Life Lately: Joy and Sadness

Mom and Me

It’s been a while, to say the least. Sometimes you have plans to do amazing things, and are forced to take a step back. In the months following my last post so many things happened. My now husband and I were planning a wedding and being the person I am, I ended up making a lot of things by hand. While we were planning and making Mom’s cancer progressed farther and faster than any of us could expect.

Christmas was amazing, one that I will remember forever. My Mom and I went all out and made the house a winter wonderland and baked far too many cookies than any of us could reasonably eat (but we did….yeah). We celebrated and enjoyed one last Christmas together. Then with the new year, Mom’s cancer got far more aggressive. She became house bound, and her chemo treatments were weekly with more visits to the doctor for side effects from the chemo. Her health slipped.

Mom made sure that when she did have energy she was helping us plan our wedding, talking about projects and cooking, and caring so much about us all. But her time was less and less. The day after Mother’s Day Mom went home to heaven. Her funeral was that following Friday. It was bittersweet. We got to see family a few weeks earlier than planned.

Less than a month later was the wedding, a celebration that both my husband and I will remember forever (I’ll share more details soon). It was perfect. Everyone says one detail of the wedding will go wrong and seriously wrong. We didn’t have that. Everything went smoothly and was amazing. My Dad walked me down the isle and did our wedding service. Our only sad part to our day was missing Mom, but she was rejoicing from heaven.Mom's Shawl: Wooly MastadonWhat does this have to do with Wooly Mastadon? I’m not sure yet. What I do know is that right now the loss of my Mom is setting in. I didn’t have a chance to grieve. Now that I have a bit more time, the realization is hitting and hard: she’s gone. My husband has been truly supportive through all this but even he knows that sometimes the only way to heal is time, and doing something you love. For most of 2018 I did not create much of anything. I was a caregiver for my Mom and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but to properly work through her passing I think it only makes sense to start creating once again. My Mom was my partner in crime when it came to art/crafts/creating. I bounced all my ideas off her, asked her for advice, and just shared in the experience of creating. Although I will never replace my Mom perhaps you can now be my outlet. Let’s create a community and share. Let’s heal together.

P.S. The shawl in the first photo is one that I knit in only a few months, the shortest amount of time it has ever taken for me to knit a shawl. It was for Mom and I finished it in time for her to have it to wear for Christmas. I’ll share more on this later on as well as wedding fun!

~Stay Inspired

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Hold Onto What Matters…

When Its Unclear: Wooly Mastadon

In the past few weeks it has been a roller-coaster. I don’t like putting life updates here, this place is for the purpose of sharing projects, creativity, inspiration. Yet sometimes life just has to come to the forefront, needs to be seen. No matter how much you try to hide what is happening it shines through. It shines through here and elsewhere in my silence. Now, there have been some really good moments but there have been a lot of really hard moments too. It was to the point that all I wanted to do was run and hide from everything. Thankfully I have a really amazing person in my life who helped me get out of that but sometimes things hit you hard. One thing that I have shared on and off here was my Mom’s battle and defeat of cancer. Two months ago my family learned that that cancer had returned, and with a vengeance. She’s getting treatment and doctors seem pretty positive but it hit everyone hard, when something terrible was over…at least you thought it was, only to come back.

This was just one example of the downs that have hit these past few months. I lost track of what mattered and let things get to me. I let work drama creep into my time away from work and eat away at what was left of me. I gave up on knitting and reading, and really creating for a while. The only thing I really had to show for a span of time were some nature photographs from mini day trips to go escape for a while. I think somewhere in the mess that was my brain it knew the only way to get me out of my funk was to get me out of the house.

So I got out of the house. Some of my best friends came up to visit. I went on day trips, I took photos, and I worked. For whatever reason, possibly because some of the troubles are slowly being resolved, things are getting better. I have someone in my life who is constantly reminding me not to lose sight of my goals, and that it is always worth working toward the things that you find important.

What's Out There: Wooly Mastadon

And so in the past week I have made an effort to get back into the small things I love to do, the creative things that keep me going. I started designing some knitwear and brainstormed some big ideas. These big ideas reminded me that I still someday want to be a graphic designer at a knitwear magazine, or something like that. I want to move on and do the things I love for a living. And I have to work toward that, not give up, if I want to accomplish it.

Life isn’t always happy, it isn’t the perfectly edited photo posted to Instagram or the short witty post to Facebook. It isn’t the properly edited blog post filtered to make your life look perfect. Life has ups and downs, and sometimes the downs feel impossible to handle. It is possible, it will get better. You just have to hold onto what matters.

Hold onto what matters…it keeps you going when nothing else will.

I’ll be back, with projects, hopefully very soon. Thanks for listening.

~Stay Inspired

 

Adventures in the Woods (and by the Big Lake)

Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon

As you may (or may not) have noticed I was absent last Friday on the blog. Perhaps you didn’t care, perhaps you did but it was all for a good cause. In the past two weeks I’ve taken my camera for a spin, both close to home (my backyard of course) and a bit farther away in Copper Harbor, Michigan. Nature is my happy place, nature by the water is even better, nature by the water with an amazing friend is the best. Here’s what I’ve been up to (warning…photo dump!).

Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon Copper Harbor Adventure: Wooly Mastadon

Let’s start with Copper Harbor. I finally had a day off that coincided with my friend’s work schedule. He had never been to Copper Harbor before and I went several times every year…any chance I could. It was a cold (45 degrees fahrenheit!) windy day, but neither of us minded. I made sure we hit all of my favorite spots, Brockway Mountain, Fort Wilkins, a park with a cool rock formation you can climb, the works. It was lovely, we both enjoyed it, and had a blast. Of course my camera came along for the journey and he humored all of my crazy just to get the best shot (read he’s terrified of heights and I’m not…yeah, he endured almost heart attacks so I could get the best shot with my camera). It was fun, I came away with so many photos, and the urge to go back again soon. Next time we’ll hit up some beaches and perhaps a lighthouse or two when the weather is warmer.

Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

My second location, my yard. Granted this isn’t the most grand of places to take photos, I still find joy in crawling around in the woods for the best shot, laying under bushes in the flowerbeds to get the best angle, and just general exploration. Today I topped everything off with planting my mom’s flower beds…perhaps I’ll have to capture some of that with my camera tonight but we shall see.

Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon Backyard Adventures: Wooly Mastadon

Anyway, I do have some projects coming to share with you very soon. Here’s to hoping that the beginning of what might actually be summer is here to stay for a while. Happy Friday!

~Stay Inspired

Crazy How Things Change…24 a Few Months In

24 Reflection: Wooly Mastadon

A strange title for a blog post on a fiber blog but it is fitting right now. I haven’t done a serious sit-down-and-chat post in a while. It’s just one of those things. It has been a good several weeks of 2016, but crazy and hectic. The thing is, it’s only now finally sinking in, I’m 24. Granted I’ve been 24 since November but for whatever reason I just ignored it and moved on. By now, most good bloggers would make a 25 by 25 list but I’m just not into goals like that so I thought I’d change things up. 24 isn’t a standout age so to speak, but for me it just feels like a big one. It’s kind of hitting mid 20s and it was a mark that I kind of thought I’d have more figured out. Its a nondescript year, but for some reason it hit me. I’m 24, have no idea what I’m doing, working at a grocery store in customer service and bookkeeping, I’ve got freelance design projects coming and going, but I have no idea who I am.

It’s a strange thing, when people think you should have everything figured out, that somehow you should be making big bucks in a career, the media pushes you to believe that if you don’t have a solid hold on what life is by now, you’re destined to fail. Now I don’t believe all that, rather I know life is just one long journey of learning, about yourself, about life, about your fellow human beings. You never have it all figured out, something always changes to make you rework what you though you knew. Imposter syndrome will always be there if you have a success, and there will always be people to tell you what you don’t want to hear.

But there are always people there to help you too. Slowly but surely, although I have no idea what I am doing, I am learning who I am each day, how I change, how people close to me view me and value what I do even if it isn’t glamorous. Maybe I work a low-key job (with great people mind you) so that I stay humble, but also so I can keep doing what I love without tainting it with deadlines. Perhaps it is there to remind me that yes, I have plenty to work for and that with time I might just get there.

24. I’ve still got plenty of time before I hit 25 and no list is going to prepare me to get there, but perhaps I will end with this. By 25 I want to be more comfortable with who I am and where I am in life, even if it just means making sure I appreciate what I have now, appreciating where I am life and where I am going. My situation my be the same, but if I can refocus on the people I love and put more time into the things that really matter, then 24 will be a success and anything that follows will be where I am supposed to be.

~Stay Inspired

Wow, December 24th

 

 

Christmas with Wooly Mastaond

So, it’s been almost a month. A whole crazy wonderful annoying month. Where did it go. Today is Christmas Eve Day, the day my family celebrates Christmas. Tomorrow is Christmas day. To change things up, I thought I’d recap the month, but just in a few pictures. This year December hasn’t really felt like the holiday season, we hardly had any snow and yesterday it was raining! Still, I spent most of my month working, knitting on mittens (or more like procrastinating knitting on them), and generally running around. I had a birthday the end of November, and that lead to a lot of thinking, and a lot of considering what I want for the future. I turned 24, so that means next year I’ll turn 25…yikes.

Enough chatter, onto the pictures. December is always a cozy time of year, warm, inviting, full of joy. As I prepared for the season I snapped some photos along the way. Enjoy.

Christmas with Wooly Mastaond Christmas with Wooly MastaondChristmas with Wooly Mastaond Christmas with Wooly Mastaond Christmas with Wooly Mastaond Christmas with Wooly Mastaond

~Stay Inspired

 

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Breath

Doodles: Wooly  Mastadon

I’ve been reminding myself of this lately: sometimes all you can do is breath. It has been an interesting weekend/week. Things happened, there was drama, and all through it I was working the evening shift at work (aka not functioning as a human being, I’m a morning person people). Through it all one thing has really helped me to calm down and actually try to get some sleep: doodling while listening to music. It sounds cheesy, and in a way it is. I remember in one of my first college art courses we were instructed to go home, listen to music, and draw/doodle/anything based on what we heard. We needed to let go and react with the music. I enjoyed the exercise even though all I ended up with was a bunch of squiggly lines. Even now I remember that project, but I never did it again. Then last week happened. My mind was racing, I couldn’t fall asleep, and the emotions were piling up to a level near explosive. I remembered this exercise and thought why not.

