Blog Hop and Changes


This is a LONG overdue post. I’m going to start with a challenge that Chuleenan of CSews tossed my way. It will make a good bridge πŸ™‚ It’s a Blog Hop, in which each participant answers four questions. Check out Chuleenan’s answers, and she has a link in her blog to Olgalyn Jolly of O! Jolly! Crafting Fashion, who nominated her, etc.

1. Why do I write?

It’s therapy. Seriously, it helps me work through some of life’s “stuff”. And I really like to write. I wish I had more time/discipline to do it. Clearly I NEED to do it more, since I’m running months and many posts behind, the why will become clearer in a moment.

2. What am I working on?

Wow. Just you wait… OK, I’ve actually just cut out the new Dahlia dress pattern from Colette patterns out of an adorable retro-inspired cat print for Miss Crayola Creepy’s Cat Lady Sewing Challenge. I’m also trying my best to make a very simple Swirl dress for the Sew Retro Rose Swirl Sewalong. It should take me an hour to make the dress but there it sits, in the bag, all cut out and ready to sew. Sigh.

And I’m trying to find a new place to live in the next couple of months. Oh, and a new job. More in a minute.

3. How does my blog differ from others in its genre?

I purposely set up my blog to be able to cover anything going on in my life, not just sewing. The original design was to not only talk about my sewing projects but also include upholstery, gardening, crafting and just about anything else that flit across my path. Didn’t even consider knitting and yet, now I’m a knitter! More than anything I want to show my fellow sewists that they can do ANYTHING. I’m constantly learning from everyone around me so if I can give back, cool.

4. How does my writing process work?

Lately? Clearly not well πŸ™‚ Usually I just sit and write and write and write. Then I edit, edit, edit. I have no less than a dozen half-written posts in my queue, covering everything from how to use twitter more effectively to several 20’s projects that are still in process. I try to be honest and transparent so goofs are included as well as the random outtake. Then I read and re-read things so much that words start looking strange, because how often can you type the word “office” until that looks wrong??? 42. Eventually I hit “publish” and go to bed, only to wake up and find some HUGE spelling and grammar error that my sixth grade teacher would have drawn a big circle around with her red pencil and given me that “I know you can do better” look but which you all are nice enough to never point out. I thank you for that πŸ˜›

I’m supposed to nominate two bloggers to answer these questions so I’m nominating our friend Vicki at Another Sewing Scientist (because we haven’t heard from her in a while πŸ™‚ ) and Tanya Maile at Mrs Hughes because she’s adorable and I want to see her answers.

And now for a confession or two:

Somewhere around the end of July I got tired. I would drag myself out of bed, drag to work, use all my energy to be happy and peppy, drag home and collapse. I’d try to catch up on stuff on the weekends but managed to only get further and further behind. When I was finally able to say “I’m always tired” I tried to see my doctor. “Lose some weight, then we’ll talk.” Really? That’s the BEST you can come up with in the 12 minutes you scrolled through my chart, only looking at me once as I talked? So I tackled the problem one piece at a time. I made sure I was eating well, I got at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night, I stopped trying to do much of anything other than the most important tasks at hand. Gatsby nearly did me in, and the few days after that I helped a friend finally leave her awful husband, moving almost everything she owned to my house and cleaning out my studio/’fabric storage space to put all her possessions in.

I did feel better. I started getting my energy back, I picked out several projects from my myriad piles and started organizing the sewing room. See the picture above of the cute kitty with the little pumpkin? She died. She lived an extraordinary eight years with FeLV, a disease that kills most cats within a year. It was ok, she puttered along just fine until the last couple days and then she was gone. I grieved. We have her ashes in a small box on the book case. The day I picked them up I got home to find a note to call the landlord.

We now have 90 days to move. They have decided to sell the house I’ve lived in over 20 years. Yes, they did give me right of first refusal but I don’t have a spare $400,000 in cash laying around. They never maintained this wonderful farmhouse, built in 1925, so the property is being sold as investment only and doesn’t qualify for an standard loan. The new owners will probably just tear it down and build some hideous McMansion. Yes, I feel lucky that I was able to live here so long. I raised my daughter here, I’ve lived here longer than any other place. I wanted to buy it, fix it and build a small cottage at the front of the property to rent out. I even had a 2 year plan in place and was actively working on it but it’s too late.

I’ll get over it. I’ll find another place for us to live, but the dogs will make things tougher. I may have to give my chickens away, and I haven’t slept more than a few hours every night thinking about the feral cat colony we’ll have to leave behind. The delightful next door neighbor, the one that thought the sound of Chloe’s puppies playing was awful, has threatened in the past to kill them. I’ve had a long conversation with Alley Cat Allies, for whom I’m a Feral Friend ( need help with TNR in my area? I’m your girl), and trying to trap and move them would be exceedingly difficult. Generally you’d ask your neighbors to take over feeding but those people don’t live next door to someone who has more issues than National Geographic. I do. It IS illegal to threaten an animal and even ferals are protected under cruelty laws, but that also depends on having a decent division of Animal Services in your area and we don’t. The colony is small, only 4, and all are quite healthy and happy. The ideal situation would be to find someone with a barn who needs natural rodent control, I just don’t know anyone like that. This, of all the things I’m worried about, really does keep me up at night.

