Slumbering Style Re-awakened

Its time to bring style back to my life. For too long I’ve been wandering aimlessly in this department. I’ve tried to maintain here and there-hence the pink hair for several years. Didn’t matter if I dressed in lounge pants and flip flops, I still felt like I was holding onto a part of myself as long as I had pink hair- but that slipped into the nether as well. Piercings went away, thrift store finds were replaced by gap jeans, colorful tights and short skirts got switched out for pj pants, and funky shoes…well I did hold onto a few favorites as well as some stripy knee highs but they hid under jeans. I’ve managed to keep a little style here and there-mostly in non-wearables- for example, Hello Kitty toaster and sewing machine, owls galore, a kiddy garden, the admiration of fan art of Doctor Who, the admiration of art created by my own daughter, a mid-century clock, side table, and sewing table. But my personal style hasn’t been consistent and it hasn’t reached every aspect of me for a long time

As I’ve brought sewing back into my life I’ve also brought a renewed sense of “me”. Searching for patterns, perusing craft bloggs, ogling and fondling fabrics, designing and sewing clothes and accessories for my kids has all inspired me to bring myself out of the the pit of messy pony tails, nursing tanks, and yoga pants. The comfy clothes and pony holders aren’t heading to the trash bin, hey, its comfy and practical, but its time to incorporate a little more of me into my life on a daily basis.

Which brings me to why I fell into the pit in the first place. I’m not going to say it was having kids but they do play a part in my decline of style. First of all my body changed and I’ve not felt quite right in it since. For a moment when I was dating J and high on love, I felt attractive again and starting bringing back some style. And then for awhile I kind of felt a lost sense of purpose. With the loss of goals came a loss of self. Just when I found true inner happiness again I also got pregnant-didn’t happen-bang-all at once but close enough that I didn’t have time to find a look that fit me. With pregnancy, with one baby, with a second baby soon after, with toddlers-well clothes took a back seat again. I’m not completely complaining because with babies and active toddlers also comes leaky breast milk, leaky diapers, projectile vomiting, little sleep, messy faces and hands that manage to rub themselves on me. I wouldn’t really want to risk dressing stylish full time and having half of it ruined by food, bodily fluids, and the messy project of the moment. And lets face it, not putting much effort into my appearance has influenced my creativity and likewise. Looking the part and feeling the part go hand-in-hand.

The blogs I’ve been lurking on have really played a part to inspire me. Its not just the crafts and the projects that I find wicked cool. Its the pictures of the crafters. A lot of these people are mothers too, some are even pregnant. Yet they’ve managed (at least on film) to remain as stylish and organized as I’ve longed to be for a few years. I think partly because they have been able to maintain their creativity. With creating comes a sense of staying true to yourself. When I create its not just my hands transforming something into something beautiful but its my mind being transformed. With all those brain cells firing when dreaming up something new, comes the inspiration to create in every aspect of my life. When I take the time to let that inspiration actually manifest along comes a sense of accomplishment and inner peace. That peace allows for the others areas of my life to be affected.

So lessons learned. Mama’s especially: create. It doesn’t take a talent. Everyone is born with the ability to create. Take the time, demand the time, to let yourself stay true to yourself at all times in at least one area. It will spread and soon your whole life will be created by you, with your own sense of style and truth.

An excerpt I really relate to from The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule,  “…we don’t have to “teach” our children to be creative-inherent in the very core of children’s beings is the embodiment of creativity. To think of something in  a new way, to inquire about something that others don’t even question,  to come up with something truly unique and new is what children do best. When we give our children the space and encouragement to explore their own creativity, they can become our most inspiring of artists, our most inquisitive of scientists, and our most original of philosophers…Given the creative nature of children, it is no coincidence that so many of us are led to seek a more creative life in their presence…They inspire us not only to nurture and embrace all of who they are, but to nurture and embrace our own creative selves as well…Nurturing your own creative spirit will not only bring more peace, satisfaction, and joy into your life and the lives of those around you, but it will also serve as a guide and model to your children on finding their creative selves.”

So see, its a circle of joy being created and maintained, simply by being creative. Its inspiring and its infectious. My creative style doesn’t need to be limited to nick-nacks and inspiration boards I surround myself with at my desk, or the funky socks I wear, or a few patches safety pinned to my diaper bag, or my interest in reading/watching sci-fi, or going gaga over mid-century modern furniture and houses, or the one or two items of really well-fitting stylish clothing lying on my floor because I refuse to put away my laundry. I can create in every aspect and find inspiration from everything. The website that sparked the most passion for my personal sense of style is A Beautiful Mess blog. The whole thing resonates with my personal aesthetics, from her outfits, to the projects, to her DIY wedding, and even the style of photography used to capture it all. I don’t want to mimic her style but her style has certainly struck a chord with the me that makes me feel most at home in myself.

