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My Art Therapy Journey

Posts tagged Sewing

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I have already written this post several times in my head tonight, so forgive me if it doesn’t seem fresh.  If it helps at all I still don’t really know what I’m going to say.  I often feel that way, and not just here or when I’m writing.  It’s just me being typical me.  And being me, typically, gets me in trouble sometimes.

I’m hoping this isn’t one of those times though.  I’m never actually wanting to get myself into trouble.  (Usually.)

I’m surprised I’m seeming so chipper because I’ve actually been feeling more on the blue side.  I apologize if what I’m offering here is all really a defense mechanism against feeling sad.

Despite (or because of) feeling a lot of feelings lately, I have been super busy.

And just the other night realized I’ve completed several projects that I’ve talked about here and haven’t had a chance to share the results.  I guess that might say something about my focus.  My favorite part of any project is the process of it.  I’m always happy to complete something and actually getting something done is one of my strongest motivations, but I’m more of an experiencer.    It’s the “problem solver” part of me.  For instance, if I’m building something and it collapses under the weight of the drill I’m excited for the challenge it presents.  Even if  the “F” bomb does slip out first…we don’t have to actually tell that part, right? ha.

Anyway…Since I’m playing catch-up here I’m going to post a couple of  2 for 1 pics….

1st sewing project EVER!

My first sewing project EVER! (Because the gym bag that mean home ec teacher forced me to make in 7th grade doesn’t count.)

I finally finished my sweet stuffed cat with a likeness to me!  I posted about her several weeks ago when she was still turned every which way and outside-in.

She survived her insides coming out!

My sewing teacher did help me get her where she needed to be though.  She said she was good at getting that done because she had birthed big babies.  By the time I was ready to stuff the poor girl there wasn’t a lot of breathing room at the opening.

You might notice she’s a friendly, sociable cat, and not too afraid to enjoy life too.  She is perpetually waving her hand in the air “like she just don’t care,” because I made her that way. (Which means I had to detach and affix her arm in the finishing stages due to an error and her character comes from overcoming that obstacle.)

So here she is…and she’s sitting on top of the rolling storage cart I completed last week!

What do you think?

2 for 1: cat and storage cart creation

So this brings me to the storage cart creation!

My storage cart also gets its character due to some less-than-perfect conditions in its lifetime!  Imagine that.

Originally, there was no staggering planned.  (That’s what they all say, right.) And I didn’t have a single beer the whole time I was making this thing.

But as the actual building proceeded it was clear that my measurements weren’t exactly exact.  So I improvised!  Hence, the staggered stacking of the layered shelving units.

In the end I think the cart looks reminiscent of a beehive box and that makes me pretty happy.  Although, I think beehive boxes are a little more square….

I thought I’d include a few more views of my storage cart so you can look at it to make one of your own if you want  (and stagger the boxes purposefully.)  Or message me and I’ll make one for you and for the low price of $1,000 shipping and handling I’m make one for you and ship it, imperfectly finished and all, straight to your door.  (This thing is no lightweight and can hold its own…and should last a million years.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In further developments I also finished my “flower painting.” I put it in quotations because it also turned into something a little different from anticipated.

 

I said in my last post that I would post pictures of it and I am all about the follow-thru, so here it is.

Not all it was to become…When the flower painting was still a flower

 

I figured I would start where we left off….

The following photos show the process from this point to its end/beginning…

 

white

 

adding purple

 

etching “love me” (request)

etchings…”dear flower” (sound familiar?) and “VOICE”

 

etching “listen”

 

etching “I

 

white covering the stigma (center) of the flower

 

Painting marks on the canvas as an expression of “listening” …simply looking and responding with attention and care, not knowing the details (the whys, the what fors, or what’s this going to get me?)

 

In hindsight, I think this might have been where I could have stopped…maybe…maybe my next word should be “trust” and “listen even more”

 

adding in (and covering over) black…and pink

 

turning the canvas, adding blue and orange

 

 

 

working on bird

 

final bird close-up

 

 

In the end I am not too sure if I exactly love my “flower painting.”

BUT…what I love about the process of my flower painting is that I didn’t stop.  I didn’t give up on it.  And I learned a lot through working on it.  I do feel that where I chose to stop is a better spot than where I started from and through all the layers and all the restarts and false finishes I stayed with it.

 

I GREW from it….

and my stem is reaching just a tad bit higher toward the light for it.

 

It did wear me out too, though.  And I’m a bit wore out now!  And I’ve told my therapist I’m working on getting to sleep at a half-way decent hour. (and it’s 1:33am now…actually early for me! 😉   Supposedly sleep helps people function better, but whatever.  What do neuroscientist know!? ha 😉

I guess this leaves me little time for reflections and commentary on the flower painting process, but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to it.  I’m sure I’ll be talking more about the stuff that comes up for me while I’m painting  as I post more of my paintings though, so why attempt to tire myself of it now, anyway…

I was actually planning on working on a rather large developing painting tonight (with a certain exciting image from last weeks photos in it,) but that’s out too now, I’m realizing…

Doctor’s orders say I must sleep to dream…so this is it for now.

 

 

There is actually even more going on and more updates to fill you in on, so the plan is to be back before another week passes me by!

