Saturday, March 25, 2017

Let's Talk About Being a Woman

Hey guys,

So this isn't intended to be a very long post. In fact, I could probably just post what I'm about to say in a Facebook status, but this is where I document my thoughts and feelings so for the sake of keeping everything in one place, let's have a quick chat.

(Although, in the wise words of my best friend, "That's why I wanna be a writer, because I get to argue with people for 90,000 words and they can't argue back." This certainly won't be 90,000 words, but it is a pretty one sided conversation. So let me rephrase: please allow me to talk at you for a few hundred words with little to no feedback) :)

So, I'm genetically a female. I have ovaries. I have a uterus. Those things, blessedly, give me periods. Yay! And breasts.

Have you stopped reading yet? Because ten years ago, I would have. How dare I talk about such a taboo subject.

I've had periods for (if my math is correct) just over twelve years, and I've had breasts for about 8 months longer than that. Which means that for over a decade, I have had to buy menstrual products and bras. When I was just starting to go through those changes, unless you've gone through the same exact thing, you cannot imagine how absolutely mortifying that was.

Before there was self checkout, I would avoid buying bras and menstrual products unless the cashier was a woman or my mother was with me. The few times I had to go to a male cashier because it was an emergency, my anxiety was at a 10 and I was absolutely mortified. I would hide my products at the bottom of my basket or tuck them under my arm as I walked up to the register every single time. I would duck behind racks of bras in Kohl's if I saw a male coming so that they couldn't see me purchasing something so personal. Yes, it is assumed that at some point someone who is has xx chromosomes will eventually grow breasts and start their period, but I didn't want a single person to know that and think of me that way. It made me feel dirty. I didn't want men to know what I might eventually be wearing under my shirt. I didn't want them to know that I would sit down later and have to insert something made of cotton into myself to prevent a small waterfall of blood from seeping down my legs. I didn't want them thinking of me sexually-- because, let's face it, vaginas and breasts are sexual objects to most heterosexual males, and they refuse to see them as what they are, which is reproductive organs.

I'm 25 now, and two weeks ago I spent at least ten minutes staring at tampons with my husband standing next to me. Several people passed by. I complained loudly that they did not have what I wanted in stock. And I could not have cared less.

It's true-- the older you get, the less you care about the embarrassing things that seemed to matter so much to you before, but yes, I still feel that way. I still feel uncomfortable any time a male sees me in the bra or menstrual product department. But you know what? I'm just trying to live my life. These things are natural things that happen to me, and even though I may never embrace them (because honestly who enjoys periods? and I know I'm probably one of the rare ones, but I absolutely hate having breasts-- anyone have $10k to have them removed?), I'm over allowing men to make me feel uncomfortable for something that should be normal. And sure, maybe these things are all in my head... sometimes. But I can guarantee that my fears haven't always been insane, and that those thoughts have passed through the minds of men.

And that, my friends, is one of the hundreds of reasons that I'm a feminist. I could go on for days about how it's not just about women but all genders, and it's not just about equal pay and harassment and uteruses and breasts and ovaries (because if you didn't already know, not all women have those parts!)... But I won't bore you with that (today).

All I'm saying today is that if you want to stare at me while I buy my boob holders and cotton blood plugs, go right ahead, because I'm tired of feeling like a freak.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Let's Talk About HSP

Hey guys!

So I hinted recently about finally writing a post regarding HSP/what it is "in the future", and the future is right now! So let's talk about HSP. HSP, not to be confused with HS, which I talked about in this post

What does HSP stand for?
HSP stands for Highly Sensitive Person. This is an official term-- it doesn't apply to just anyone who feels sensitive sometimes. I know some people can hear or read "highly sensitive person" and think "Oh, I can be oversensitive sometimes too," however this term applies to a person who has a specific set of traits-- HSP is a title.

