Monday, November 19, 2012

The proverbial square peg in a round hole

I make it a habit not to get personal around here but a recent comment I posted on a blog I follow got me thinking and thought I would run my thoughts by you. Maybe you have more insights into this than I do?

You see, I have always felt like I was different than everybody else as I'm sure almost everyone has felt at some point in their life. But I also assume that most people as they grow up find their "niche" in society and either completely conform to the expectations and ways in that specific group or compromise to fit in as best they can.

I'm approaching 37, which isn't ancient by any stretch, but I would have figured I would have found my kindered spirits by now and I seem to have trouble doing just that. The way things are going I seem to become more controversial and different as my knowledge of the world increases and my views are solidified. I do find myself straddling several "groups" due to deep personal conviction and choice but in no way do I seem to fit the norm in those groups and almost none of the groups "go together". But I don't want to compromise my beliefs in order to be a better fit or more "normal".

I don't necessarily mind being different as to some extent I like it and sometimes also thrive on it, it's almost becoming my signature of sorts :) I'm starting to ponder if I just haven't seen enough of the world yet to find my place of like minded or if I'm supposed to be a trail blazer for some sort of new subgroup in society that just doesn't exist as of yet?

My main beef with this different-ness is that it makes for kind of dicey social situations where I'm almost afraid to open my mouth for fear of stepping on toes. I'm lousy at small talk but the weather is almost the only thing I can talk about these days since more and more areas of my life are becoming minefields of potential explosions as I discover new areas and (in my mind) improved ways of believing and living my life. And being a peaceful person at heart it would be nice to connect to people on a deeper level and find that place in life where you just belong without compromise.

No, I'm not some criminal or goth rocker or fanatical nut job as those all seem to have their well established subgroups. But I do find myself an artsy bohemian stay at home mom in cookie cutter southern suburbia, with a more is more decorating aesthetic in a beige and streamlined mid-century modern world, attachment parenting leanings and a firm opponent to spanking in the paddle wielding, cry-it-out Bible belt, a recent believer in the no grain, no dairy Paleo diet in a world awash in processed grains in plastic wrappers. And that's even after the obvious no-no of passionately believing in Jesus and his grace instead of a list of do's and don't's, in the Western world where you're almost considered mentally ill if you believe in God. I won't even mention politics here or I would probably offend every last one of you :) Being a Swede in the States with a name like mine doesn't exactly make me blend in any more, either :)

So, my volatile life choices aside. Have you found your niche in the world? Where you just belong without compromising your beliefs or spunk? And at what time in life did you end up there? I sincerely would like to know.

Oh, what started this thought process? This post by new first-time mom Justina Blakeney where she's asking for advice. I try not to give advice without being asked for it so I took this one chance to give my opinion but found myself almost holding my breath while writing and posting because I felt my views are so controversial. I'm still kind of expecting some backlash from that but so far so good.

I believe we all have the right to be who we are and believe in what we think is right. So please keep any comments civil. I'm going to go hide now.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Striped blankets/bedspreads

Oops! Didn't mean to leave you guys hanging for several weeks, here. I just got busy, I guess. Mostly with crafting, so that's a good problem to have :)

Popping in today to give you an eyeful of the wonderfully stripey blankets or bedspreads I just finished for the kids' room. They're full size (80x90 inches roughly) and durably made of no-pill fleece and a skein of red yarn for the blanket stitch around the edges.

I was so busy trying to stay on track through the whole sewing process that I didn't take any pictures while I was working on it (sorry!). If I get derailed while working on a project it's not unusual for it to take a year or so before I make myself finish it and since winter is rapidly approaching I wanted it done pronto. The process was pretty simple, mostly very labor intensive. The planning might have been the hardest part since it involved some math :)

I got the fabric from Joann's for 50% off = $4.99 per yard. The fabric was 54" wide and I needed it to be 80" wide. So I bought my fabric in lengths of 2 1/4 yards (=80") to get the right width for the blanket. Two blankets, one pink and white and the other red and white. Two lengths of 2 1/4 yards of white, 2 1/4 pink and 2 1/4 red. Altogether 9 yards. This equaled out to be about $25 per blanket which I think is a pretty fair price for a classic and sturdy striped blanket.

When I got home I folded each 2 1/4 length in half selvage to selvage and cut along the fold (lengthwise). Then folded each part in half lengthwise again and cut along the fold, then again with all the pieces, until I was left with a number of strips roughly measuring 80x9". 12 of these strips sewed together make a blanket about 90" long.

I joined the strips together by putting them right sides together using a zigzag stitch. Then folded them open and top stitched the seam again with a zigzag. This makes for a really sturdy join and since I stitched with white only on the white stripes the front looks seamless (while the stitching is very visible on the back). And then I made them look kind of heirloom (a girl can dream, right?) by adding the blanket stitch to finish them off. It took many hours of cutting, sewing and stitching but none of it was very difficult, as I mentioned.

And now the kids have classic striped blankets in their respective favorite colors that they should be able to use for years to come. It adds a little something to their unisex underwater/nautical bedroom :) They love them and so do I which is the perfect ending to an intense crafting session :)


And the afters!

I know that bedskirt looks perpetually wrinkly but somehow it always seems to be freshly out of the laundry when I take pictures. It will be sprayed down with a wrinkle relaxer shortly to remedy the excessive wrinkles.

I'm hoping to paint this room soon (keep your fingers crossed) and I'm currently thinking a moody gray/blue color in here, possibly broken up with a large horizontal white stripe. We'll see.

But that's part of what's kept me so busy the last few weeks. The other project I've been working on should be up shortly (again, fingers crossed! I'm terrible with this procrastination sometimes).

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