Try it Thursday: Christmas in July

I know, I know. It’s too early to start thinking about Christmas. Evidently, Michaels and Walmart thought so too. Hobby Lobby had my number though, they realize it takes crafters more than just a week or two to craft items. B was not at all happy about this, so he just dropped me off and went to the hardware store, it’s easier on us both if he doesn’t craft shop with me.
My shopping list:
Styrofoam/floral styrofoam cones (I got different sizes)
Glue (just plain old white glue, I did opt for the clear though)
Spray Glue
Decorations
Glue gun/sticks
What I didn’t have on the list, but needed:
Yarn
Embroidery thread
saran wrap
Starch (I used what I had on hand for ironing)
Christmas Trees 
I found these instructions when I was madly pinning one night, so I tucked them in one of my boards, at the time, I just glanced over them. You will find, I do this a lot and sometimes, not always, it comes back to bite me in the rear. This time, I went back to the ones I had saved on my Pinterest boards and they were all in Spanish. Don’t worry, I studied the pictures, however, that may have lost something in translation, but it’s all I had to go on.
The instructions had pictures of both with either yarn or embroidery thread. I liked the thread idea as it wasn’t as bulking as the yarn, did I make a good choice? Stay tuned. Mom and I have stashes of both the thread and the yarn, so there was no need to purchase anymore as we have our own little craft shop in the closets…hiding… Next was to decide, thread or yarn, or both! I chose both. I had two forms, let’s try them out at the same time.
I found the colors closest to Christmas (soon found this would be great for any holiday really). What was in my arsenal were reds, blues, greens, whites and greys; so I choose greys and white for the first tree of thread and in my yarn stash, I chose light green and white.
I set up my table with my forms (I chose two sizes) newspaper, my choices of thread, a small Tupperware bowl and my glue.
Step 1: Untangle the thread, put it in the bowl, then poured glue on top of it. Remember when you were a kid and you put glue on your hands and peeled it off? Best thing EVER! You will get to do that again!
I didn’t remove the plastic wrap on the forms as it’s in experimental stages right now, I’m trying everything. If you wanted to, this would be when you would wrap your form in plastic.
Step 2a: Take the end of the thread (I didn’t separate the thread, it’s your choice if you want the fuller or skinnier effect), make sure it has plenty of school glue on it then stick it to the lowest part of the form. Wrap the thread around a few times to make sure it has a sturdy support system, then wrap the thread up and around the form, making sure you always have plenty of glue on the thread. I did two skeins of the lighter grey and two skeins of the white.  Once I had it all wrapped like I wanted, I had to find my fingers in all the glue, so a quick trip to the sink to wash off my hands.
Step 2b: I did the same thing on the larger form, except, I used the spray glue. I lightly sprayed the form still in the plastic wrap, then wrapped some of the yarn up the form, making sure I had a nice foundation on the bottom of the forms so it would be able to stand. When I got about half way up the form, I lightly sprayed the already wrapped yarn and repeated wrapping and spraying until I had the coverage how I wanted.
***Note: you should do this outside for better ventilation. Also, I held the form as I sprayed it, it may have worked better if I had it sitting on some newspaper. Why? I glued my feet to the porch from the falling glue. Just sayin…
Part 3: Patience is a virtue~ Let the form set overnight or at least a couple of hours just to make sure it’s good and dry.
Part 4: Now, it’s time to remove them.
With the regular school glue, I went around the form and kind of squeezed it lightly and twisted to loosen it from the plastic wrap. Just another note, if you use the plastic wrap on the form, take off the sticker of identification, the glue loves to stick to that and I ended up with a weak area where the sticker was. Took some time to get it loose, but I also didn’t want to compromise it’s structural integrity, after all I was building a forest.   Time was not my friend on this one, after a few hours,  it started to droop a bit, so I went and found the starch and I sprayed that on the starch the tree. I did just a little bit at a time just to make sure it was evenly coated and because I didn’t want it too stiff, but no longer sagging.
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Thread tree
The form with the spray glue and yarn didn’t work out so well. It wanted to stick to that plastic and forget about getting it off of the sticker. I ended up cutting off the plastic wrap and removing the form that way, instead of just sliding it like I had done with the thread. After I removed the yarn from the plastic wrap (it was very sticky, but still usable), I used yarn and thread to make a new one, I did the school glue method again and I wrapped first with thread and then with yarn.
Adding decorations:
 
Even though the craft store had it’s Christmas crafting goodies out, they didn’t have any tiny decorations I was looking for, so I improvised. I purchased some of the berry sticks from the floral department and then snipped them off the branch to use. I used the glue gun, please remember, they can be a HOT glue gun and the glue does get HOT!
The white one is the thread one. I think if I had used more thread, it may have stood up better. And yes, the white one is leaning.
If one takes pride in one’s craft, you won’t let a good thing die. Risking it through not pushing hard enough is not a humility.
Paul Keating
DK
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Me Monday: Dear Younger Me