What types of traits?
Here are some of the most common traits (keeping in mind that I'm basically paraphrasing from the website):

  • Easily overwhelmed by pressure, often from having too many things to do in a short period of time
  • Feeling strongly affected by or even avoiding violent movies or TV shows
  • Feeling overwhelmed by loud sounds, bright lights, textures, or strong smells
  • Needing to withdraw and "decompress" after a long, stressful day, to a place where you can experience relief from the stress (such as a dark, quiet room)
  • Making it a priority to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations 
  • Having the ability to enjoy and appreciate smells, tastes, sounds, or art that others aren't as affected by or can't notice at all
  • Being able to pick up on and even feel other peoples' emotions yourself, often better than others can (this is often considered being an empath, which is part of HSP)
  • As a child, having been described by adults as "shy" or "sensitive"

What does that mean?
Basically an HSP's brain takes in too much information-- everything can be overwhelming. What an average person considers to be an average amount of anything can be too much for an HSP. Strong smells can give them headaches, loud noises can startle them easily, certain tastes can be too strong, fluctuating temperature can feel too hot or cold to the extreme, and most importantly, emotions-- their own or anyone else's-- can be so strong that they can be debilitating. 

Imagine the last time you were stressed out by something so overwhelming that you felt like you couldn't move past it-- a difficult assignment from work or school, maybe a frustrating situation with a friend or family member. That's how an HSP can feel about something as simple as a car alarm or the smell of something they don't like cooking. But consider that some of those things can happen all at once. 

Let's take a doctor's office for example. Picture it: there are phones ringing. It's too cold. There are babies crying. The fluorescent lights are so bright. Everything smells like rubbing alcohol. The doctor is taking forever. Someone at the front desk is crying, begging to see a doctor but being continuously told that their insurance has been cancelled, and there's nothing you can do to help. And to top if off, you're there because you're sick, so everything is already increased by a tenfold. Remember those stressful assignments that we talked about? They're building up, stressor on top of stressor, in the form of sounds and smells and sights and emotions. And let's not even talk about the stress of actual assignments. There's a reason I never excelled in college!

After you leave the doctor's office, the stressors are gone, but now in addition to being sick you're beyond exhausted from having to deal with them and all you feel like doing is going home to take a nap, so you do. 

But that's every day for HSP's, especially for those who work and go to school and have children. Every single day is a nap day.

Being an HSP can be a gift. We're able to pick up on subtleties that not a lot of other people can. There's something beeping? We can find it. A gas leak? We'll know. Something rotting? No problem, we'll figure out what it is. Something bothering you? Don't worry, we can pick up on that sort of thing, and you'll know that you're not alone and that we're there to listen. We also take in beauty like other people can't-- sunsets, art, music, are all incredible in a way that we can't even put into words.

How do you know if you're an HSP?
You can take the test here! Personally I score 28 of 28, hooray!

Think your child or a younger person that you know might be an HSP? You can take that test here.

And sometimes it's diagnosable by a psychologist... but keep reading.

Why don't I know about HSP already?
Well, not a lot of doctors or counselors know about HSP-- any psychologist I've spoken to so far learned about it after school and they're not very knowledgable about the condition beyond the title/general traits. And it's actually too common to consider a "condition" with an official diagnosis. 20% of people are HSP's! It also seems as though it's genetic-- I would classify most of the people on my dad's side of the family, (within our immediate family, aka my aunts, uncles, and first cousins) as HSP's. But most of these people don't even realize exactly what's bothering them, only that they're consistently stressed out and everything that seems "normal" to average people is just too much for them. 

Before I discovered that I am an HSP, life seemed so overwhelming. I truly felt like a child who threw temper tantrums at the littlest things. I've known about it for about two years now thanks to my darling best friend Ellie who told me about it (excitedly, might I add-- she found out about the term one day and immediately after was blowing up my phone, thrilled to be able to shed light on something that affected me so strongly), and every single day I learn something new about myself that I never noticed before I knew about HSP (for example, why hot showers give me panic attacks). My entire life is shaped by being an HSP, and the more I learn about it and the more I speak with other HSP's, the better I can handle myself and do what I can to adjust my environment so that I can live a peaceful, "normal" life. I've even joined a local Meetup group-- a support group for HSP's so that we can share our stories in a safe, comfortable spare surrounded by people who understand what we're going through, as well as share tips and tricks to manage the different aspects of being highly sensitive.

