Eyes on your own paper

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Sunday night, I was indulging in an episode of “90 Day Fiance”. If you’re a fan, You know who Anfisa is. For those of you who don’t, she comes across as a Russian, gold digging bride who cares solely about money. I know there is more to her as no one has just one side, especially when portrayed in these reality shows. We are encouraged to see these people in a certain light. On this episode, it was a kind of “where are they now” thing and we find out how the couples are doing and if they’ve stayed together. Jorge and Anfisa have split, doesn’t really matter why, but here’s how it pertains to my post. She is physically beautiful although she alters her appearance with lip injections and botox, she’s in her early 20s so there’s that. But throughout the season, she has a very unattractive look on her face. She looks uninterested and bored with her surroundings even when out with her friend, she’s just bitchy. She doesn’t look like a quality person, someone you’d want to be BFFs with. Her scowl presents her as a miserable person, even when she smiles. Until this latest episode. I couldn’t help but notice how different she just looked. This isn’t something that is faked or fudged, not staged or presented. It was a glow from inside. She looks uncomfortable just like before, but she looks softer, softened. She looks at peace now, approachable. And frankly, without an physical attributes, stunningly beautiful.

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of internal struggles. I say lately but it’s really been most of my life, however I’m finally trying to pave a new path that might lead me to some hard earned peace. As I look forward right now, it’s a path that I most likely will struggle to follow. My parents divorced when I was around 5 or 6 and my mother’s boyfriend began abusing me soon after. He was much, much older than she and was seen as a respectable man by those who knew him. He tortured me and my siblings for many years, even after being accused on no less than 2 official occasions. Those are all the details you need to start to understand the following. He died when I was 21. He had cancer and my mother worked a lot. I had been homeless with my husband and 2 kids so we moved in and I cared for him. I held his hand and listened to him cry. I rubbed his shoulders and assured him I’d look out for my mom. I urged him to eat and I comforted him when he couldn’t. I gave him kindness he didn’t give me. He also never apologized to me for the nightmare he created for me. One that I still live with, that still colors every decision I ever made. The one person who always believed me was my own dad, and he was my hero. I was blessed and cursed to hold his hand when he left this earth 7 years ago and not one day goes by that he isn’t in my thoughts. Since then, I’ve gone through a long series of emotions which have lead to all but cornering my mom. She used to talk about my step father with endearment until the day I finally stopped being ashamed and asserted that he doesn’t deserve another kind word from me and I won’t reminisce about him anymore. She refuses to talk about it still. She’s never been approachable to me. I never found comfort with her. I know she loves me the best she can and I do realize it has to be hard to face what she allowed to happen. She says she didn’t know, but she had to have from a certain point. I still crave a simple “I’m sorry”. I probably will never have it and I need to focus on not punishing her any longer and being ok without the apology I’ll never get.

I remember kindergarten, when my parents were still married. They fought a lot, my mom was always angry and my dad was always sorry. But I was a happy 5 year old. I remember sitting on the floor drawing people dancing and my mom buying me playdough, the one memory I have of her being genuinely loving and encouraging. But then my life changed and changed me. I had a hard time making friends. I never seemed to be aware of what was going on around me. I found it hard to roll with the punches in my peer groups. I became the punch line, the dirty little girl that no one wanted to be seen talking to. I craved attention and longed to fit in, I just didn’t. So I adopted the phrase “I want you to like me, but I don’t care if you don’t”. I was determined that I didn’t care. I knew I was a worthy human being and it’s your loss if you don’t like me. I survived groups of mean girls and boys who played tricks on me, pretending to like me only to ridicule me in the end.

I married young, had children young and raised them. I’m on marriage number 3, and I’m very aware the blame lay mostly with me. It’s taken me a lot of years to get that but I own it now.  I’m proud to tell you I’ve been married to 3 wonderful men. One gave me beautiful children, another helped us raise them and the third has been patiently walking me through my grief of many things lately. I quite plainly don’t feel I deserved any of them.

