Sunday, March 29, 2015

Arts-N-Crafts in 10 Easy Steps

“That looks easy! Let’s see if I have all the supplies…”
-Famous last words of a Home Crafter


Arts-N-Crafts In 10 Easy Steps

Step 1
 Buy an expensive book of projects because it’s filled with glossy pictures of beautiful things. Don’t bother reading any of the instructions. I mean, it’s in the Hobby & Crafts section of the bookstore, so it must be compatible with most skill levels, right?

Steampunk Style  It's actually an AMAZING book!
Steampunk Style
It's actually an AMAZING book!

Step 2
 Take expensive book home and casually flip through it until you find a picture of something you’d LOVE to make. Attempt to read instructions only to discover they were written for someone who Mastered in Costume Fabrication.  

Leather Sculpted Goggles Because I have ANY knowledge of sculpting leather, right?
Leather Sculpted Goggles
Because I have ANY knowledge of
sculpting leather, right?

Step 3
 Give up trying to decipher words that have no meaning to you and figure you’ll just “fake it ‘til ya make it.”
 Make a trip to craft store and purchase two of everything you could ever possibly need to make project. Since there’s no real “Items Needed” list in book, rely on knowledge gleaned from four years of watching Face Off.

Step 4
 *Get back home only to discover you forgot at least two items you absolutely can’t live without.
 Make another trip to craft store to purchase forgotten items and three other things you see that might be needed. (Just to make sure you don’t have to come back, right?)
*repeat Step 4 minimum of two more times

Step 5
 *Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and begin project.
 Get halfway through project only to discover you didn’t pay as much attention to four years of Face Off as you thought you did.
 Scrap project and start over.
*repeat Step 5 minimum of two more times

This is how they do it on Face Off, right?
This is how they do it on Face Off, right?

Step 6
 Give up and purchase second expensive book that explains the first of five techniques you’ll need to complete project in first expensive book. (Don’t worry about the other four techniques. If you can’t fake your way through those when the time comes, you can always buy another book.)

This Molding & Casting Handbook is actually filled with TONS of helpful info that even I could understand!
This Molding & Casting Handbook is actually filled
with TONS of helpful info that even I could understand!

Step 7
 Go back to craft store for supplies to complete practice project from second expensive book to insure you’ve got the technique down before you return to project from first expensive book. (After all, you don’t want your finished item to look like it was made by a beginner.)
 repeat Step 4

Step 8
 Screw up practice project minimum of three times before you complete “beginner level” item that looks like it was made by a kindergartener.
 Decide you’re wasting your time on this easy crap and decide to “fake it ‘til ya make it” through original project.
 You’ll probably find it necessary to repeat Step 4, since you’ve mysteriously managed to use up every last supply you need to begin.

Let us not discuss how many similar piles of crap were produced...
Let us not discuss how many similar
piles of crap were produced...

Step 9
 Spend three hours trying to track down the origin of the Mystery Smell so you can breathe freely enough to get started on your project, only to realize the smell is actually you. (You’re not sure how it happened, but it appears you’ve spent the last week-and-a-half in the same sweats and T-shirt and you can’t exactly remember the last time you showered.)
 Acknowledge that it’ll all be worth it when you unveil your final masterpiece, rub some Vick’s vapo-rub under your nose, and get back to work.
 
Step 10
 A. This is it - the Big Reveal! This is what you’ve spent the last month working towards.
 Lay down your implements of crafting destruction, wipe your hands on your sweat pants one last time, and step back to admire your handiwork…
 B. Realize that all your blood, sweat and tears has created something that’s entirely unrecognizable as even being a third cousin, twice removed, from the glossy pictures in first expensive book. Cry your way through an entire container of Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra while hiding under a blanket on the couch.

In all fairness, I haven't actually removed the final project from the molds. Because I'm afraid. That's why!
In all fairness, I haven't actually removed
the final project from the molds.
Because I'm afraid. That's why!

$50 in how-to books
$758.63 in crafting supplies
$40 for new shelves in craft room to hold supplies
$96 for take-out because Mommy’s too busy crafting to cook
$64.22 for new underwear and socks because Mommy’s too busy crafting to do laundry
------------------------------
TOTAL - $1008.85

$65.00 + shipping to hide your shame from family by ordering professionally made item online?
Priceless!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On the Outside Looking In: BPD, Loneliness and Perception

 Psst...hey you! Yeah, you - the one sitting at the corner table with the book, trying to look like you’re reading while the rest of the people in the room are happily chatting. I see you glancing around when you think no one is looking.

BPD PERCEPTION


 Who am I? I’m the one sitting at another corner table with a book, trying to look like I’m reading while the rest of the people in the room are happily chatting. I’m the one feeling like they’re on the outside of their life looking in; the slightly lonely one trying to hide in the crowd.


 I’m not always like this, ya know. Some days are better and I actually feel like I belong! I tell myself that the loneliness was a fluke - nothin’ but a pothole on the road of life. But then the wind shifts and BAM! I’m right back on the side of the road feeling stranded and left behind, my front wheel flattened from another damn pothole.


 I gotta be honest with you, I always thought it was the others who didn’t “get” me. This was the feeling of yet another group of friends closing ranks and pushing the obvious outsider farther out. This was me destined to be separate, always guarded and lonely.


 So I’d do the preemptive strike thing and move myself to the corner table. At least from there, my physical local would match that of my emotions. At least from there, I’d be right and I really would be an outsider.


 Then, one day it happened, like a lightening strike out of a clear blue sky! I was arguing with Hubby, trying to explain to him what it felt like to be left behind by friends who’d moved on while I was changing my metaphorical tire.