Basically, everything is overwhelming and I really have to take care of myself to make sure that I can function as a human being (and I'll be doing an HSP tips and tricks blog in the future), but I'm working through it. I'm learning about myself, learning to love and accept myself for who I am, and finally learning that I'm not broken like society has always taught me.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Take a Break!

Hey you guys,

So just in time for me to have published a post about my deteriorating mental health last week... After this weekend, I feel like a new person. Truly.

So I talked before about how ever since October or so, my mental health has been declining. This has everything to do with the political climate and the fact that people are feuding everywhere and my poor little HSP heart can't take it (which, now that I mention HSP, I realize I still have yet to do a post on it. Or have I? I don't think I have, but I will get to it. Basically, just know that my brain takes in too much information and I am more affected than most people when it comes to emotions, sounds, textures, smells, etc. Basically all of the senses are overwhelmed). Point being, it hurts me to my core to see people being mean to one another or even for me to feel hate in my own heart, and I didn't realize just how much that can affect me until recently.

I was having a rough(er than usual) time in the few days leading up to my birthday, and I really wasn't looking forward to our weekend plans. Turns out I really should have, because they changed everything.

So a few weeks before my birthday we decided that that weekend we would take a mini trip to the coast to celebrate a bunch of things. February 7th-15th is big for us because the 7th is my birthday, the 14th is obviously Valentine's day but it is also the anniversary of the day we officially met and started dating (in 2013), and Patrick proposed to me on the 15th in 2014.

We unplugged from the world and left on Saturday morning. Our destination was Astoria, but first we stopped in Tillamook for lunch and ice cream. I had a grand ol' time learning to suck the ice cream out of the bottom of a waffle cone (because apparently that wasn't a thing I learned to do as a kid), got covered in ice cream, and shouted "Oh no!" many, many times.

When we got to Astoria, we settled into our river-view room and took a nap, and that night we went to dinner at our favorite Japanese place in town. Possibly the most interesting thing about Astoria this time around was that apparently during this time of year the sea lions make themselves right at home on the outcroppings of rock, the docks, and basically anywhere they can haul themselves up to... and then they bark. Forever. And ever. They do not stop barking. Apparently they do not sleep. But for some reason even though one would assume that the barking would drive me insane, I found them to be highly amusing and for the rest of the weekend Patrick and I would "Bork bork bork!!!!!!" to each other.


On Sunday morning we packed up and stopped in Seaside on our way home, where we meandered around the aquarium (taking lots of fish selfies) and fed the seals (a lot, because seals are the best and these ones will either snort or clap at you so that you will throw them fish), then stopped in and had lunch at our favorite place on the boardwalk.




Was the weekend super extravagant and long and filled with crazy adventures? No, but I don't want any of that. This was exactly what I needed; all of my favorite things with my favorite person in my favorite place. I woke up on Monday feeling refreshed and calm and simply happier than I've been in months. Apparently sometimes all you need is to get away for a few days to reset your mind, body, and soul.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Maybe 25 Won't Be So Bad

Hey guys,

So I expect that this post will be a little more somber and less upbeat than usual. I mean, I do usually write my posts when I'm in a good mood. But I've just finished crying (good crying, I promise) and I feel like in order to be true to myself and to this blog (which I'm not sure anyone reads anymore since I've deactivated my Facebook and therefore have a much smaller platform to share my posts on) I need to share the good and the bad. I swear that this post has a happy ending, I really do. I have every intention of posting it along with a very nice Instagram collage if all goes well. 

So anyway, let's start with the bad.

I've posted about anxiety and depression in the past, and when I wrote those posts I felt like I was in a very good place. So many people (I literally mean people I've never spoken more than five words to or even flat out openly hated in the past) came out of the woodwork to share their stories with me and ask me How? How did I get better? How did I fix myself? The answer varied in different conversations, but I the bottom line was always that I truly believe that taking myself out of a toxic environment and finding a partner and a group of friends that loved me and embraced me for me changed the game entirely. 

