Couldn’t Stop, Didn’t Stop

If you haven’t read this post, then do so first. Or don’t, lol. Either way, you’ll get the point.

I failed, and I failed hard.

It didn’t take long for my genuine freaking plan to stop buying yarn, to turn into a shit show. lol. Part of it was the medicine malfunction (retail therapy is real, people!), but I know it was also my lack of self control, as well as so many irresistible pretties. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

Now, for the goodies…

Gamer Crafting is rad, mmkay? Thank you, Angie, for the freebie mini skein! โค All of these gorgeous skeins are just YUM.

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Expression Fiber Arts keeps on pulling me back in; I LOVE it! I break my self-imposed yarn bans most often with EFA yarn, and I’m not the slighest bit ashamed. How about those pins?! I’m in love. ๐Ÿ’ž

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My first Virtual Yarns order blew my mind. It shall be the perfect beginner cables project!

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GeoMinimalist had exactly what I was looking for! This was an “I love me” gift for myself.

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Craftsy kits, FTW! The top one is a beginner brioche kit (I didn’t realize the words were covered until later, lol), the hat kit is just WOW, and the cowl kit was pretty much made for me, for a few reasons! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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GrayVervain had the perfect stand for my glass sphere! I love the Moon, and mandalas, so the two together? HELL YES!

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My EnjoyTheTraffic moon phases tote is perfection. That inner pocket makes it even more rad!

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The Sheepyshire brought me back yet again, with some beyond amazing colorways, shiny stitch markers, and an incredible rainbow set!

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From my favorite shop (and friend) ever, come the most gorgeous yarn and notions ever! SillySheepDesigns never disappoints, and always dazzles me. Plus Wanda was the sweetest ever and added some wicked lovely goodies to my order (first pic)! Thank you, sweetheart! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

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My first ever HandDrawnYarn yarn order rendered me speechless! I’ll be turning these beauties into their “Chasing Unicorns” shawl and “Unicorn Footprints” hat patterns.

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TeeTurtle is so full of fun and cute stuff! The unicorn stuffy turns inside out, and that’s a Ravenclaw kiki!

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I’ve always adored Rebecca’s Room stitch markers, and, as with the others I’ve bought from this lovely shop, these stunning pieces were right up my alley! I got a heart to symbolize each of my Family members (Critters included, obvi), and the Mum set is just so pretty and clearly quite fitting for me! ๐Ÿ˜

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How about these MarkMyStitches pretties?! This was my first purchase; each stitch marker set came with a freebie marker, and the cute colors and unicorns made me feel young again.

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Book Soup had the perfect Mother’s Day gift for yours truly! This book is badass like whoa, and the perks made it so personal and fun!

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YarnBox knows I can’t help myself – to not just the monthly boxes of squishy yarns, but to their sale yarn, as well! I finally got a Luxe box, too, so I’m pretty set for now.

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KayNoxx snagged me with her non-snagging BB-8 stitch markers! ๐Ÿ˜ They’re just darling, and the drawing on my receipt is awesome!

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BeachBumYarn has some of the most incredible colorways! I’d never purchased from this shop before, but I saw some suggested yarn of theirs on Etsy, found these vibrant pretties, and had to have them.

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It’d been a long time since I’d bought from Schibot Garne, but it wasn’t because I’m not absolutely obsessed with their yarn! These beauties will be used in their pattern collection called “Winter is Coming,” found here.

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fireflynotes won me over with the most dainty and rad cat heads and stars stitch markers! The pin was also irresistible, for obvious reasons.

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Local Yarn Store Day was a hit! My Son and I enjoyed being able to participate in this super rad event, and got some yarn on sale as a result! Our LYS is wonderful, and the owner is even more so; she was ecstatic to see us (mainly BatKid, hehe) there, and even gave us those cute rainbow markers for free! The Concentric yarns were something I’d been drooling over for a long time (because rainbow, obvi), so it was the perfect day to finally buy them. ๐Ÿ˜†

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YarnPop went above and beyond with this purchase! They’d had a closeout sale on certain bags with particular fabric patterns, so I jumped at the chance to get some. However, one of the ones I chose ended up being sold out (I guess it simultaneously happened when I ordered, lol). I found out because the wonderful company reached out to me, along with an offer to replace it, for the same price, with one of their bigger and more expensive bags. I was blown away at the extremely generous solution, and graciously accepted. That, my friends, is how I ended up with the elephant bag! They are one of my top five favorite animals, so I was totally okay with not getting the bag I’d originally chosen. Thank you, YarnPop!

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Midknit Cravings created the most incredible colorway, for the most amazing cause. I empathized 10,000% with the meaning behind the color choices and reasons they were included (Jaedyn explains it on her podcast, found here), and because of that and the cause, I had to get a couple.

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Yarn Cafe Creations and WipsOnSticksFiberCo came together for the same cause, and made the greatest set of yarn and markers. Two was better than one, again, but obviously not just because I love yarn.

