Monday, September 26, 2011

Work, work, work

Well hello there....

It's been a year of ups and downs and family crisis, but I'm still here.
I've been creating as a way to work through my grief and for the first time in a long while, have been able to add quite a few ready-to-wear applique hats to my etsy store.

I've also been working on some brand new items, which locally have gotten a great response - HAIR ACCESSORIES!!!!

I've  managed to find a way to create my appliques in a format small enough to be affixed to hair clips, headbands, pony tail  holders and pins. They have been a complete blast to make and hopefully I will be adding them to my shop in the next month or so.

As always the majority of my business comes from custom orders. You pick the color combos and the size. I work the yarn.

I'm looking forward to a productive holiday season so please let me know if you are looking at placing an order. Christmas will be here before you know it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Restless Heart

I haven't crocheted in days......

I haven't wanted to.......

I just got over a nearly 8 month long "I don't want to! (pout, pout , pout)" phase.

This is not good.....

As I type this I am surrounded by yarn.
An amazing smorgasbord of yummy goodness in every color and texture and fiber content imaginable.
It's as though a bag of skittles exploded in my office.

Why doesn't this make me happy?

Normally at this time of year I am happily working on custom orders for Moose Threads fans.
As soon as I got done with one project, another request would pop up. It was awesome.

But, times-they-are-a-changin'

Now instead. of working on custom orders, or items to list in my shop for that matter, I am paralyzed with fear.

I swear I can hear those unfinished projects whispering to me from the back of my supply closet, where I stuffed them oh so long ago.

The blanket that I abandoned 1/3 of the way through
The dress that needs just a few more inches
The yarn I purchased to make my dad a sweater.......2 years ago.....

Finish me......wear me......why don't you like me......why did you abandon me.....ME ME ME

It's a little hard to work with so many needy projects clamoring for attention.

Every time I look at that closet it's as though staring at a bunch of puppies that have been picked up, played with and then abandoned for the next cute thing that comes along.

I can only take so much abandoned crochet project guilt.

So here is what I plan to do.

I aim - custom orders permitting- to work on one unfinished item a month until I have them all completed.

Let's hope I don't collect anymore along the way.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Trying new things

So I've finally decided to drag myself out of my pit of unmotivated despair.

I changed up the blog and hope this version is a lot cleaner than the last.

I also created some brand-new items at the request of some amazing friends.

Here are just a few of these creations.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Holy cow it's April!?

Um yeah.....

Needless to say the past few months got away from me.

Hubby got home from five months at sea.
Fundraising gig started up again and so did my unfortunate bad habit of giving up regarding finding time for myself.
I gained all the weight and inches back that I lost - and then some.

And we embarked on a HUGE outdoor renovation, that was a long time coming.

And we're looking for shore duty orders. So far the options have been slim and unappealing. It's very scary not knowing where you'll be come next year.

Lots of stuff and not enough time to process it.

Moose Threads is dead in the water right now.
I've lost my desire to create and where once just looking at my yarn stash would get me inspired, it instead causes the creative part of my brain to freeze up like a nun in a whore house.

I just can't get inspired.

On a good note, I've been decrapping the house.

It still looks cluttered, but by making sure I take time out of each day to tidy up a little, it hasn't gotten overwhelming.
The closets are clean and organized. The office is clean and so is the downstairs bathroom.

The kitchen and living room are tidy and I am staying on top of laundry - as much as I can without discovering it's breeding habits and penchant for eating socks....

I'm not on top of the world right now, but I'm picking my way toward it one step at a time.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Becoming Me - Part 2

Note: Due to my shunning of the camera this part will not have as many pictures of my progress.

Before I returned to the gym in March of this year where I met Janice and Deb, I should note that I did in fact originally enroll at a wonderful place called Silverdale/Kingston Fitness back in August of 2008

At the time I was about 190 and a size 14 and David was starting preschool two days a week at the Kingston Co-op.

My plan was simple: exercise at the Kingston location while David was in preschool and Silverdale (where there is childcare) once or twice a week.

Simple right?

Yeah not so much.

I had taken on the task of Fundraising Coordinator for KCP, which being a Co-Op, the school depends on to help cover the cost of day-to-day operations. I was a brand new parent and no clue what I was getting myself into.

What a lot of work!

Before I took the position I didn't factor in that Robert would at at sea for two of the bigger fundraisers during the year. Not having a second parent at home, I inevitably used the time David was in school to work on fundraising. Let's not even talk about finding time for Moose Threads.