But sometimes the environment can change, and things can get worse again. Sometimes the toxic environment can follow you. Sometimes that toxic environment can swallow up the entire country and make things bad again. 

And it has. 

Since about October I've been feeling more and more down (although as a small bonus, my anxiety has taken a back seat to my depression, which is a common thing I've learned can happen in people who experience both illnesses). I deactivated my Facebook. I cut off communication with a lot of people I couldn't stomach anymore. I've tried to fill my days with kittens and rainbows and things that make me happy. 

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I am definitely getting better. I've done a lot of crying today, thanks to having seen The Perks of Being a Wallflower for the first time (those happy tears I was talking about). But in general, since hitting an extreme low about three weeks ago, I have been doing everything in my power that I'm willing to do (and by that I mean all of the easy stuff and none of that "cardio" my doctor keeps talking about... I'm not sorry) to lift my mood, and it has definitely been working. I'm keeping a chart. I've changed a bit of my diet. I'm keeping up communication with the friends and family that love me and support me. I picked up a couple of new hobbies that I'm working on.

As a result of how I've been feeling lately (which, let's be clear, is because my feelings are easily hurt and the fighting/hatred going on in the country lately is really making me very sad), I've really not been looking forward to my birthday. 

I turned 25 today. I say today because I haven't gone to sleep yet, therefore it is still my birthday. But if you want to get all technical, my birthday ended just over two hours ago. My point is, and the entire point of this post is, I really haven't been looking forward to turning 25. Turning a quarter of a century old is supposed to be one of the "big birthdays,", but it was even less than "just another birthday" to me. Every year my birthday comes with a little bit of dread. I dislike being the center of attention and that just comes with a day dedicated to you, you know? But this year, as the days crept up to my birthday, I just felt numb toward it... And then it got to be February 6th, the day that I was going to celebrate my birthday because Patrick had the day off of work (until the weekend when we head off to Astoria, Tillamook, and Seaside), and I started off the day with a bang. 

Because within maybe a half an hour of waking up, I was sobbing. 

I think it was a combination of things that set me off. First of all, the general feeling of the weight of the world (you guys know that feeling) was really killing me that morning. Then, it was the neighbors below us that have been making us miserable with their stomping since the day they moved in. I had also just woken up from what was apparently too much sleep (?????????), and therefore I was a little off balance. I was out of my good cereal and the cereal I thought would be "just fine" tasted like literal sawdust (pro tip: Don't buy the Kashi GoLean cereal if you care about yourself). I was experiencing an HS flare up after months of peace with a nice, red, angry cyst smack dab at the bottom of my widow's peak which made my entire face extremely painful (and unsightly). A lot of little things were piling up on my heart and in my mind that morning

So midway through my bowl of literal sawdust, I burst into tears. 

After lots of hugs, an English muffin with "so much butter" (as I requested it from my chef *cough* I mean my loving, doting husband), opening my surprise secondary gift from Patrick (because we purchased my official birthday gift together about a month ago), and curling up on the couch to watch Space Jam, I was feeling much better. I rejected my original idea of going to paint pottery at Color Me Mine that afternoon and just opted to go to Benihana later in the evening, both ideas which I initially threw out that morning because I didn't think I could cover my forehead with any type of makeup with as much pain as I was in.

So February 6th, although it got much better in the evening, started off really, really rough. And though it got better in the afternoon/evening, I thought that there was no way in the world that my actual birthday could be even remotely decent. 

And you beautiful people all proved me wrong. My friends. My family. My loved ones who, just when I think I know what to expect from them, continue to surprise me at every turn. And now I'm crying again, but they're still happy tears, I promise. They're tears for you all. 

I'm not the only one who has a lot of stuff going on lately. Every single one of my friends and family members is going through something rather serious right now, whether it be medical, financial, of emotional. Some of them are being hit with more than one. Or even all three. 

With the way I've been feeling, I don't know how thoughtful I've been towards others lately. But regardless of what they've been going through, all of my loved ones came through yesterday and today. You wrote me things. You sent me flowers. You sent me little gifts that made you think of me. You, without even being prompted by Facebook because, as I've said, I'm no longer on there, still wished me a happy birthday. My grandmother even, in her typical nutty spirit, answered the phone when I called her back after a nap and in the middle of buying her bingo tickets sang me happy birthday. 

