar bizarre.

we're both not feeling great. i'm migrainey, which could be because of the wonky ass weather, and its my pms week. shawn's back is bothering him. bothering him is the nice way of saying he's in excruciating pain right now. our afflictions are making us cranky -  yelling at each other over hazelnut milk cranky.

monkey is pissed because we're trying to train her to not bark at every single person who passes in front of the house. she finds it incrediby frustrating and pretty much hates me for denying her fun. so, the dog is giving me the cold shoulder. and sighing heavily - A LOT. 

did i mention the pms? and the part where this week is the anniversary of my grandma's death? yes i did?

ok. i'll shut up now.

and maybe post one pretty picture. for reasons.

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first mate charly by blobhouse

i was crazy busy all day. i don't feel like i sat down even once. well, until about an hour ago. going going going. almost all day long. and i don't feel like i accomplished anything. THE to do list is just sitting there. and i don't like how its looking at me. i know i didn't touch it all day but i had to abandon THE list for TODAY'S list. TODAY'S list had to happen. and it did. i got it all done but seriously, THE list is giving me the stink eye. it looks like that guy there and its stressing me out a bit.

oh well, its time for embroidery and grey's anatomy. oh look, now you're giving me the stink eye.

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