Add in that I committed a HUGE no-no by forgetting to keep up with my medication for Hashimotos - 250 micrograms of synthroid - and I was a disaster waiting to happen.

I tried to hide how depressed I really was, but I know I wasn't 100 percent effective at it. This was right before I started seeing my therapist.

I was lucky to be surrounded by an amazing group of supportive women at KCP. They may not have all known about my battle with depression but they were sure as hell willing to help Cindy (my co-fundraising chair) and I with this fundraising gig.
But despite all their efforts, I couldn't help but feel I didn't fit in or that I was doing a very good job.

In September of 2008, for my 29th birthday, my husband purchased 10 personal training sessions for me.

Now before you whip out the duct tape and fire ants in horror of a husband purchasing such a gift for his wife - I need to clarify - that it had nothing to do with his opinion of how I looked.

During this entire weight-loss roller coaster my husband - who swims daily and remains a slim 160 pounds - has not once ever commented on my changing body. Even on my most frumpalicious days he always told me I was beautiful.

(Georgia, Tara, Shelley.... you trained him well)

The personal training sessions were his way of giving me support while he was at sea. Being a fellow swimmer he knew that the thought of free weights and fitness classes scared me more than seeing Joan Rivers in a bikini.

And so my journey to Janice and Deb began.

Originally I was paired with a trainer who I'll call Rebecca 1.

Rebecca 1 was someone who I felt understood what I was dealing with. She had lost 80 pounds herself and was a Navy Spouse.

Perfect right?

Not really.

We spoke on the phone and scheduled our first session, but faster than Lindsey Lohan can make a crap movie , she called and cancelled.

All she said was that she suddenly had to move back east and that someone at the front desk would reassign me a trainer. In fact I never really spoke to her - she left a message on my voicemail.

Strike one.

Well, I was assigned a trainer in the form of someone I'll call Rebecca 2 (yep both had the same name)

Rebecca 2 seemed promising. She seemed to get what I was going through emotionally and what I was looking for in terms of learning to exercise sans pool. This was early October of 2008.

Over the course of two months we met a total of 2 times. Making a training date with Rebecca 2 was worse than trying to teach Jessica Simpson how to read. No matter how far in advance we scheduled a session, inevitably she would call and cancel a mere half hour before I was to leave the house.

Not exactly motivating.

Feeling a bit lost I slowly started finding excused not to go to the gym.

However,I wanted to give her one last chance and so Rebecca 2 asked if we could meet outside of the gym to talk.

When I arrived at the mall (her choice) to meet her, Rebecca 2 had an older woman with her.

Warning bells softly ringing.

Well, over the course of an hour (what can I say I had too many manners drilled into me) Rebecca 2 and this woman - who happened to be a supplement direct sales person, tried to convince me that the only thing that will help my weight loss was by taking a $100 per month concoction of crap.

The woman even went as far as to claim that her own personal doctor used the supplements and that they'd cure my Hashimotos etc.

Warning bells definitely louder now...

The final straw was when Rebecca 2 pulled the I-know-how-busy-with-the-preschool-and Robert-gone-and-your-business-for-you-to-workout-consistently-so-this-is-your-ONLY-option card.

To which the supplement lady promptly adds "Wow you're really busy. What you don't know how to say no?"

By this time my alarm bells had turned into sirens louder that a Gorilla having his butt waxed.

I never saw Rebecca 2 again.

Strike 2

From November 2008 to Feb 2009 I didn't go to the gym at all. I felt guilty considering we were spending the money on the gym each month, I had an unused childcare card and 8 personal training session left to go, but my encounter with Rebecca 2 and the supplement nut left me confused and untrusting.

During this time I gained 30 pounds as I battled my depression (how I had reached 220), and it only seemed worse during the gloomy Western Washington weather.

But after my encounter with my "so very supportive relative" I decided to try and return to working out.

I have never been so nervouse as the day I went back to the gym that February.

I was scared as hell to run into Rebecca 2 and I was so self-conscious that for the first few weeks I wouldn't take off my huge bulky sweatshirt and baseball cap.

In the past, whenever I had joined a gym, the staff was either high and mighty or just plain rude.

Boy did I have nothing to worry about.

Gary at the front desk immediatly recognized me and asked how I'd been and how I was doing.
Melanie, who also worked the front desk, asked if my husband was back from sea and said it was great to see me.

Alissa and Tina in childcare were thrilled to see David and asked me how potty training was going.