So like the smart person I am, I called my mental health practitioner. Four more weeks until an appointment. Sigh.

It all comes down to the numbers. My current salary won’t buy me anything in our area. I’ve looked further east and there *might* be some options in the future but truthfully, I can’t imagine living out there. That’s not to say I won’t give it a chance but we’re now running against the clock. If I can get another job at the same place I’ve been working that would help. I’m trying. I’ve also started looking for job/housing up in Oregon. If I have to start anew why not? There is a thriving art/sewing/vintage community up there and housing certainly hasn’t been hijacked like down here in the middle of tech-ville. There is SO MUCH information coming at me ALL THE TIME that you’d think I could sort it out and start making lists.

I’m just not there. Yet. I’ve run out of kleenex and ibuprofen. My neighbor has offered to help to a garage sale to move some things along (whee!) and my plans have shifted from things like “clean out the sewer line” and “fix the front steps” to “ebay, ebay, ebay”. I’m not as afraid as I was initially, the shock has worn off. My brother-in-law, who fixes and flips houses for a living, tried to negotiate a deal for me. He’s also looking for places for us to live or perhaps even buy. It’s all such a muddle.

In the long run things WILL work out. I’m NOT giving up my dogs or cats, I may have to board the chickens for a bit and find a new home for the bunny (his brother died yesterday, see what kind of week its been?). My “52 to do in 52” list is largely crossed off now since most of those projects were for this house. Priorities shift, life slides along. I do a bit of microblogging on Instagram and twitter so please check those out πŸ™‚Β  Vicki posted a pic of her laptop the other day and said ‘To be perfectly honest, this is the tool I use the most often: when I got back into sewing 5 years ago, I remember thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if there is some sort of sewing community or tutorial site online?” Burdastyle led me to blogs and TSW and sewalongs and twitter and IG and meetups and IRL friends. Best tool ever.’

She’s right πŸ™‚ I read as many blogs as I can, I look at my Instagram and twitter feeds when I need a smile (Tempest is doing her annual “How hideous is THIS ornament?” posts, a MUST SEE for all). There are at least three new babies in our sewing world, new patternsΒ  weekly and photos of sewing areas. I look at them all and sigh. One day, I will get back to all of this.

So my friends, I’m sorry for the length of the post. I’m sorry I never quite finished up the 20’s sewing projects (you should see the stacks of stuff I’ve only half done!), I may not get my Cat dress done and I’m guessing anything else will be boxed up soon. I have no idea where I’ll land. I just don’t. And I’m sad and mad and all of that, a jumble of emotions. I wish I had a partner to share things with, I wish I had someone to hug me and tell me things will work out. I guess if I was “stuck” all of these goings on will certainly “un stick” me. The sewing world is one amazing place. You guys make me smile and give me hope. Keep it up : )

17 thoughts on “Blog Hop and Changes

  1. Loran, I just found your blog (I made the 1920s back cascade dress from Ruth Wyeth Spears’ illustration with your help!) and am so so sorry to discover all the things that you are dealing with. I really do hope everything works out for you!

  2. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer the questions! So much is going on in your life but I was really interested to read your answers to the four questions. I always like to see what you’re making.

    So sorry about your housing situation. It’s a lot to handle, esp. with a time limit but I hope that your next place will be even better. Good things are coming your way. Wishing you all the best in your hung for new digs.

  3. Oh, dear. Oh, dear. I am so very sorry to hear that life has been overwhelming you with challenges. I’m sending love and good thoughts your way. I hope that you land on the downside of things soon.

  4. Dear Loran,
    What a complex situation that you must deal with. I’m sorry for any stress or worry that you are having. Hopefully everything will turn out for the best. If Oregon is in your future, I have a woman friend who lives in Portland, if you need a contact.

    I’m sending more virtual hugs your way. Take care of yourself.

  5. Dear Loran,
    What a complex situation that you must deal with. I’m sorry for any stress or worry that you are having. Hopefully everything will turn out for the best. If Oregon is in your future, I have a woman friend who lives in Portland, if you need a contact.

    I’m sending more virtual hugs and your way. Take care of yourself.

  6. Sounds like you have to deal with way too much sh*t at the moment. I admire your ability to deal with all this and to keep going, no matter how stressed out or sad you are. I hope you will find a new place soon and that you will have soft place to rest, that’s all yours.

  7. Dear Lorane,
    I wish you all the strength you need for these difficult times. I love your site and it helped me start blogging. You make me think about new ideas, make me try things I never tried and would not on my own. You do not know me, but I have the feeling of someone out there at the other end of the world who somehow feels close. I wish you all the best und I am thinking of you.

  8. Sending virtual hugs to one of my favorite bloggers. One thing that’s clear from your blog is that you are a very accomplished and creative person. You will find the perfect spot to put down your roots and let your talent shine.

  9. So sorry for so much trouble. You are a wonderful person, and will make it through to the better, brighter future in store for you! Hang in there!

  10. Oh my goodness, you have such a lot on your plate. Best of luck with your move, I hope things settle soon. I am sending you a virtual hug from the UK x

  11. Oh my goodness . . . I am so sorry to hear you are being displaced, along with all the other stuff. You are an amazing lady and will make it through, I am sure of it! It is just getting to the other side that can be tricky – my thoughts are with you.

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