Dear younger me,
I know right now you are thinking the world is a wonderful place. Mom and Dad have hung the moon and stars for you and they have. You might not always know it or like it, but they have reasons for rules, chores and doing things you don’t want to do. Please remember your times you spend with grandma & papa, great grandma and & papa, papa & nanny and your cousins. Our grandparents won’t always be around, so make sure you tell them you love them and listen to their stories. Please take better notes than I did, as we will really like to find out about where we came from and who we are later in life. Everyone will grow up and grow away and that’s OK. Gone will be the days of lip syncing and dancing to Run Joey Run and The Night Chicago Died, those nights will be forever embedded in our mind and we will look back with fond memories. However, it’s probably the reason we never sang or danced anywhere else, as we see ourselves as an awkward little girl.
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One of the best things in our childhood is where we grew up. Yes, it took 45 minutes to get to school and home each day. Yes, there are no conveniences (stores or restaurants of any kind) anywhere within a ten mile radius, but we did learn to make the best of what we have. Don’t worry when we, our sister and her friends decide to ride to Monument during Spring Break and it starts to snow, we will get a ride for a deputy sheriff, the neighbors will talk about him delivering us to the house, but we were OK and sister didn’t freeze. This will also be the onset of one of the career paths we choose. Law Enforcement, although we won’t realize it for quite awhile.
Teen years are a bit more difficult, just because there are still no conveniences around. We will get our first job at the skating rink and that will be the onset of several rougher years. We will find our first boyfriend is not only an alcoholic but also a small time drug dealer. The other side of that is that we stay with him for ten years and have our amazing son, things won’t be easy, but they won’t be hard either. Don’t worry when he gets arrested for urinating in public, it will be just a ticket and yet another look into our future. Even though we get divorced and have a really rough few years dealing with depression, domestic violence, drinking and co dependency, we also get to go back to school for culinary arts and we do very well, but get bored and lose interest. School leads us on another path to what we want to do when we grow up. We do get a great job (or what we think is a great job) at a 5-Star hotel where we start as a “dishwasher” and end up the pastry girl of Colorado’s only Forbes 5 Star, AAA 5 Diamond restaurants, for a short time.
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We meet our hubby there in one of the kitchens during service. He was totally unexpected and knew we weren’t ready to settle down, or so we thought. He will move Heaven and Earth for us and our son. He will raise our son as his own and you would never know he isn’t the natural dad. Don’t worry when the kiddo calls us and let’s us know his father had beat him, we will get custody of him and he will never bother us again. You will be scared, at first, of being a step mom (since we haven’t done such a great job thus far with our own), the kids will try you, but they will also trust you. Things will get a bit crazy when we decide to build a house. We will find our stepson will be a father at 16 years old and at the same time, we will lose our third baby. Baby K was totally a mystery, it will come as a surprise since there were no pregnancy tell tales. Just know, we do a great job with the children we do have and when we get grand kids, they are our entire world.
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We finally get that job in law enforcement, we did a great job on the civilian side of our job. When we go through the academy, the entire world will change. Terrorists will fly airplanes through the Twin Towers in New York City. Thousands will be killed and it will take quite awhile for the shock to wear off of the world. But, it’s OK  it’s just made us stronger. We do graduate the academy and we do spend just four weeks as a deputy. Seems God had a different plan for us, so don’t get too upset, things work out great!
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Also, when you get the call from the kiddo that he’s “sick”, just remember, you always told him to tell the truth even if he knows what he did is wrong. We will make promises to the kids there will never be any punishment for stupid things kids do, and it’s tough to uphold that rule when it happens. BUT!!! We do get a great laugh out of it, he is OK (and learned the hard way) and turns out better than we do!! The kids growing up were the hardest thing we had to deal with in a while. Kiddo moves to Arizona, son gets into the wrong crowds and made choices which affected the whole family. Daughter gets married to a wonderful guy and they now have two little boys. So, we do go through so sad and frustrating times, but it’s all a learning experience and we are better for it. We also realize our first dream job (well, kinda), we open an in home cakery and we are very good at it. We do very well for quite awhile and then we start to get sick and we will have to give it up and again, it’s OK! You may think the world is ending, but it’s not, it’s just beginning, again.
I look back on the things we went through and realize, they were never really bad as we thought they were. The sun still rose in the east and the morning and the moon always sets in the west and at night. Everything is working out, maybe not how WE want it to, but the way it’s supposed to be, so remember when you get frustrated because someone hurts your feelings or makes you mad, this too shall pass. I also say, enjoy the ride!
“Be the kind of person who dares to face life’s challenges and overcome them rather than dodging them.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Me Monday: Who Am I?