 

More paintings, more photos, more life and more light to come! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m back in business!  At least to some degree.  Yesterday I went to my previously scheduled Monday night sewing class and felt better for it.  I’ve been working on this darned stuffed cat for months.  Of course, I did just successfully thread my sewing machine by myself last week.  Next up: Bobbin Winding?

So proud I learned to thread my own machine!

One step at a time.  That’s what I’m always telling myself.

My awesome (and she really is completely  awesome!) sewing teacher announced to the class last night, while talking about when you’re learning to sew,  you just start at step one and go from there with one new skill at a time…And then continued her announcement with the exception for me here, who started on about step 4.  : )   Whoops.

But I swear when I found this cat pattern I thought it was so cute and it wasn’t that big, and besides, don’t babies play with stuffed animals?  How hard could it be, really?!

So…I toted in this (non-beginner) pattern to my very first sewing class and in the past couple of months have fallen in serious intense like with sewing.  It’s teetering on love, I think.  I’m trying to keep it on the down-low though.  I don’t want to get tooooo excited about it just yet.  My sweet kitty is still not quite done and she might not love me back…?  Oh, I hope she loves me!

If she doesn’t I don’t think I’m going to give up on sewing just yet.  I’ll try a stuffed teddy bear next, maybe.

**

There’s more.

I noticed something else about sewing last night though.  And I think it’s an awareness that has grown from the beginning of my stuffed cat project.   But last night it was all in the right place and came together and YES, definitely this cat is a representation of me.

Maybe not the cat, per say…but the process of this cat becoming a cat…The cat becoming/forming/growing into what/who it is.

I’m sure I’m taking my connection with this stuffed cat a bit too far for some people’s comfort level, but I’m always looking for ways to connect and, more-so, ways to express the way I’m feeling inside.

And last night at the tail-end of my class this is how my cat ended up…

inside-out cat-arms and tail folded inside, detached legs, pins that once held it together still sticking out after sewing the body

Of course, I identify with the pins in the body right now due to my recent surgery…and the stitches. The stitches…of course.   And I watched as my cat’s arms and tail went inside and the “beautiful sides” (my teacher refers to them as the beautiful sides!)  were pinned together before sewing…  I thought to myself, “Yes…just like that.  Nobody can see. what’s in there.”

Inside that’s the way I feel…(but I don’t necessarily feel beautiful in there.)  I am all tucked inside, facing a needle, facing surgery, facing life, facing the unknown.  And nobody can see me.  “Nobody can see that I actually have a face under here…if they could see inside me here they would see my face!”

Now, I know sometimes people see me.  Sometimes people are even there when I’m a bloody mess, all contorted and turned certain ways.  But deeper…deeper hidden and hiding is how I sometimes feel.

Having the surgery and the following restrictions on my mobility and the fears about a repeat emergency surgery happening if I don’t follow the rules…and all my body image issues…and the control, or rather the loss of it….has had me pretty “triggered.”   I’m primed and ready to go.  Anxiety…check.  Depression…check. Body Pain…check.  NO CONTROL NO CONTROL NO CONTROL….checkcheckcheckcheckcheck!!!!

It’s not true.  I know I DO have control over myself.  I know that I’m going to be ok in the end.  I know that even if I did have to have surgery again I’m (pretty) sure I’d live through it…even the part that comes after where I can’t get my blood pressure up, walk around,  pick up and play with my daughter and do my projects.

And I also know that I have my attitude at my disposal.  I can choose to stay positive and hopeful at most times.  I can keep the faith.  I can see the bigger picture through anything.  I can do all that!

But then, sometimes…well, sometimes I’m just wrapped up tight inside and it feels like I’m not in my own hands.  Maybe that’s just the place we’re all supposed to be sometimes mid-process of becoming who we are?

And it’s then that I’m really thankful I am a human…and not a stuffed cat after-all.

And I’m completely  made as me. Lovable, huggable me, already!  (Even if I do hide inside sometimes!)

(And I super-super know I am eager to love my creator back…and my creator will not give up on love…because creation doesn’t give up on itself!  I didn’t even plan on that…I’ll have to think about this!)

The end.

No, not the end!  But just the end…for now.

(I wrote this stream-of-consciousness style so I can’t guarantee all of this completely makes sense…have mercy on me! 🙂

I know I forgot to post yesterday, but I didn’t entirely forget.  I did take photos yesterday with the intention to post, so I was at least half-way to being here.  Can that count?  I’ll try to make up for it today and post twice.  : )  Better late than never.  That’s my motto, thank goodness, or else I’d never get anywhere.

This image is a photo of my hand…close-up.  It was taken mostly by accident.  I was really trying to take a shot of my new sewing machine (yes!  my very first sewing machine EVER!), but in the process of fumbling I got this.  It got me thinking about how sometimes something so worthwhile or useful along the journey can be right in front of you, so close that you don’t even recognize it.  Sometimes you can’t even see what it is.  Nonetheless, it’s there all along.

How many other things (or people?)  are so close to me I don’t  fully notice or appreciate them for all they can be?

What if I searched them out intentionally instead of waiting for the freak moment to find me?