Wednesday, May 8, 2013

the ugly & the pretty


Well, I think it's pretty evident from my last two posts that life has been challenging lately. More specifically, parenthood has been challenging. I'm going to spend one paragraph confessing a few things about being a mom and then move on from this (because I know none of you want to hear the long list of my woes when many of you go through the same kinda stuff...mostly).

I yell. I spank. I threaten. I control. a lot. I also try my hardest not to do any of those things. I have issues with my anger. It is not a light subject for me. When I'm stressed about other things my anger goes up around my children. It is so high sometimes that I wonder if this is really me or someone else. I brought it up to my mom, who suggested that this problem may go deeper...and that I might have some sorting out to do. This is where I am now, and I'm content with knowing that I don't have all the answers. What I can do, for now, is hope for a better tomorrow. I can pray and feel blessed with all that is happy in my life. I can let things go a little more and laugh at my mistakes. I can stop comparing my natural talents to others. I can take a break from social media and focus more on my children. I can snuggle with my kids while watching endless amounts of Disney movies and not feel like a bad parent for letting them watch too much tv. I can ignore all the stigmas about what a good mom is and how perfectly balanced everything in my life needs to be. I AM HUMAN, and I can accept that I am.

ah. that felt good. now moving on!


To keep myself sane I have my creative outlets. I go through phases of what I like to do. Some days I just want to sit at my sewing machine all day long, others I feel like taking a million pictures and editing them for hours on end. And then there are really random days where I make a piece of jewelery or try out a new recipe or re-purpose an article of clothing. BY NO MEANS am I doing a stellar job with any of these but its something to keep my right-brain occupied :]

So, if any of you are itching to craft then maybe you can get inspired here. Most of these were very simple, cheap, and do-able in less than an hour.

These are my most recent projects (some of these I made months ago...just haven't gotten around to posting them. oops.)

flannel rag quilt: (see girl version here)
I started this quilt 3 days before T's 3rd birthday and it was nearly done by the time he opened it. I only had some more snipping left to do. It's finally all done and keeping him warm & snuggly at night!

spring wreathe with pearl pins:
I know...spring is almost over. But better late than never! Everything is held together with floral pins- no hot glue required! tutorial here.

burlap & ruffled lace table runner:

The french floral printed burlap was too perfect for our kitchen. I couldn't pass it up!  ( ps-I learned that burlap never goes on sale at Joanns, and when there's a half off coupon out they make it $1 off so you still basically pay full price. So I splurged a little and used a gift card that I had. It worked out nicely that they gave me the remnant for a discount. It's just a tad short for the table, but I also didn't have to pay as much. I'm content with that :D )

eggs in a nest necklace:
(a note with making jewelery: all you really need are some needle-nose pliers with a wire cutter, chain, jump rings, clasps, and beads. If you think you can't do it I promise you can. It is fun and girly- just try it! In high school I made earrings all the time and recently I've gotten into making necklaces. Just as easy but more fitting to my style these days. If you can call it that...ha)
 I wanted to learn how to make these for Mother's Day gifts. I love how delicate it turned out. tutorial here.

crystal pave droplet necklace:
Found this crystal bead in my old jewelery stash and thought it was too pretty to not go on the end of a long silver chain.

colorful tribal necklace:
These beads were on sale and I had to use them on something. I LOVE vibrant and colorful stuff!

woman's plus-sized shirt into pencil skirt:
The shirt is from Goodwill for less than $1. It was an outlet store and everything was in bins. You pay per lb. Since it was a women's shirt the material was a little stretchy- perfect for a pencil skirt!

embellished flip-flops:
My friend Shae has a coupon blog here, and she posted a coupon for .50 flip-flops from Target. I got some black ones and made fabric flowers to stick on them- wallah! You can use any old shoes to embellish.

topiary stands:
These are fake, but they still add a little something to a space. Topiary balls and floral foam are from Joanns. The sticks I picked up outside (haha) and the tin is from Goodwill. I covered the base with moss from the dollar store.

chalkboard dinner tray:
For writing menus, notes, whatever... tutorial here.

The projects below I made at a Relief Society craft night. I love our craft nights! They usually run until 11:30 pm if you can believe that.
sidenote: The activity committee that plans these things is amazing. They have it all set up in stations and then they stay super late to clean it all up. I am so grateful for people who love their callings and do them so well!

quote plaques: sanded blocks of wood with paper mod-podged on top, then a few brass or silver studs hammered into the corners.

chalkboard banner: particle board triangles painted over twice with chalkboard paint and strung with hemp. This was harder to photograph because it was very, very long- but you get the idea.

paper clip earrings: (these are fun to make while watching tv...just wrap a paper clip- bent into a triangle- in embroidery thread and dab some E600 glue every once in a while to keep it in place. the glue can be found at Walmart.)
I got some projects brewing in my mind...FHE board, ties and bow ties, more skirts for myself, headbands for C, more paper crafts, sippy straps and possibly a camera strap...gah! If I do too much at once I get overwhelmed. But it keeps me busy! And it's a good distraction from the stresses of life...

In fact, I should probably be focusing on the mister's birthday that is in 4 days (hence the birthday banner..). I have no idea what to do for him. No plans...he says he will still love me if we do nothing, but I want to show him that he is important to me! To US! He keeps this family together. Ideas?? My mind is a blank slate...


Photographs n Memories said...

.i hear you. i am completely the same way. i will get mad at my kids, and other things, but because my kids are there i take it out more on them. its not pretty. and i have to do other things for an outlet. not not a bad thing. YOU need to have a life too. being a mom is a full time job and than some. and its tiring on your body as well as your brain. LOVE your outlet results. beautiful things. love love them.

Matt and Jen McEvoy said...

I have got to make some subway art birth announcements like those, I love them so much and have been meaning to do it forever! I wish I wasn't so lazy, I always waste what little free time I have watching TV or surfing the net. Lately I have gotten back into reading which really helps me relieve some stress, but you make me want to try harder to use my crafty skills to beautify our home like you do. I love your style!

Logan and Ashleigh said...

I am reading a book right now called "I was a really good Mom before I had kids" and I love it! It first caught my attention by the title because they were my thoughts exactly..but then I started reading it and it really helped me to understand that i am being the "best" Mom I can be right now. Does that mean I don't spank? Or yell? Or pull my hair out? HECK NO! But it gave me a comfort knowing that I don't have to be perfect because even with all of my Flaws I was exactly who these kiddos needed.

Love you girl, YOU ARE AWESOME!