So expect changes, because I need to bring the life back into my life. I need some style to freshen up the place. And I need the joy that creativity brings to be a constant part of my life for me and for those who live with me.

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Projects and Purging

Re Boot- K, lets see if I can get this thing (blog) started again.

I’m learning that with two busy toddlers I can still have a couple projects of my own going on at a time-but it takes some planning and a peaceful mindset. Actually, I seem to do better when I work a little here and a little there. At least if feels like I get more done. More importantly working in bits put my brain in the mindset that its okay to get out of the flow and attend to the needs and wants of a child or two when I’m called on. When I attach myself to one project I feel like I have to finish it in a given time and I get irritable when called away. And when I have no projects, I feel overwhelmed with where to start and so I don’t. Silly how we trick ourselves into feeling disarrayed.

The projects I’ve been working on are sewing and purging (stuff not food)

Project Purge-the view from my desk

For now project purge is put away-actually its mostly done. But I started out with a few important stipulations: 1. that chaos would be okay for awhile  2. the mess was going away for the holidays even if the project wasn’t done  3. I wouldn’t get stuck on one project and would easily and peacefully step out of it if I was needed elsewhere

Blogging itself is a project but I’ll try to keep it in the loop. Writing is a creative endeavor for me and sometimes my brain is on automatic or the creativity is used up elsewhere. Here’s what’s coming up in near future for both projects and posts:

Sewing, Sewing, and more Sewing

The holidays are here. I’ve been perusing the internet for simple sewing projects as gifts. Found some fun simple patterns for oven mitts, ornaments, luggage tags, and organizers. If I manage to get them done before the holidays I’ll post my results as well as links I found the ideas. I’m finding some nifty craft bloggers as well as fun shops for supplies.

Speaking of sewing. I’m thinking of starting a children’s line of clothes. I want to sell mostly local. Not because I don’t have high aspirations, but rather because I like the idea of local economy and quality hand made products. The clothes are going to be a mix of designer, organic, and upcycled (from thrift stores and my own closet) fabric and embellishments. I’ll post many of the items here first. I’m only in the beginning stages of planning and getting patterns made but I hope to start some actual sewing in a few days.

Don’t worry, it won’t all be sewing:

As usual there will still be my commentary on Unschooling/homeschooling, Attachment Parenting, Gentle Parenting, Food(ism), Spirituality, and as I learn more, I’m gonna start throwing in some bits about economy/politics-feel free to skip those posts or maybe learn a little something with me.

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Power of Words

Women have the ability for immense love, compassion, and nurturing. Women can stand by each other and forgive each other. Women can understand better then anyone when another woman reacts strongly with her deep reservoir of emotion-when we feel and react first.  Mother’s especially can forgive other mothers. A mother knows the stress, the fright, the anger, and the sadness we feel for our children. And a mother can understand when another mother wants to  protect her child-from physical harm, from mental trauma, emotional pain and from loss of innocence.

But women have the potential too for horrible and lasting harm. They have the ability to inflict deep painful wounds with their words. Even if the victim of the harsh words never hears the actual words that spiteful energy is put out into the universe and that energy is felt.

Its happened to me, its happened because of me, its happened to friends. A situation arises, someone reacts, another person doesn’t like the way that person reacts so they react, then there is more reacting. Soon stories are spread, old wounds are dredged up, sides are taken, and soon its one big ball of bitterness and spite. It doesn’t matter that reactions are a gut instinct. It doesn’t matter if anyone is sorry because no one had the strength enough in the first place to talk calmly and openly and forgive. No one had the thought to look at it from other perspectives. And no one had the compassion to stop the spiteful words and instead just feel love.

I’ve felt the the pain, I’ve given the pain. For the most part I’ve learned to laugh off the hatred and stay away from inflicting it. I think its important to verbally process a situation in private with a trusted friend. Its important to have positive feedback from  someone who can give perspective. But I think its harmful to continue reliving that story. Harmful for self and harmful for the “other” person and harmful for any chance of forgiveness and a future relationship.

One  positive that comes from these experiences is the chance to talk to my daughter about several life-lessons.

Lesson 1: If you don’t want someone talking smack about what you do and say then be careful what you do and say.

Lesson 2: Even people you think are friends have the potential to become nasty.

Lesson 3: Don’t be nasty back!

Lesson 4: Don’t be nasty in the first place-it’s often not forgiven.

Lesson 4: What you say about someone can be full of love or it can be full of hate, what kind of energy do you want living in your heart and be put out into the universe?