I put on some Enya (I grew up listening to her music and it is the best thing for relaxation) let go of my day, and sketched. All I ended up with were scribbles, some geometric patterns and a few random sketches, but the thing is, it worked. I was able to consistently calm myself down several nights in a row. I was able to let things go. Some nights it took longer than others to finally get into it and calm down, but it worked.

Perhaps some people would find this a random thing to post, but I thought I’d share. I missed Monday’s post this week, I was not in a place to make anything, do much of anything, or be very personable. But music has been getting me through, as well as friends, family, and knitting. The week is going to get better, and I am truly looking forward to tomorrow. I’ll share my exciting events with you later this week. Until then, listen to music, take time for yourself and

~Stay Inspired

P.S. It looks like Enya is coming out with a new album soon…maybe even this year. Is anyone excited with me?!

Where on Earth Did that Come From?

Who am I: Wooly Mastadon

I’ve been asking myself this question for awhile. I don’t know why, but in the past few weeks, I have been realizing some things that I do now that I never in a million years would have thought I would do 5 or 6 years ago, let alone even one year ago. I speak up, often. In my job, I have to tell people what to do in order to keep things running smoothly. When I first started, I’d ask the people to do something…it never came out as an order. Now it does. Mind you, I’m polite and try to tell people in a nice way or if needed in a matter-of-fact you-will-do-this-now way, never in a mean egotistical manner. But still, I wonder, when did this happen. I never viewed myself as a leader. I would just hide in the background, hoping something would happen while I waited. Now I just orchestrate whatever it is that needs to be done. If I need something to happen now, I find the person to do it (if it’s myself, great, then I’m at a head start) and make it happen. It is kind of confusing, even to myself.

The other day, I was talking to my Mom. She mentioned that she noticed that I was walking taller, confident in what I did and looking like I have my act together. The thing is, what I really wanted to ask was who she was actually looking at. I don’t have my act together at all. I’m a mess, pretty good at hiding things inside for a decent amount of time. I don’t work normal hours, and that makes my emotions turn into a roller coaster. Every second not spent at my ‘day job’ is either spent here on the blog, with graphic design clients, meetings, the local community arts center for various things since I’m on the board, and family and friends if I’m lucky. I find that if I have one day a week where I don’t have to leave the house for something, that is a treasure because normally my weeks are scheduled so that I can cram everything in. I go from meetings to work, to meetings, to graphic design, to work, to friends, to perhaps, if I’m lucky, sleep. That one day a week that I was planning on hoarding doesn’t exist anymore. Perhaps I get it once a month. And then, there are my hobbies, namely my love for this blog here. I knit and create in any spare moments I have, I obsorb reading material on the subject daily, I try to fit things in.

And apparently I am very, very good at hiding my mess. I must even scare some people because it seems that I can be blunt sometimes, and it looks like I know what I’m doing. I know my dripping sarcasm isn’t for everyone and I normally can keep that in check (most of my coworkers thankfully have a similar taste in humor so it all works out), but I don’t really know who I am. The other day, I saw my old chemistry teacher from high school. He asked if I’d be going back to school this year and I said no, not yet. We had a short conversation and it was surprising. I admitted I wanted to get my masters in something in art, but really didn’t know what anymore. The thing is, he seemed impressed, like that not knowing what I really wanted from life was a good thing. Is it? Is it really? I don’t know.

But why did I share this with you? Well, it’s because I have been sporadic in posting here, and now you know why. My mess is easily hidden in my day to day life, but somewhere it is going to have to show through and it seems that this space is where it lands. I haven’t done a thought post for awhile, and this is why. Hiding it is no longer an option. Positivity needs to be a focus. I don’t know who I am. Perhaps we will find out together.

Thanks for listening.

~Stay Inspired

Positivity

Positivity: Wooly Mastadon

Positivity. We all need it. I need to share more of it here. Lately I have noticed that there is always a slight negative undertone to what I do and write on this blog. There is always a ‘but’ or a ‘however’ that takes the side of the not so lovely. Yes, these ideas and opposing or negative opinions to different topics are indeed essential (especially when reviewing something, I want to be honest here) but I also realize that I can become bogged down by the negative vibes. After reading this post on A Beautiful Mess today about bullying, I thought one of the corollaries to this post was perfect: be kind. Just be kind, stay positive, and stand strong for you and others. It is something that I need to remember and something that I feel everyone has room to grow in. Let’s make this weekend and the following weeks going into another school year (whether you are in school or not) an opportunity to start fresh and start cultivating and helping spread positivity. It’s needed, and especially on a Friday when I’m tired and sick of it all, I need that reminder. I am truly blessed.

~Stay Inpsired