It was like I'd been going there for years.

Finally after about a week of using the elliptical I got up the courage to appraoch Melanie about those remaning personal training sessions.
I had no idea if they were still good or if I had to continue with Rebecca 2 in order to use them.

Enter Janice.

Janice is the Personal Training Manager for Silverdale Fitness and though she's just a little thing I've never met someone with such an immense positive presence.

I stumbled through my question regarding my training sessions. I mean, it's not easy to tell someone basically "Hey your trainer sucks monkey butt and I want a do-over."

I then learned that Rebecca 2 no longer worked for the gym and my less than stellar impression of her wasn't just my depression influcing my feelings.

Janice offered to personally help match me with a new trainer, or, if I'd like she'd train me herself.

I'm not sure why, but there was an energy about Janice that was like finding that coveted onion ring amid an order of french fries - it felt meant to be and so I decided to attempt this personal trianing thing for the third and last time.

I didn't know what to expect my first session with Janice.
With Rebecca 2 it was a pretty mundane combination of free weights and the treadmill. Not really my style.

Well I was in for a treat.

The only way I can describe Janice during a training session is to have you imagine if Hello Kitty and Seargeant Slaughter had a child together. She is the perfect combination of sweet, sassy and brute strength.

She pushes me just hard enough to challenge myself, but never fails to crack a joke just at the point I am about to give up.

Her training style is more than just free weights and boring cardio and each session she appraoches me like you would a 1000 piece puzzle.

At first I was a big jumble of rough pieces and undefined shapes.
She first started with the simple edges, giving me an easy frame to work within.
Each session she added a more challenging piece until slowly a picture began to emerge and I could finally see myself again.

I've learned to look at paper plates in a whole new light, love the Bosu Ball and loathe wall pushups. Just when I think I've mastered something, she turns up the difficulty.

Home Run!

And then there was Deb....

Friday, August 28, 2009

Becoming Me - Part 1

As I was attempting to blog about my weight loss journey I realized that I never have really talked about what life was like before I gained the equivalent of 12-year-old boy - 85 pounds

So many associate thinness with happiness - me included. But it's taken me falling so far down the health mountain to realize that even at my thinnest and healthiest I wasn't really that happy.

Growing up I had my chunky-going-through-puberty-freshman-15-moments, however, I always managed to lean out and stay fit.

I probably helped that I was a swimmer at heart who thrived on competition.

In college I hit the pool five days a week - two of those preceded by an hour of kickboxing.

I held down a full class load, two jobs and two internships. Sleep and food were rare if not always fast.

When I graduated college in 2001 I weighed approximately 135 pounds and wore a size 6-8, sometimes a 4.

I was in the best shape of my life, yet I didn't feel pretty or attractive at all - mainly because I didn't have a thick enough skin.

I always attracted those guys - you know the ones that if you don't put out after a few dates find a way to cut you loose by cutting you down.

Let's see.... One guy told me my boobs weren't big enough, another said I wasn't hot enough to impress his friends, and one said I was an 8 but the fact I didn't put out made me a 2.

Bad as those may have been it was a comment made by a very close relative of mine that to this day - 9 years later - still affects me the most.

We were perusing a local shopping center, having what I thought was a great time, when out of the blue said relative looked over at me in my t-shirt, jeans and flip flops and exclaimed (as though she had just witnessed Cloris Leachman and Bea Arthur sunbathing nude)

"My word Kristy! Look at that belly on you! That is not attractive. No man is going to want a women with a belly like that."

Please reference paragraph 7 of this blog.

I was 135 pounds and a size 6-8. I was primarily muscle.

The force of her words hit me so hard I felt as though I'd been hit in the chest by a Grizzly bear who'd just been waxed.

Wow! If this relative, whose opinion I always valued, who I looked up to, felt this way about me then now what?

It was around this time - college graduation - that I now recognize was my first encounter with depression and all that comes with it.

I lived in a town where I had no friends, had a job I hated, my closest relatives constantly criticized my weight and the ultimate breaking point - I was betrayed by one of the few people I knew in the area.

And so the cycle began. I ate because I was sad. I was sad because I ate. I slept because I hated to be alone and I was alone because I slept all the time and failed to get out and make friends.

By the time I snagged a new job near my hometown a year later I had gained 20 pounds and was a size 10. However, I didn't look unhealthy. In fact, given my Sicilian heritage the weight only made me a little more curvy and a lot more busty.

