Being Janus this January
New Year is a good time to--like the Roman god Janus--look both backward and forward.
Here's a brief update on my life. I last posted in October last year. I was stalled, trying to finish the appliqué dandelions for my self-designed quilt. I wanted to finish them soon, to have a quilt for the winter. *Narrator voice: She did not finish the quilt for that winter.* In fact, I still haven't finished the appliqués. I will... eventually.
Instead, I've been making other quilts, some of which I even bothered to photograph! More on that, soon.
On the home front, we lost Cutie Pie, and several months later brought a new kitten, Buckaroo, into the home. It was sad to say goodbye to Cutie Pie, but our li'l Bauckaroo is lively and adorable. He's also a bit more destructive than Pretty Kitty (who has now entered her dotage) or Cutie Pie, who was too shy to do much damage. Buckaroo loves string and fabric, but instead of staring and occasionally swatting at it, he jumps on it and scatters it everywhere!
On the work front, I have thoroughly loved my job as a caregiver/DSP (Direct Support Professional, but give it a few years and they'll re-name the job, again) at a group home. I love the five guys I support, and it's a joy to be there. Given that, it's sad to contemplate leaving... yet here I am, leaving. The reason is that working in that home has opened my eyes to a previously unknown field that I can be good at, and education I want to pursue. This is the first time in years that I have had anything like a long-term plan or career ambitions. I've mostly been trying various things without a sense of purpose. My ambitions were personal, not professional. Now I have a plan: short term, get my CNA-1, and work as one while applying for Mt. Hood Community College's Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program; next fall and the next two years, work as an agency CNA (more flexible hours than being employed by one facility) while getting my PTA; long-term, get employment as a PTA.
Alas, I can not stay at my current job, much as I love it, and afford full-time college next year, and so becoming a CNA is my stepping stone. By changing jobs, I automatically give myself a $4 raise, with employer-assistance for college after a year of employment. I can expect to make a bit more with bonuses/incentives once I'm doing agency work. I also think having worked as a CNA will help me later, since I'll have experience in a variety of healthcare facilities with different populations.
Overall, I am excited to be walking a new path, with a destination in mind.
In no particular order, nor any particular relevance to this blog...
* Karen opens door. It creaks, and a bit of dust swirls around her feet. Karen peeks in. *
I haven't been here in a while. 2020 has been an interesting year for everyone. When the USA went under stay-at-home orders to try to stem the spread of Coronavirus, I spent a few months at home, sewing and relaxing and getting a much needed vacation. I blogged a bit, then, since I had new projects to share. But then I got a new job, and though I've been sewing, I haven't been blogging about it. There are two reasons for that.
My silence can be partly explained by my increasing sewing skill. There was a time when I could make a whole blog post about a hem, but now I barely take pictures, and I find the write-up boring. When I was a beginner, I found plenty to interest me in talking about the basics. Now I'm more intermediate, I do the basics without thinking, and so I need to rethink how I approach my project diaries. For instance, I've really enjoyed sewing new shirts for my brother and sister, but not blogging about them. I've really enjoyed blogging about the Basque project because it's new territory, and I've got a lot to learn and a lot to say.
Another reason for my silence here is that there's so much going on in my world, my mind, and my heart that I can't focus to write. I feel like I'm swept away in deep water, and I need to keep my nose above the swells. Later, when the waters shallow out, I can perhaps write about the parts of the experience that make sense to me. (Or maybe, as my sister reminds me when I'm months overdue in replying to her letters, I need to just write something and let go of the need to encapsulate my whole life experience in one place! The word "essay" means "attempt" or "trial", not "success" or "perfection", after all!)
BACK TO THE BASQUE
Anyway, here I am again, to update the Victorian Basque project. To recap: I have a cool antique bodice, circa 1880's; I copied the pattern by drafting and by draping. Assembly being complicated, I broke it down into six steps:
A little while ago, I thought I should revamp my tags to be a bit more useful. So that's been an ongoing project. Here's what I've done.
"Historical" is history
The tag Historical was too broad because it encompassed history lessons and tidbits, historical costumes, and historical inspired modern clothes. Plus, everything from the dawn of time to yesterday is technically historical. So I went through everything with that tag and replaced it with one of the following, more specific, tags:
"Project Diary" Problematic
The Project Diary tag was originally meant to distinguish between posts where I simply showed a finished product (not a diary!) and posts where I did a step-by-step walk-through of making it (diary!). I no longer care about that distinction, and I doubt my readers ever did. So I went through all those posts and filed them according to era or one of the following:
Other New Tags
Added the following:
Reorganizing My Stash
Previously, my stash was organized by color. But as I have recently been digging in there for projects, I realize that color doesn't cut it. So now I have re-organized.
Finally, there are two overflow bins: one for fur (faux and real), and the other for upholstery stuff that I like using for historical looks. It was good to sort the stuff: I have fabric I'd forgotten, and I am excited to work through it in my quarantine downtime.
Observations on Blogging
A sudden unfurling of time...
This blog has been quiet lately, as I have not had much time for either sewing or writing in a while. Plus, winter always gets me down, and I find it hard to get excited about things when all I want to do is sleep. But, today my life took a detour: my job is closing its doors for the next few weeks to help curtail Coronavirus spread, which means the next few weeks are a vast vista of unscheduled time for me! Wow.
I am determined not to let this time go to waste. I have unfinished sewing projects, blogging ideas, a garden I'm putting in, letters unwritten, et cetera. Oh, and while I'm unemployed, I need to find new income sources. So here's my tentative schedule for all the time that's opening in front of me:
MORNING: Gardening, while it's still cool and quiet outside. Use that time to talk a little to God. Try to listen more than I speak.
MORNING: Important phone calls, because if I don't make them, I'll procrastinate them.
AFTERNOON: Sewing/art -- no computer
EVENING: computer stuff: blogging, research, et cetera
I do not promise regular posting, but you will certainly see an uptick in posts while I am "sheltering in place"!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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