I’ve had only a few close relationships as an adult, I still have a hard time making friends. For one reason or another, we grow distant until we no longer speak. It’s me mostly, I think I’m giving so much and getting little in return. I often find myself being taken for granted because I can’t say no. “What if I don’t (insert favor here), they’ll end up not liking me.”

I have RBF (resting bitch face). I’m reminded daily that I have it. At work, it’s not uncommon for someone to tell me, “wow, you’re really nice, I had no idea.”, “I heard you were awful, you’ve been so nice to me”, “you’re such a nice person once I got to know you”. Just last Monday, I laughed with 2 of my friends as the described me as “having a gruff exterior with teddy bear insides”. I really didn’t think it was funny. It’s soul crushing actually. Over time, I’ve slowly stopped saying a passing hello or even looking up as i walk through the building. People who know me, genuinely love me but they had to take the time to do so. Every time I hear another opinion about me like that, it makes me hang my head further. My sweet husband has learned that my sour puss doesn’t mean I’m mad at him, but it took years to get there. he told me just the other day that it’s my protective layer. He’s right, but don’t tell him I said that.

In the past few years, I’ve become very involved in quilting, even though I’ve been quilting since I was 14. I discovered a world of people who have the same interests as me. I’ve been active in groups, started this website and made my contributions in the quilting community. I actively quilt for charities, donating 100s of hours each year. I even have a podcast and very often overshare (I’m telling you something you don’t already know).  I still don’t fit in, at least it feels that way.  I pretend I don’t care. I’ve been pretending a lot of things lately.

Recently, in the past year, I encountered a young woman with energy, ambitions, and the ability to stroll into a situation and fit in flawlessly. I hated that about her, but only when I felt she’d rejected me.  I virtually come across as a person with RBF, you don’t even have to see me to see it. She instantly seemed to think I was doing all these mean things to her and I was so deeply hurt that I made it impossible to like me. I could’ve sat and talked with her, I did have that opportunity but passed it by. I chose to be the mean girl she thought I was instead of being supportive like we quilters and women are supposed to be. Regardless of how I perceived her to treat me, I chose to behave like a bitch. I fostered a hostile environment in the name of being fair and doing the right thing, all the while knowing deep in myself I was wrong. To all the outside players, I appeared to be justified. I said and did nasty things to make myself feel better. This has been happening throughout the drama of secret quilter groups being outted as sheet wearing hate mongers. All while we’re wearing safety pins on our shirts and pretending to be a safe haven for those who need comfort. All while proclaiming to be a good group of like minded women who love and support each other.

I watched as this woman made a comment and proceeded to be exiled from the place she once occupied. I can’t say for sure what her intent was, but it doesn’t matter. It was simply the scab being scraped away to start the bleeding. I can honestly see both sides. I will not explain or apologize for anyone else’s actions, but could’ve prevented it. I could’ve given better advice. I could’ve kept my mouth shut. I could’ve tried at any point in the past year. A few words and some understanding would’ve gone far. I indulged my inner mean girl and rejoiced at someone else’s pain. I encouraged hatred and meanness and justified my actions. I explained it all away all the while knowing deep down what a hateful bitch I was being.  Even when I stood by, I knew what was happening and used what little power I have to be a warlord. I’d become the very people I despised. My abusive step father, the mean girls who told me I was worthless, the boys who called me ugly and unlovable. I watched the aftermath for a couple of days, and the more I looked, the more I wanted to look away.

I love God and believe in a higher power. I am a Christian, seriously flawed, I swear too much and a host of other things but I believe God loves me anyway. But let’s take His name away from this conversation for a minute. Too many use Him as justification for way too much. Whether or not you believe in God, what I did or didn’t do is wrong. I’ve since done the right thing, or at least I hope it is. I’m so afraid I’ll lose friends over this. People I’ve grown to love as sisters. People I still love. I gave the wrong advice to people who were struggling with their own struggles. I wasn’t a good friend to those I encouraged to be mean with me. I want to be seen as the good and honest person I believe I am. I want to have peace and be forgiving. I have asked for forgiveness. The words that broke me, my own words “I can be a sneaky bitch, too”, sounded ok when I said them. But then I saw them. I don’t want to be her, those ugly words.

