Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sew, now what?

I love doing creative things.   Maybe I should rephrase that.  I love ATTEMPTING to do creative things.

I have always loved to write.  I love to attempt to draw too.  I have tons of the "How to Draw _____" books.  Manga is one of my favorites.  Once I even drew a fairly decent portrait of my dog sleeping.  Another time I drew my daughter's face near perfectly.  I have even painted fairies pretty decently.

Over the years I have also found that I enjoy cross-stitching  (I started a beautiful design to make a wall hanging for my daughter - I need to find it so I can finish it!) and of all things quilting.  BUT in all honesty I have only ever finished one quilt and it was a simple single panel one I made for my daughter and I probably couldn't have finished it without the help of my dear friend Anna.  My grandma taught me to quilt and since her death I have in all honesty been working on a grandmother's garden quilt to honor her memory.  It is going beautifully and I really do mean to finish it... one of these days... honest! I love making the individual fabric "flowers" that get sewn into the quilt - they are so pretty.

Anyways, in highschool we learned how to use sewing machines and I made myself a pair of sweats.  I decided I loved sewing and ATTEMPTED to make myself more clothing after that but never succeeded.  I would get halfway through a project then get busy with something else and forget about it.  

WELL, (yes all this rambling has been leading up to a point) in the past my daughter has noticed me mending a pair of pants here and there or working on a flower for the quilt or something.  Recently through very sad circumstances I came into possession of my own sewing machine.  I am extremely grateful for the machine but would much rather have the person it belonged to back in our lives.

 SO (or sew ha ha ha) My daughter starts asking me, "Mommy, how DO people make clothes.  I mean, do they just sew them together or what." Her questions became VERY persistant.

To sate her curiousity on black friday we stopped at Joann Fabrics to I could show her what a pattern was rather than me to try to explain.  High school was a long time ago, if you know what I mean.  As I have only really used one all the way through ONE TIME in my entire life I figured showing rather than telling was definitely the way to go.    Well, the patterns were on sale for 99 cents each and the fabric was pretty cheap too so we bought some.

Today when she got home from school, since it was raining and not much else going on we decided to tackle the project head on.  The pattern we used was a "Simplicity, Project Runway" dress pattern.  Let me say SIMPLICITY MY BUTT!  HA!

Anyways after 2 hours I seem to have gotten most of the pieces cut out of the fabric correctly.  Tomorrow we attempt to cut out the rest.  Then I will probably have to call someone to come show me how to thread a bobbin.  (Hey don't make fun of me - at least I know what the thing is called!  Let's hope I don't come out of this a bloody mess!)

 My daughter is happy as long as I let her keep the sparkly purple scraps of material we are not using. 
When I asked her what her plans were for them she replied, "Oh you know, when I learn to sew I am going to sew them together into something.  Like a hat maybe."

Wish me luck!  My preteen son is sitting here laughing at me reading as I type and he just corrected me that he should be referred to as a tween!

Please help me!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Buckeye Religion

From a young age native Ohioians are taught to LOVE the Buckeyes.  At the age of three I relished the power of being able to yell O-H- in public and know that people would yell back I-O no matter where we were.  Not only that but they would talk about how cute I was and how great my parents were for teaching me early what it was to "be a Buckeye."  I knew swears were wrong but it was so fun being allowed to sing "we don't give a damn for the whole state of Michigan, the whole state of Michigan...." from a young age as well.  Now my little confused mind didn't quite understand this song since we had cousins in Michigan, we loved shopping in Frankenmuth, and the deer park was pretty fun too, but hey it was swears and I wasn't getting yelled at IT WAS AWESOME!  We even have our own special lyrics we insert into the Hang On Sloopy song.  No swears but more yelling! There is so much fun involved with being a Buckeye!

We have heard all the jokes.  We knew it was okay to have some friends who were Michigan fans because people move here from out of state and just haven't learned yet.  Family who were Wolverine fans though - well, lets just say they were the ones who must have been dropped on their heads alot as kids.  They were the ones no one claimed.  The dirty family secret.  Most Ohioans not going to the game or tailgating parties also know to stay away from downtown Columbus during Michigan gameday because of the traffic and/or the rioting that might ensue from the unruly Michigan fans upset at the buttwhipping that they have taken.