I am the oldest daughter of 4 girls & the first Granddaughter
                         – I am also the most sensitive.
             My hobbies are: Baking, knitting, coloring and (most importantly) an addict of Facebook
                         – I can spend all day farming, playing slots or doing puzzles. FB has it all
I used to have an in-home bakery
     – I also taught cake decorating
             My most favorite job: Being a dispatcher
                         –  it’s also the job I disliked the most.
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             I have dealt with Depression for 30+ years
                         – I have had so much fun with it, I thought I’d add Anxiety, Panic Attacks & Agoraphobia too!
             Growing up: My Great Grandparents were my heroes
                        – I wish I had paid attention to more of what they did and who they were
              When the “girls” were at their largest, my bra size was a 48G
                       – They removed 3 pounds off each breast. Talk about freedom!!
              I can not parallel park
                       – In my defense, not many can. However, hubby loves to show off by also parking into a parking spot.
              I can not sing
                      – I sing so bad, I never even sang to my kiddo when he was a baby. Didn’t want those little ears to bleed
              I love to “collect” school supplies
                      – Notebooks, pens, pencil bags, tape, staplers, planners. I have enough for a small school.
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              My hubby and I dated for just four months before we married
                   – We will be married 22 years this year which just happens to be a record in my family
I have no idea how Snap Chat works
– However, my mom, sister and niece have a great time on it
              I’ve had 18 surgeries, all but 2 in the last 20 years
                     – We have found, if there is even the slightest percentage of something going wrong during or after surgery, I will be the one it goes wrong with
              I love to knit and crochet
                     – However, I can only knit one blanket pattern and I only make washcloths crocheting
Favorite Foods: Crab, Steak and Thanksgiving turkey dinner
                      – Least favorite food: game meat and meatloaf
 Favorite Drinks: Coffee, Cherry Pepsi/Dr Pepper and water!
– Least Favorite Drink: anything diet
Favorite Dessert: Chocolate Cake with Penuche Icing and Lazy Peach Pie
-Least Favorite Dessert: Jello
       I took three years of French in High School
                – Evidently, my mind has forgotten everything except, Bon Jour (which really came in handy in Canada)
              My biggest accomplishment is my kiddo
                    – This kid is an angel. He is a great human being, he loves with all of his heart, and he has never given me cause to worry. OK! There were those three times.
              I love butterflies, baby cows, and the colors purple & pink (but not together)
                    – Not sure where the love of baby cows came from. Must be because they are so stinking cute
Number one Bucket list thing to do: Travel the world to take pictures of castles, churches, people, sunsets, sunrises and lots more
Not even on the Bucket list: Sky diving and cliff diving
             I love roller coasters, camping and bowling.
                   – My body, however, does not.
Biggest wish: To inspire someone

There can be no one better than yourself, so be the best version of you because no one is born to represent another.

Gugu Mona

Me Monday: The First 30 Years

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Have you ever?
Looked back at your life and think, man! I’ve been through some stuff!
I do that a lot, I don’t dwell on the past, I learn from it. I TRY to learn from it!
Like when you fall and break your arm two weeks before your daughter’s wedding.
OK, I do look back at that and laugh! I laughed then, I laugh now! Yes, it was painful, for like a day(probably more), but, I laughed in the ER, told the Doctor I didn’t need any stink’n pain medication! I am glad momma was there to tell the doctor I most certainly did need some.
I look back on my childhood and think, man, I had a great childhood. I had everything I needed; a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on the table and the
love of my mom and dad. When I go to Pinterest to look for my childhood goodies, I also find I had everything Pinterest had to offer on my childhood. Who knew?
Things got rocky in high school, met my son’s dad and things went downhill from there. Oh, I thought we had a great thing, I mean, really what high school student
hasn’t shown up to class once or twice, drunk? Who hasn’t skipped school to go to a Motley Crue concert? Who hasn’t gotten detention for skipping school to
see said concert?
My son arrived in fine fashion. He was supposed to be a girl! Back then, we weren’t given all the ultra sounds and we didn’t get to choose when it would be
convenient to have a baby, we also didn’t want to find out if it was a boy or girl. I believe that’s one of the things that should be a surprise to us when the
little tyke enters the world!

 

Things go downhill for awhile after a while. It’s what life does. After being together for 10 years, baby daddy and I decided to call it quits. Well, it was more me calling it quits. This is when I first discovered I had Depression. I can handle it I told myself. I don’t need drugs or therapy! I was spiraling, falling down the rabbit hole, as I call it. I became a person I didn’t know how to be. I made lots of learning opportunities, not mistakes. Except, there were some mistakes in there. I learned not all Domestic Violence was physical. I had a great serving of: financial, sexual, emotional and intimidation. It was a long learning process on this one. I never knew why DV victims had such a hard time leaving the abuser. It’s not easy! It’s a process. It takes that one thing that makes you say, what the heck am I still doing here.  It took one special person to walk into my life and let me know, I am that special! I am worthy of living! He would be there for me for however long I wanted/needed.