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My first SewHappyCreative order was nothing short of perfection. I found two of my many favorite things – Autumn and sunflowers – in this lovely shop, and it just was not an option to leave them there. ha!

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Bana&Bean did it again! Never have I purchased a kit that included a project bag plus other rad things, so I was over the moon when Amber posted this rad The Wizard of Oz bag. I’m not, like, a “super fan of The Wizard of Oz, but I have loved it since I was a youngin’, and my Men also love it…so, yeah, I couldn’t resist this beautiful set! I also couldn’t resist this wicked pretty sunflowers bag, despite having just bought a different one (as mentioned above). They’re my favorite flowers, what can I say?

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*puts on a serious face* I won’t be buying yarn for a very, Very, VERY long time. Not only have I run out of room, but homeowner (and vehicle owner and Pet Guardian) life is full of surprises. Priorities first, but also? I barely craft these days! Why on earth would I get more yarn, when it’s not even being used? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Now, go visit each of these shops/websites, treat yourself, and show me what you got. ๐Ÿ˜Š

โคโค

Mental Health and Me

Anxiety.

Depression.

Suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Self-harm.

Low self-esteem.

Eating disorders.

All of these things have affected my life, but thankfully, only half of them are still an issue. The biggest ones, suicide and cutting, were a major struggle for several years of my life; however, though they seemed impossible to overcome during that period of time, I finally got myself out of those extremely dark places – and not long before I became a Mom.

Low self-esteem has always been a huge problem, ever since I can remember. I do know the earliest cause of it, as well as the other things along the way, but I still can’t shake it, almost thirty-two years later, even with a Husband who makes me feel amazing, and a wonderful Pregnancy that made me feel absolutely beautiful. No matter how many times Hubs calls me gorgeous, no matter how many compliments I receive from others…I just can’t feel like I’m any of those things, nor can I stop putting myself down or being so hard on myself. I guess hearing certain things from one’s own parents, for their entire first eighteen years of life, destroys them in that way. It doesn’t help that many people take one look at me and decide not to give me the time of day, without knowing a thing about me…nor does it help when I get stared at nearly everywhere I go, sometimes with dirty looks on the staring person’s face. Those actions make someone like me feel even more self-conscious, and lowers my self-esteem that much more.

Eating disorders are no joke. I was diagnosed with both anorexia and bulimia when I was fourteen. I was the thinnest I’d ever be at that time of my life, but my bio mother had been telling me I was fat and limiting my food intake for as long as I can remember…so I had it in my head that I shouldn’t eat, or if I did, I should puke it back up. Thankfully, it didn’t get as out of control for me as it does for many, but it was still a hard time that continues to affect me to this day – especially because of how overweight I am now. I’ll never resort to those old ways, or other unhealthy ones, to lose weight, but I still have trouble accepting my size and how hard it has been to lose weight, for the past several years. The saddest part is, I’m not overweight because I had a Kid (like many people I have known automatically assumed) – birth control after having my Son, as well as a med a few years later, put me higher up on the scale. A week after I had my Son, I was in my pre-pregnancy jeans; by the time He was three months old, I’d lost all the Pregnancy weight, plus an extra five pounds, and looked fantastic! So yeah, it is hard as hell to accept the fact that things meant to help me, destroyed my body in such a way, and continue to do so, years later.

My struggles with anxiety stem from the trauma from which I suffered as a child, apparently. That’s what the therapists I had as a teen told me, anyway. Lucky me, right? Thanks a bunch, bio mother. Anyway, it has gotten better over the past several years, but mainly in the social aspect. The general sense is still a battle, yet nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I’d like to thank ME, for working so hard, all on my own, for many years, to make it that way. It is extremely manageable, with the right tools and consistency…but it isn’t for everyone, and it can be thrown off by other uncontrollable things – as I’d discovered last year. Anxiety affects me physically, as well, which is unpleasant, so I really hate it and need help controlling it.

Oh, depression – how I despise thee! It runs in my biological family, so it’s no surprise that I ended up dealing with it, but certain things also didn’t help with it. For instance, the aforementioned trauma, as well as losing one of my best childhood friends to suicide when I didn’t even know what suicide was. Those few factors certainly set me up for a rough time, but I never knew I’d deal with it for my entire life. Thankfully, it has only been severe when something caused it to be. The two worst times, were in high school, and when my Son was only a few years old. When I was wrongly diagnosed as bipolar as a teen, I was prescribed a mood stabilizer as a result; that medication caused me to become severely depressed and almost psychotic. I ended up cutting myself the most I’d ever done by that time, and also tried to commit suicide in a more serious way than I ever had, while on that medication. It was a nightmare, and one that nearly killed me. When I was in my mid-twenties, I’d been using the Mirena IUD for three years; it poisoned me with an insane amount of side effects, most of which were physical, but the worst was another round of the most awful depression. I’d been planning to switch IUDs before it had even hit, and I didn’t know at the time that Mirena was the cause for the sudden horrible change in my mental state; however, upon having it removed, it was like a switch had been flipped. I was beyond relieved when I was freed from that black hole, as it was absolutely terrifying to feel so low, when I had (have!) the best reason in the world to be happier than ever – my Kiddo.