Watching script Ohio performed by the marching band on television was amazing.  It is part of the reason I joined band as soon as I was old enough.  Junior high is when they started teaching us to play the OSU fight song and Buckeye Battle Cry.  In highschool a new teacher fresh out of college tried to teach us the Michigan cheer for some balance BUT so many angry parents wrote letters and called the school you would think he had handed out pornography or something.  It was almost like teen rebellion.  It felt so dirty.   The Buckeye Battle Cry was so complex and interesting a piece of music too and the Michigan Cheer was so simple comparatively....but maybe I am just being a snob because I was raised in this cult of Ohio State Buckeye Fans!   The entire state is insane but fun!  If you move here and want to fit in just wear red and gray and when you see others in Ohio State gear from time to time call out "O-H-" or if you hear someone else yell it respond with "I-O."  After a while it becomes a conditioned response and will come automatically.  In fact, no one had posted comments on my last two facebook posts so this morning (OSU/MICHIGAN gameday) I posted O-H- as my status.  In less than 10 minutes someone had responded with the I-O part.  It was wonderful!  We are a crazy community linked together by our love of ..... what football? The cheers? The colors?  Getting to swear when we are little?  Living in a particular state?  Not sure I understand it completely but I sure do like it!  I am certainly not breaking tradition!  My kids have all the proper clothes and conditioned responses expected of them too. 

Plus, the football games themselves were pretty exciting.  We had to behave and be orderly but when a game was on if the Buckeyes got a touchdown we could run around screaming and making all the noise we wanted - it was great! Not only that but our parents were doing it with us!! Wow, it was great and so much FUN!  The food during the games was fantastic too - pizza, nachos, 7-layer dip, chips, it seemed an endless supply of the stuff we were always warned not to eat too much of!  What heaven.  Is it any wonder we grew up to be Buckeye football fans?

One of the local radio stations out of Columbus plays some great parody songs that now have the coach's name forever emblazoned on my brain.  GO COACH TRESSEL - bring us to victory over Michigan today!  Almost like a prayer.  Every Ohioan knows that the Michigan game is like a statewide holiday.  Instead of eating pork and kraut for luck for another year, or the groundhog not seeing it's shadow for spring to be on the way WE KNOW that OSU has to beat Michigan for all to be right in our world.  I may not watch every single game but I do follow the scores.  I may not watch every single game BUT TODAY is the holiday.  TODAY at NOON my tv, as that of most native Ohioans born and raised as I have been, will be tuned in anxiously awaiting the turnout of game.  GO BUCKEYES!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sharing Your Babies

I enjoyed yesterday with the family.  One of my favorite parts of the day was when my mother-in-law Linda and I shared our short stories with the rest of the family.  Let me explain.  We are both in a writing group - WOWA, Western Ohio Writers Association, - that meets in Fairborn, Ohio the first Wednesday of every month.  This Wednesday the group is meeting at a Books and Company in Dayton, Ohio to share Christmas stories with the public.  We shared our stories with the family first to see reactions from people of varying ages and to see how long they took to read. 

Reading my story to the family was so much fun.  I love reading out loud to people and making them laugh.  The format in our writing group though, is to pass around printed copies of our work for people to look at and give feedback on.  I like this style too and by doing it this way we are able to get through more works than we would if we let everyone read out loud.  BUT just this got me to wondering - how many people out there LIKE sharing their work - actually enjoy the drama and emotions of being able to put your own voice with your words.  To have the ability to TELL the story to others the way you wrote it? How many of you absolutely hate it and would rather have your nails pulled out by the roots than have to speak to the public?  How many of you have a hard time sharing your work at all?  I do this for fun and am very good at taking criticism so it doesn't really bother me at all.  I do my best to learn from my mistakes and become a better writer from it.  I am not depending on my writing for a sole source of income.  I can see where it would be hard for others though. 

What is your preference?  When you are a rich famous author do you want to just do signings and pray they never ask you to do a reading or will you volunteer for extra readings at tiny off-the-map bookstores as well as the big chains just because you love making your characters come alive the way you want them to?  If you are not a writer, do you like to listen to people read, books on tape, or do you prefer to read the stories yourself?

Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Creativity or Luck? The Birth of Pregnant Princess Spiderman

Sometimes I wonder if I am truly creative or have just been lucky enough to have funny (or weird) things happen when I am around to observe them.  For instance, my youngest was playing one day.  She had two costumes she loved very much and couldn't decide between them.  Of course this meant she had to wear them both at the same time.  She also wanted to play ball but both of her hands were full, so she put the ball up her shirt.  Hence Pregnant Princess Spiderman was born.  SHE named her (him?) that NOT ME.  So, I have great inspirational writing material but was I truly creative?  Or just lucky?