I've been so frickin tickled and touched all day by all of the little and big things that the people I love the very most in the world did for me. Maybe it's because I'm over emotional anyway (and still raw from a good movie cry), but man am I just feeling the love. 

So yes, I'll continue to struggle with my mood in the future. I'll have good days. And I'll have really bad days. But on those days, I'll remember today, with the happy birthdays and the gifts and the I love yous. I'll eat an English muffin with so much butter. I'll watch Space Jam. And I'll remember that my 25th year of life kicked off pretty damn well.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Dangers of Sharing Information

You guys, it's been a while.

I'll be honest and say that I've been struggling emotionally and mentally, but that is neither here nor there. It's just a truthful statement about where I've been in reference to my absence from this blog. But that's not the point of today's post.

Let's talk about internet safety and social media.

Today Patrick and I received a Christmas card in the mail that was addressed to the previous tenants at our apartment. So what does my crazy husband do?

He looks up the last tenants on Facebook.

I had a Facebook. I have an Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Tumblr. I'm probably on another few less popular social media accounts . But here's the thing: my Facebook, Instagram, and one of my Twitters (one is more frivolous and the other is for more serious stuff) are all on lock down.

Were I still on Facebook and we were not friends, you would find the following information about me: One profile photo, one cover photo, that I am married to my husband, and that my last name changed from Gasser to Powers. That's it.

Were I still on Facebook and we were friends, you would find the following information: The same info listed, plus my past posts. You can't see my friends, my past employment history, my school history, or where I live. I'll also be honest and say that I used to list all of that information, but that was until I learned how it could be used against me. And this is certainly not to brag; it's a comparison... because listen to this.

In a matter of less than five minutes, Patrick was able to find out the following information by just doing a Facebook search on the last tenants:

- The reason they moved out was because they had a baby
- The baby's full name and DOB
- That the woman who lived here had a problem with the same neighbors that we had a problem with when we moved in.
- The woman's birthday, where she works and for how long she's been there, where she goes to school and what she's studying, how old she is, that she's religious, that she used to be a party girl, that she is trying to be healthier, that she's looking into daycare for her son and she lists which daycare (keep in mind that we were easily able to find out the baby's name), that she sells Lularoe, where she was originally from and where she lives now, that she enjoys going to a specific farmer's market around here, and MUCH MORE.
- Where the guy was originally from, that he races cars, likes "bad" music (Patrick's opinion), he's into guns.

If we had wanted to take it any further, we could found them on other social medias and we could have looked up public court records as well, because those are free to access if you find the right links and have names.

So this is an obvious a problem that a lot of people don't realize we have. Can you imagine how helpful all of that information would be to someone more malicious? To someone with ill intentions?

Even if you think that you're being safe with your information, take another look. Check to see what people can see publicly on your own social medias AND your kids' social medias. have a calm conversation about why you're doing this and why it's a real concern.

In this same realm of concern, check to see what information your car is sharing. That's right, your car. The other day when Patrick and I were driving, we saw a woman driving a car with two window decals on the back windshield, one for her son and one for her daughter. And just by glancing at those stickers, we knew that the kids were in high school (and therefore we had an age range), which high schools they went to, their NAMES, the boy's jersey number for football, the girl's cheerleading team, and that they were likely well-off because the car was nice and the schools were private schools. I also draw a lot of information from those stick figure decals as well-- how many people there are in your family, if you have a dog at your home that I need to be worried about, the approximate ages of your children and usually their sexes.

It's all information that someone can use in a bad way, and I can understand a person's want to brag and share their beautiful family, I mean even I have this blog and it's not in any way protected, but it's pretty hard to find unless you have the link.