Me: “You don’t understand what it’s like to feel like you’re on the outside looking in.”


Hubby: “Just keep being yourself and people will eventually accept you.”


Me: “People DO accept me! It’s not THEM, it’s ME! It’s my glitched-out brain and the stupid BPD that make me feel this way. It’s just the fucking way I’m made.”


 Evidently my subconscious had picked something up over the years and chose that moment to whack me upside the head with a little self awareness.

BPD Fairy: Sometimes symbolism speaks louder than words.
BPD Fairy
Sometimes symbolism speaks louder
than words.


 Did that lightning strike change the way I felt? Yes. No. Maybe.


 The reality is, I can’t change the way I’m made. It is what it is. I can, however, change the way I understand it and react to it. I can embrace the knowing that this isn’t everyone else’s reality, only my perception of it.

Is she ripping the heart apart or giving it her all to hold it together? It's depends on your perception.
Is she ripping the heart apart
or giving it her all to hold it together?
It's depends on your perception.


 I may still feel like I’m an outsider, but I can relax and smile at the fact that friends and loved ones aren’t the culprits, my screwy brain is. Then I can put my book away, pick up my stuff, and find a seat at one of the tables.


 There are still times (MANY times!) I’m overwhelmed. (Let’s face it, this whole learning and growing thing is a process, right?) My perception of reality can be the occasional bitch.


 I recognize when I’m feeling lost and alone and remind myself that it’s just the way my stupid brain works. I give myself some time and space to recharge, then I do my best to let go of the pain, dust myself off, and move on down the road.


 One thing I’ve found that gives me some comfort during a flat tire, is even when I’m down, I’m still not alone. There are so many others on the outside that may be looking in through different windows, but they’re still on my side of the glass.


 I don’t know how else to put it, except to say, there truly is comfort in being alone together.


 So for now, I’ll nod my head in your direction...maybe even wave. I’ll sit here with this book I’m not really reading and watch the rest of the people in the room happily chat. And I’ll look your way to remind myself that I’m not alone in my glitched-out state.


 Then, when I’m ready, I’ll grab my stuff and move back in for another go. You’re more than welcome to sit with me when you’re ready. I’ll save you a seat.



For more discussion about BPD:







Make BPD Stigma Free! shares amazing articles from across the interwebz. Excellent way to find new blogs and voices!

Monday, March 16, 2015

I'm afraid to look! (or Why I might be "People of the Day")

 In my life, there are two certain truths carved into the very stone of whatever it is that makes me me:
  1. I can’t whisper

 Sometimes these truths come together in such a way that I’m pretty sure my family charges admission to the show. Yesterday was one of those days.


 The sky was blue, a gentle wind was blowing across of the unexplored regions of the parking lot and Hubby, The Girl and I were foraging for BBQ supplies at the local Wal-Mart.

 I was minding my own business, wandering aimlessly, when I heard someone yell my name. Then that same someone asked The Girl WHY she’d let me wander off unattended. (Turns out the someone was Hubby all along.)

 After a rousing game of Marco Polo, I was located and informed it was time to get the hell outta Dodge. So, off in the general direction of the checkout lanes I *aimlessly wandered.

 *Ya know, all the aimless wandering is NOT my fault! If they’d stop putting so many colorful, shiny things on the shelves, my inner raccoon wouldn’t become distracted and I wouldn’t break away from my herd.
 Come to think of it, that’s probably how things like the Donner Party happen. The wrong person driving the lead wagon saw something shiny, got distracted and the next thing ya know it’s Winter, they’re lost and no one remembered to pack a lunch.  

 Anyway, Hubby managed to get my attention and point to the dreaded self checkout. I think he may have been channeling the Marquis De Sade, because my hatred of computers that yell at me and tell me what to do is legendary.

 Which is how I ended up standing in the dark and evil place of bossy machines.

 The Girl must have known what was coming, since she immediately distanced herself from us. (In retrospect, she may have been the one collecting admission to the show.)

 Hubby piled all the smaller stuff on the shelf thingy and I got the job of scanning and bagging. THAT was his first and biggest mistake.

Machine: “Please place the item in the bag.”

Me: “I did, dumbass.”

Machine: “Unknown item has been placed in the bag. Please remove and scan item.”

Me: “I scanned the damn thing!”

Machine: “Unknown item has been placed in the bag. Please remove and scan item.”
Me: (furiously pushing imaginary buttons on screen) “I said I DID!”

Machine: “Unknown item has been placed in the bag. Please remove and scan item.”

Me: (flipping off computer screen) “How about you scan my ASS!?!”

Machine: (Hubby scanning bag of charcoal) “Item was not placed in bag. Do you wish to bag item?”

Me: “I got something you can bag, bitch…”

 (Repeat above conversation a couple more times and you’ve pretty much got the entire self checkout experience.)

 As I turned to put the last bag in the cart, I couldn’t help but notice that every other person in the area had stopped what they were doing to watch. Some were quietly snickering, some were standing with their jaws hanging open, a few were even using their hands to cover the ears of small children. But all eyes were on me. *insert facepalm here*

 All I could think to do was point at the machine and mutter, “She started it,” grab my cane and Frankenstein-waddle towards the door as fast as I could go.

 As the lady overseeing the area giggled her way through, “Have a nice day,” I was comforted by the warm glow of the chocolate waiting for me in one of the stupid bags. (Because chocolate fixes everything!)

 That glow lasted right up until I heard Hubby whisper to The Girl, “Did you know there’s a whole website of People of Wal-Mart?” Turns out chocolate can’t fix the fear of ending up “People of the Day.”