Lesson 4:A person’s version of the story is always true to them. This is how we explain it: We go to a small party, maybe no more then 10 people, we come home and talk about the party and it sounds like we were all at different parties.What we saw and heard and experienced is going to be different but its true to us: our personalities, our physical place, the experiences we’ve had in the past, our mood at the time, our abilities to change our mood, our interests at the time-its all going to affect how we experience the very same party. It doesn’t make it wrong because one person saw it different then another.

Lesson 5: People are not completely good nor completely evil. I can often find several thing I absolutely adore even in people who don’t like me or who’ve hurt me.

Lesson 6: What you see in someone and what you say about someone becomes true-at least to you. You will start to see that person with your nasty colored glasses even when others don’t.

Lesson 7: What you don’t like about someone is often something, in some form, what you don’t like about yourself. Whether this is divine intervention or our brains trying to process some emotional pain, we often attract qualities we don’t want to see but often need to in order to better ourselves.

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The Boobie Couch

 

 

A list of things I can do while nursing a baby or two:

Watch netflix on my ipod or computer

Read books on my ipod

Check into the Boobie Couch on my ipod-lol

Type one-handed at my computer

Stir a pot

Chat one handed

SLEEP-yes even at night in the same bed

Meditate

Make lists

Draw designs for sewing projects

Eat

Eat in a restaurant

Sit outside and enjoy the fresh air

Walk around a store

Change a diaper

Have a conversation

Look deep into my baby’s eyes and feel the LOVE.

 

Links for nursing friendly sites and breastfeeding support organizations.

La Leche League

Peaceful Parenting or DrMomma

Mothering online Mag

Breastfeeding online

AAFP statement of feeding beyond infancy

 

 

I’m making this a whole page so I can add to the list of resources as I find/think of them.

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Finding Sanctuary in Road Trips

Road trips have always been a major part of my existence. They have the power to help me feel unattached in the Buddha sense. Without fear, without judgement, just very free and grounded at the same time. Everything just seems right on a road trip, even when things go wrong. Its a great time to hone my instinct and let go of petty hang-ups. Road trips are coming-of-age stories and metaphors for life journeys. They take me out of my comfort zone and put things in perspective.

My mom has instilled a love of driving since I was a wee tot. Short jaunts out to the farm, spontaneous drives through the hills, a few trips to MI, and big tour of the western US are part of my car travels with my mom. Later I went to school in IN and would drive back and forth from SD. From there I’ve traveled all over the middle and eastern US sometimes by myself and often with friends. Josh, Adeline, and I have even taken a few fantastic road trips. Sometimes its just me. Once it was me and a pregnant belly taking Adeline to her papa’s in IN and then on to Nashville, TN. Even though the drive through SD can be monotonous, there is never a road trip that I don’t look forward to.

Books seem to fall into my lap just when I need to be a part of that story. I remember reading On The Road by Jack Kerouac at a time when road trips had ceased in my life. I felt stuck in life and bored in spirit. The book reignited my passion for life and freedom for my spirit. It helped me to free myself from myself and got me road tripping again.

What is it about road trips that bring on the happy? Is it the adventure and excitement? Maybe its the freedom of the a big ol US to explore and being able to choose your own adventure. Or maybe the escape of the day to day which can sometimes bog passion for life down. Perhaps its the quality time with loved ones or just yourself. Its a combination of all those things and its one of the Sanctuaries I find to connect with the Divine.

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Finding Sanctuary

Life Is Good

The Life Is Good Uncschooling Conference is happening this weekend in Vancouver, WA. I am SUPER bummed that we’re not going. I’m mad. I’m mad at myself for not putting a little money away for the past few months so that I could afford to go. I’m mad that I didn’t have any extra money TO put away. I’m sad because I know its something my oldest really needs right now. To feel like she fits in somewhere. I’m frustrated because none of us (in our little family) are really in alignment with each other lately and a get-away in a place with like-minds seems like something that could get us back there. Though a road trip during an unaligned time could go horribly wrong or fantastically right-but that’s the risk. And this has got me to thinking about when a family such as ours isn’t exactly practicing what we preach.

Being unschoolers and assigning ourselves the label of Peaceful Parents,  doesn’t mean we always line up with our philosophies of a peaceful existence. A myriad of external forces can pull us away from our ultimate goal. And when we’re not working consciously to maintain an internal calm then those forces  don’t have to be strong or many. I won’t go into the distractions that have kept our family from uniting-heck I don’t even know all the reasons. I just know that we are not putting into practice our beliefs. We’re struggling and I’m not sure exactly what we need to put us back on a peaceful path. I know a few things that always make me feel as if all is alright in my world. Road trips, camping, creating, and spending time with true friends are my sanctuary where I can reconnect with the divine above and within me.

In the following posts I’ll explore the ways each of those experiences provides me with what I need to be a balanced and peaceful being.

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