In my last monthly update post, I’d talked about my more recent struggles with my anxiety and depression, and how I’d decided to go back to the medication part of getting help. I am happy to report that the increase in my med has already shown some improvement in getting back to where I was when I initially began taking it, so I’m more than positive in thinking I’m going to be just fine. It’s the maximum dose for this particular med, so I can’t go any higher, but I’m hopeful that it will continue doing its job in helping me be the best version of me. I’d tried many different anti-depressants in my teen years, and I had so many issues with them…so the fact that this one is working, and with minimal side effects, is a damn miracle. I’ve also switched to taking it in the morning, to see if it affected my sleep at all, but unfortunately, I’m still struggling in that department. I’ll most likely go back to taking it in the evening, like I was before the increase, as it didn’t make my sleep issues better or worse. It does suck that I’m still not sleeping well or consistently each night, and that I’m constantly tired, but that’s been the norm for me for years – even before Motherhood and adopting pets, lol.

I suppose I could open up even more about my past issues with things, but I think I’ve gone on enough about it for now. Just know that if you’re struggling with mental issues, and need someone to talk to – I’m here, always understanding, and never judging. I do want to stress how important it is to not only be self-aware, but to not ignore your symptoms and/or the concern from anyone around you. It is the most important thing to get help for yourself, but also for the sake of your loved ones and anyone whom you encounter. Untreated mental illnesses can be terrible for you and everyone around you. Not asking for or accepting help is much scarier than asking for or accepting the help you need. Talking about mental health is also important, as it can help others as well as yourself. I’m just passing on things I’ve learned over the years, after my many different experiences with mental issues of my own, and in others. By posting this, I hope I have helped someone, somehow, or can help them in the future.

Be well, and know that it can and does get better.

โค

Not My Usual Crafts

Last month, I discovered some decorative buckets at my local Walmart. They had one word on them, and there were a few different ones. The majority were pretty cheesy, but one said “Blessed;” I couldn’t help but grab one and add it to my cart, for obvious reasons. ๐Ÿ™‚ When I showed Hubs, he looked at me funny, then said, “That’s cool, but what are you going to do with it?” I’ll admit, that thought hadn’t crossed my mind, even after I’d brought it home and set it somewhere to admire. That’s what I get for impulse shopping. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It didn’t take long for me to come up with a plan: I was going to make an artificial flower arrangement inside the bucket, and set it somewhere in our house – that way, we can have flowers, minus the death. ๐Ÿ˜›

After a couple of weeks or so, I finally shopped for everything I needed to make the decorative thing! I got a load of artificial sunflower bunches, a little bunch of random pretty white flowers, a rectangle of hard foam, and some burlap material. Upon checking out, I chatted with my Son’s “Walmart Grandma” (the sweetest older lady we know here, who has no grandchildren of her own and “adopted” my Bug as her GrandSon years ago) about my idea for the bucket I’d bought there recently. She was super excited, and requested that I take pictures to show her, lol.

A couple of days later, I gathered up my materials and tools, took a pretty photo for instagram (you can view it here), and began to work.

First, I transformed (read: cut out, shaved, and smoothed) that rectangle of foam into a perfectly imperfect oval, small enough to fit down a bit inside the bucket, but large enough to stay put. Isn’t it hideous? ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Next, I sized and cut both ends of the burlap, and situated them inside the bucket, with them draping over just a bit (one end is curled since it was a roll of burlap). I placed the foam inside, then threaded some hemp cord through the burlap to secure it, and, with my husband’s help, tied it up in the front. (The initial bow was only temporary.) I left it open in front, so the word was visible. Yeah, I actually made a smart decision – well, two, as I’d asked for Hubs’ input a lot throughout the process. Why not? I mean, he’s going to be looking at it, too. ha.
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Finally, it was time to add the flowers! I’ll tell you what, I was so indecisive about how I wanted to stick them in the foam, but wouldn’t you know it – they made the decision for me! See, the stem bunches were impossible to get through past a certain point, so I had to separate the flowers from their bunches and stick them in individually. I had to use a wire cutter (those stems were hard as hell to cut through), and by the time they were all separated, my palms were killing me, lol. I began arranging, at which point my awesome Son comments, “Wow, I never thought you’d do something this foofy!” rofl. Neither did I, Kiddo. Neither did I. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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I ended up putting all the little white flowers in the front, so they wouldn’t become invisible among the large amount of sunflowers. They still ended up drowning in the field of yellow, but I’m still content with the results.
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I found the perfect spot in our beautiful home, to set my very first DIY decor, and my Men love it as much as I do! I’m quite pleased with the results, as well as proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and creating a lovely decorative piece. I will say, even though I’ve been having a tough time focusing lately, this project really kept me centered. Who knew?! ๐Ÿ˜€

What do you think about my little pretty? Leave a comment with your feedback!