When I was a single woman I was so paranoid about what I left out in my car, and that paranoia only worsened to the point where eventually I removed every single visible trace that I was a woman and what my age was (which meant taking down my graduation tassel from my review mirror and hiding my college notebooks/textbooks, in addition to everything else). When people know information about you, they can target you. You don't necessarily need to be scared or paranoid, but do try not to let these people use your information against you. And while you're at it, watch a few episodes of Criminal Minds. Maybe fear is what some of us need.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Goonies Never Say Die!

Hey everyone!

So my last two posts were about heading back to Michigan and the things that I've crocheted so far this year, but in the midst of all that I forgot to post about the awesome mini-vacation that we took after I got back from The Mitten!

For Patrick's birthday this year we decided to head to someplace we'd never been before: Astoria, Oregon! I have to say, it was nothing short of incredible. I've only ever been to a couple of beach towns before (all of them in California) and it was awesome to go to someplace with beautiful weather and a really lax kind of living but still get to stay in Oregon. I just love this state, you guys.

Though it was only supposed to be a one night trip, Patrick's work schedule opened up and we were able to tack on a second night and leave for our getaway a little bit early!

On the first day we wandered around town, checking out the different shops and museums and whatnot that they have there. For those who don't know, Astoria is the town in which The Goonies plot is set. And again, for those who don't know, The Goonies is one of my top two favorite movies (which I can't choose between). The actual Goonie house is still in town! Although we weren't able to go right up to it because apparently some fans have recently ruined the experience for everyone by going up to the currently occupied home and bugging the current owners to look inside and take tours, which is completely inappropriate. The house is actually on very short dead end street and there were signs posted that the residents would call the police. It seems a bit of overkill, but we weren't going to take our chances or disrespect the owners' wishes.

The view from our hotel room

The coffee shop on the corner of the block that the Goonie House is on

A dog that apparently hangs out in the shop with its owner and decided to pose in the front window (and yes, he was a real, live, moving dog)

A big tree. I really didn't get the whole story behind it, it's just big.

We also went to see The Astoria Column, which I didn't quite understand until we came right up to it. I'll link a bit of info on it here so that I don't explain it incorrectly. We had a great time driving through the neighborhoods and seeing all of the pretty houses on the way there!

The view from where the Astoria Column stands

Before we turned in for the night we headed to the pier right outside of our hotel and had a snack and drinks at Rogue Brewery. I wasn't a fan of the "Fruit Salad Cider" that I ordered so I made Patrick finish it (it had a strong whiskey flavor that I couldn't get past, but I at least tried it... obviously still on the search for tolerable alcohol!), but I did really love the tater tots I had!

On the second day (Patrick's birthday) we went to The Seaside Aquarium. Seaside is another beach town just across the bridge from Astoria. We got to feed seals and check out a color-changing octopus, as well as a bunch of other sea life! For lunch we went to someplace that Patrick was really gunning to try called Pig 'N Pancake. They gave him a piggy ornament for our Christmas tree for his birthday!

We were also able to go check out the three museums in town, The Oregon Film Museum, The Flavel House Museum, and the Columbia River Maritime Museum. The OFM is actually set in the old county jail where the opening scene in The Goonies was filmed! Though it was quite small, we were able to walk through it and see the actual jail cells and buy a couple of souvenirs. Patrick even won us a couple of buttons by correctly naming ten movies from a bunch of quotes on the wall/ceiling from films done in Oregon!

The Flavel House Museum was one I didn't actually realize was a museum until Patrick pointed out the sign, all I knew was that there was a pretty house and I wanted it. Too bad it's in use! What really appealed to me was the tower room, which was of course off limits. I was pretty bummed about that, but the rest of the house was really neat!

The Flavel House garden

Finally we hit the Columbia River Maritime Museum, which would have probably been very interesting if I hadn't had the hiccups the whole time. The place really echoed and I was way too embarrassed to pay much attention! We went back to the hotel for a nap before dinner that night.

This is a house that was for sale right near the Maritime Museum. Its intended purpose is/was a bed and breakfast! Patrick and I snooped through it and just about died over the original 1888 decor. Anyone have $579,000?