We never really dated, he was just there for me. That was in June of 1995.  In October of 1995 we married. Twenty two years later, that special guy is still in my life. We have had our ups and downs and we have had to work though the aftermath of some of the abuse I suffered.

Just know there is hope out there. You don’t make mistakes (unless you keep going back to the same thing), you have a learning opportunity, it’s up to you to learn and make the changes. By all means my life isn’t perfect, but I am RICH. I have the love of my family, a roof over my head, food on my table, money to pay my bills, and three great grandsons.

You are in charge of your life. It’s up to you what to do with it.

DK

 

 

Memory Lane

It’s all about my Great Grandparents day
We need to start with a little back history, to get to the real history.
Mom and Dad married very young, I arrived about 9 months later and my sister arrived three years later. I admit, I was not particularly fond of the idea of sharing my parents and I may or may not have powdered her face on at least one occasion.
We lived in a cute little house on Saturn, the Drive, not the planet. I remember very little about that house but, I do remember the kitchen, the bathroom and the living room. There was a room in the house I just can not remember what it was. It has a dark doorway, a black abyss of nothingness.  Was it my parents bedroom? Was it an office? Or was it where they had crazy parties? It was the 60’s.
I loved being a kid! I loved my mom and dad, my grandparents (boy, I had a lot of them). I loved growing up with my aunts, uncles and cousins.  I was extremely lucky to have both grandparents on my mom and dad’s side, I also had great grandparents on my dad’s side. There were weekly family dinners where there was enough food to feed a small army. The grownups sat around sharing the news of the week and worked out problems of the world.
We spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up. This is the story of my Great Grandparents who decided to come out West in the late 1800’s from Indiana, in a covered wagon, they were true pioneers. I truly wish I had had the insight to sit down with them and listen to their story. My great grandfather (GGF) came out with his brothers first, then went back to get my great grandma (GG) and their son. Along the journey GGF lost those siblings to Polio.  They built their house, they set up shop and as legend goes, GGF was a bootlegger for the sheriff and I can TOTALLY see my GGF doing that. They owned a trucking company, where they worked driving trucks. GG was a small stout woman so it’s kind of hard to fathom she would be able to drive a big truck, but knowing her, she totally did! She also ran the shop and was the book keeper. GGF was also the mechanic and one of the most giving persons I know, sometimes, too giving.
 
GGF, was a big kid, he would help you build a go cart, push you on the swing, show you how to do flips on the clothes line, then turn around to tend to his rose and lilac bushes or meticulously mow the grass. After the chores were done, he would take a sip or two of his “medicine” from his Little Brown Jug.  I was about 8 when I got my first cup of afternoon “coffee”, more of a cup of milk, sugar and a splash of coffee and of course, don’t forgot the cookies!
GG’s, family didn’t ever really seem to exist, nor did I ever ask about them. It’s not something I thought about when I was younger, I’m now kicking myself. GG had many talents, sewing, quilting and baking and boy could she bake! Her Butterscotch and Chocolate Meringue Pies were to die for! Picture this beautiful, pie with the perfect pudding, the most flaky crust, and a meringue that had stiff peaks which drooped just slightly and had a small, caramel tear drop, just begging to drip off. She made cute outfits for my sister and I and her quilts, were made from worn or grown out of clothes.
When I was 20 and they were in their late 80’s, I told them, I was going to have a baby. Which made them very happy! Both were in the beginning stages of Dementia, however,  GG was worse  and stubborn, she hung onto life until the baby was born. I still remember her, sitting on their floral couch, holding my son on her lap, playing with him. Talking to him so very quietly, he was so young and was mesmerized by her voice, so calm, so soft, so sweet. GGF stood behind her and just took it all in, smiling, beaming, amazed at this little life. GG was getting tired, you could tell, but she wasn’t about to give up the time she had with this little guy, I just sat there, watching something so beautiful, I just couldn’t help getting all teary eyed. People think GG looked grumpy or scary, at that moment, she was nothing but absolutely beautiful. She was glowing (literally) from happiness. She looked up at my Papa, who was standing next to her, watching out for the baby, and (I will never forget this as long as I live) said, I won’t ever see him again, will I? Papa sadly, quietly, shook his head no.
She passed less than a month after meeting her great great grandson and GGF passed within 6 months of her. They truly loved each other, they weathered many hard times, but in the end, it was just the two of them.
They both taught me so much growing up. How to drive down the Interstate when you’re 8, how to make animal shaped pancakes and even, how to mind your manners. When I look back on my time with them, I didn’t realize it then, they were teaching me about life. They taught me to be strong, as things don’t always work out the way you want them to. How to make time to stop and smell the roses and have some fun,  most of all, they taught me about RESPECT.
DK