I eventually settled in at a comfortable 160 pounds, which I maintained for about two years.

In 2004 I married my husband and given that he worked crazy day hours and I worked crazy night hours, what little free time we had we spent not at the gym or outdoors but well...eating.

Both of us were usually too tired to cook and so we paid someone else to do it for us.

With a year I was pushing 175 and fitting into a comfortable size 14. Yet I still didn't feel unattractive - unless I was around that certain relative who felt the need to always point out my growing extremities. (She once asked my mother if I was going to fit into my wedding dress by the time the ceremony came around)

Upon our 1-year-anniversary I unexpectedly because pregnant with our son David.

Complications from a medication I'm on, helped push my weight up to 245 at it's highest during my pregnancy. I was so swollen I was literally unrecognizable.

(When I was 8 months pregnant a wife of a former coworker of my husbands once looked at our wedding photo and asked who was in the picture with Robert. Being the grumpy pregnant lady I was, I promptly said "Oh that's just Robert's first wife. I like to keep a picture of their wedding photo to remind him of how good he has it now")

Luckily, with a combination of sleepless nights, breastfeeding, walking and scattered eating I soon found myself back to 170 and a size 12/14 within just two months of David's birth.

It didn't last long.

Soon I found myself on a roller coaster of craziness where every time I thought things were slowing to a stop life would throw me another loop-de-loop.

A family emergency, expensive house repairs, two grandparent deaths 5 days apart and two 90 day patrols shocked me so hard they left me numb.

I felt like I was repeating that first year out of college, only this time I sank deep into this bout of depression faster than a toddler sinks into a pack of unattended oreos.

A new found embarrassment of my body - which was pushing into a tight 14 and tipping 190 on the scale- kept me from going to the gym (what would people think of my poor husband seeing his fat wife, workout clothing was uncomfortable, my knees hurts too much... my back)

When you are in that lonely place you will find any excuse to shelter yourself from the outside.

Food was my comfort and so was sleep. The bigger I got the more angry I got and more angry I got the more I pushed the people who truly cared about me away.

How Robert didn't leave me during this dark time is any one's guess. Work must have seemed like a four-star resort compared to the firing range he came home to. Forget nitpicking - I was full on hurling grenades. Nothing was good enough or made me happy enough. If he said the wrong thing the wrong way, watch out.

Depression had made me paranoid about who I could trust and to me trust is everything.

Finally things came to a head between us where for the first time in our 5-year marriage we found ourselves in a huge shouting match where I told him to leave.

Ummm What?

Luckily I still had some wonderful friends who recognized I was emotionally drowning and fought against my emotional tidal waves to help rescue me.

Deb,Beth and Melissa D listened and helped me keep focused on the one hobby I still had - crocheting - encouraging me to keep going with Moose Threads despite being uninspired.

Shannon W and Katie forced me to get out of the house by inviting me to the park, lunch, playdates - anything.

Jessica stayed up with me online through all hours of the night letting me vent and talk through a lot of the turmoil that was going on inside me.

And Karen - thank god for Karen - worked her schedule to allow me to start seeing a therapist every month.

I was so lucky I had this support system because right in the middle of my climb out of my dark emotional pit I almost lost my grip.

A trip home and another encounter with this particular relative -who I always want so badly to please- was like ramming head on into a Mac Truck.

With me tipping the scales at 220 pounds - my highest non-pregnancy weight - and busting out of a size 16 - I was a great target for a lot of jabs.

Although I had started therapy and was feeling better I wasn't prepared for comments like:

"Pull your pants up you look like a plumber. Why don't you find pants that fit?"
"Do you really think you should be eating that?"
"I thought you were losing weight, it doesn't look like it."

But the real kicker was aimed toward my parenting skills

"Do yourself a favor and don't have any more children. Focus on the one you have because he's obviously a child you have difficulty with."

1-2-3 TKO!

Later that night Robert - who could see I was in distress- tried to lighten my mood by asking if this relative was walking around here on earth who was running hell.

This was in February of 2009.

Now I don't want to give this relative credit for pushing me back into the gym but in a way they did.

I wanted so badly to prove them wrong. To show them that I was stronger than the heavy words they piled on me all the time.

Though I was embarrassed and my workout clothes consisted of my brother's old t-shirts and sweat pants by March I managed to return to the gym.

I didn't really know what to do and workouts consisted mainly of 30 minute sessions on the elliptical.

But this was BJAD - Before Janice and Deb.