On our last day we left the hotel and first drove through Cannon Beach, which is where yet another scene in The Goonies was filmed-- the Three Rocks scene and the diner scene. The diner has since been remodeled and the area around it has been built up (because who wouldn't want to rent an apartment on the Goonie beach??), but we had a fun time walking in the rain on the beach because I insisted I wanted some sea shells.

I bought a rain jacket when we got home.

Click to see a panoramic of Cannon Beach!

We also took a bit of a detour on the way back and stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for some lunch and a few grocery items to take back with us.

It was a short but totally enjoyable trip! In fact, now that we're both playing Pokemon GO, Patrick and I are probably going to drive back to Seaside this weekend for some more sight seeing and Pokemon hunting. I'm so grateful to live close to such beautiful places!

Some other general life updates are that thanks to Pokemon GO, we've been getting out way more (almost every single night you can find us at our local park where I'm actually talking to people, can you believe it?!), and that I'm currently recovering from a recently diagnosed but pretty old shoulder injury. I'm still waiting to get in to physical therapy but I am actually doing what my doctor told me to do (icing the heck out of it, taking the anti inflammatories that she prescribed, doing the PT moves I've been given so far, resting it as much as I can, etc.). I even got a body pillow to try to help me sleep so that I'm not rolling over to the injured side.

We're also going to have a busy-ish week next week since our friend Mike is coming to visit/run a Spartan race and my cousin and her fiance are moving here from Indiana! Her fiance is going to be finishing up school at a local college and I'm excited to have them both around! She and I didn't get to see each other much growing up because of the long distance and I find it funny that we have to move all the way across the country to be close to each other!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

2016 Crochet Projects Thus Far!

Hey guys!

Here's a quick, mostly-photo filled post of most (if not all) of the crochet projects that I've completed so far this year. Like always, I will try to post the link for each pattern, however please keep in mind that I almost always tweak something in one way or another so you may not get the same result!

First up: An owl and some baby hats (pink and purple-- the green was a test hat that used different yarn and therefore didn't turn out as well) for the baby from my last post, Leia! As a teeny tiny baby, she's still growing into the hats, but that just means she'll be able to wear them for many months to come!

Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy dolls! I actually don't have a pattern to give you because I came up with the pattern myself. I made these dolls down to the very last details, including their screen-accurate wands, their hand-painted ribbon scarves, and Harry's glasses, which I hand-shaped and painted! They're weighted down with pennies for stability. These were given to one of my lovely best friends, Ellie. She lives in Australia, so that's where they live now!

Along with the Draco and Harry dolls for Ellie, I made a Golden Snitch for her and myself! 

My cool ripple afghan! This took quite some time and quite a lot of yarn to complete. I believe there are 13 colors in total! Maybe one day I'll add a border, but I finished the main part of the blanket and then got tired of doing it! :P (In the photo, the blanket is upside-down. The top is actually at the bottom and vice versa)

Stego! This was for my friend Kerry, who loves stegosauruses. He is probably the most difficult project I've ever attempted, and because I hate sewing pieces together,  I put the project down for a few months, so he took quite some time to complete. His feet are weighted down with Canadian quarters!

This giraffe lovey is for a friend of mine who just found out that they're going to be a parent for the first time! The giraffe is, of course, a nod to my love of giraffes.

This bunny lovey is also for the baby Leia!

(of which I only used the bunny part-- for the blankie part, I used the same pattern from the giraffe lovey)

Here is Leia and her bunny lovey!
Photo courtesy of Karen Bova

Yet another project that I don't have a pattern to give you for is this Spongebob! A request from a friend for his nephew, Spongebob took a while to complete because I was making the pattern up as I went (when am I going to finally say "Yes, $4.99 for a pattern I'll get to keep forever is worth the time it will take to make up my own"?). I wanted something that I knew would keep its shape instead of bulging out through the stretch of the pieces, so I settled on 2" foam padding for his insides. His tie, shirt collar, the blue/white of his eyes, and teeth are all bits of felt that have been machine-stitched on, and his smile and eyelashes are hand embroidered.

That's it so far! I've got two other items in the works right now, both requests, but I'm having a hard time concentrating while crocheting lately so they may take some time. :)