It was meeting these two amazing women that truly changed the way I look at myself.

To be continued......

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 I lied....

Seeing that my last blog entry was oh in....MAY.... I'm not really as on top of things as I thought.

My idea to move toward applique or applique-only items in my store never happened. Why? Because finding time to be creative lately has been harder than Jessica Simpson attempting to do first grade math.

Here is an example of how crazy today was, which isn't much different than every other day it seems.

1 a.m - put crochet project down after the 50th sneak attack in less than 5 minutes by my not so subtle ninja-in-training kitty. Nothing makes you quit hooking faster than a quick stab in the thigh from needle sharp claws.

3 a.m.- dream I'm being attacked by vampire alligators wearing space suits. Wake up to find said ninja kitty attacking me through my down comforter.

3:05 a.m. - attempt to kick said kitty and her two big sisters out of the room only to discover they have not only enrolled in ninja training but an intense course of sending Morse code via a new door slapping technique.

4 a.m. - wake up to toddler yelling for milk. Deliver said milk to toddler only to learn he is more awake than a guinea pig after a quad-shot espresso.

4:10 a.m. - after much insistence, irritation and finally begging and pleading on my part, toddler is still wide awake and mommy resorts to putting him in her bed and turning on the big screen tv. All hopes of mind-numbing, technicolor cartoons lulling toddler back to sleepy land are quickly forgotten faster than Britney Spears' underwear.

5:30 a.m. - drag tush downstairs to get said toddler refill on milk. Pass by office and realize you need to write up a custom listing, print out some fundraising stuff and of course search through the massive pile of clean, unfolded clothes for something to wear to the gym that won't frighten small children.

6:30 a.m. - snuggle back under covers only to have toddler attempt to pry your eyelids apart and shout "mama! mama! WAKE UP!"

7 a.m. - 8 a.m. - somewhat of a blur due to lack of sleep and coffee.

8:30 a.m. - attempt to dress a toddler who suddenly has formed an opinion about fashion. Nothing says Project Runway better than a stained monster truck green t-shirt, blue shorts and bright red lightning McQueen rubber boots.

8:45 a.m. - find two socks that can pass as matching and rush out to the car and wrestle toddler into car seat.

9 a.m. - discover that windshield wipers need replacing after finding they do more smearing than wiping.

9:25 a.m. - check toddler into child care at gym.

9:30 - 10:30 a.m. - proceed to get my ass kicked by Ms. Janice in kickboxing class. If anyone has found my lungs and stomach contents please return to the front desk at the gym.

10:35 a.m. - pick up toddler at child care and proceed to chase him around a wet parking lot. Apparently toddler has decided that mommy needs to get her heart rate back up by dodging moving vehicles.

11 a.m. - stop at coffee drive through for 24 oz drip for mom and 10 oz milk with straw for toddler.

11:01 a.m. - discover said toddler had decided that drinking from a straw is passe' and would rather dump said milk all over his clothes and seat belt.

11:10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. - work on fundraising merchandise pricing at Karen's house amid three screaming boys and all their noisy messy toys.

2:35 p.m. - drag crying screaming toddler out the door and head home

3 p.m. - arrive home to discover ninja kitty and her accomplices have broken into the trash and dragged discarded food items all over the living room floor and stairs.

3:35 p.m. - finish cleaning up mess and convince toddler using a Popsicle bribe.

3:40 p.m. - hide in office and check e-mails and other items.

4 p.m. - discover said toddler has decided to take a nap - an occurrence more rare than finding a picture of Paris Hilton fully clothed.

4:01 p.m. - mom uses nap time to take a quick shower and search for more clean clothes that aren't as wrinkled as Joan Rivers without botox.

4:30 p.m. - escape to knitting circle for a breather. Complete two rows of dress.

6 p.m. - grab a quick salad and then head to preschool for board meeting.

7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. - sit through board meeting discussing upcoming preschool year and everything that needs to be done.

10 p.m. - arrive home to hyper child and attempt to get brain to re solidify after being turned to mush from too much information.

10:45 p.m. - Finally convince toddler to snuggle up in my bed with cartoons.

11:15 p.m. - Toddler finally goes to sleep and mommy proceeds to attempt to check e-mails and finish other frustrating Moose Threads tasks amid ninja-kitties attacking from all sides.

11:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. - attempt to update blog.

Needless to say me time and creative time don't really exist right now. But hopefully they will make an appearance soon.....hopefully.