I gave my first apology to the lady who deserved it the most. Once she understood that I was sincere, she graciously thanked me. I’m not ashamed to tell you I still cry over that thank you. Forgiveness, whatever you believe, is so powerful. I’ve struggled with this post for the past 24 hours. I’ve been torn over keeping my apologies private as to not cause any further harm or garner attention from them. I want them to be valued and have worth.  But some of the hardest things I’ll ever do is to bare my ugliness right here. The people I’ve wronged deserve a public, genuine apology. I’m not making it at anyone’s request and I’m not looking for praise. I don’t deserve any.

What I do deserve is peace. I didn’t give the backstory of my life as an excuse because it isn’t. I do hope it leads to insight.  I’m hoping this will remind me to be mindful of my own words and actions, and to keep my insecurities in check.  Anfisa’s face has changed because she’s changed. I don’t know the details, but she’s made decisions in her life to bring herself so much peace that it shows on her face. I want to look in the mirror and catch myself smiling.

My final apology is to anyone affected by the events mentioned above.  You know who you are, even if I don’t. You may not have known the truth, you might not have ever known, but I do and I’m sorry for my actions. If you chose to remain in my life, in whatever manner that is, I’ll be grateful. If you don’t, I won’t blame you and I completely understand. I am truly, sincerely sorry.

 

 

 

 

WW #48

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I had a very busy July! After time with the grandkids, I went to Kelly’s guild sew in day and meeting.

Stay tuned for a new ornament runner. I won second place for the Christmas in July event!

Check out Kelly’s awesome work.

Check out Love Notions Patterns, the wonderful Laundry Day Tee is free when you join the Facebook group.

I used this pattern for my me made undies.

I made a new blouse for my family reunion. I used stretch chiffon found at Joanns and McCall’s pattern M6605.

I need to adjust the armholes and add the ties to the back but otherwise I love it.

*note: we have lovely rest stops in Ohio, but they lack in proper photography lighting 😀

Hubs took a moment away from picture snapping to pose with me.

My brother, sister, mom and I.

My kids……

and the grandkids.

This lovely young lady is the proud new owner of my most recent Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt.

I didn’t talk a lot about the reunion but we had an awesome day with my loved ones.

I’ve adopted a Paleo diet to cure what ails me. So far, it’s working!

WW #46

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It’s Memorial Day weekend and my thoughts are with those who sacrificed for my freedom. Thank you seems so little in return, but I am grateful.

Here’s what I’ve been sewing; hundreds of hexy flowers!  These piles have taken years to form. I do them when I’m in the mood to hand sew and I have so many hexes cut already. I think they multiply when I close the box they live in!

I started a top with a light green path but feared it will take much longer than I want to make it king sized.  Why not forgo the path and just stitch them together?!

Hubs turned 60 yesterday. This was taken last week at the antiques joint. He was amused by this art/grill. If he hadn’t already purchased a new grill recently…

This pattern is called Sango Contemporary 6504. If only I needed a new set of dishes. Instead, I’ll use this as inspiration for future quilting patterns.

This came home with me. These toy irons came with trivets, though mine doesn’t.

Here the little baby meets its new momma. She has been a trusty door stop since we found her.  These irons are small but heavy.

I finished this case makeover last week but talked about it in today’s episode.

Feel free to download the cheat sheet I created for the lid of my case. It’s created from my original manual and the most used information for my needs.

May you all be blessed and happy this holiday!

Singer 301 Case Redo Part 2

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Finally, I finished the first 301 case makeover. I ended up using the same wallpaper inside that I used on the outer portion.  Even though the wallpaper was pre-pasted, I used white glue to adhere it to the inside of the case.

Before applying glue, make sure to dry fit your pieces. I used a lot of left overs from the outside, so mine isn’t perfect and I’m ok with that. It looks better than it did and I had very little waste.

I started with the largest area and once the paper was the correct size, I glued it in place. I think it’s best to wait a few days for this step to completely dry but if you’re not using pre-pasted paper, it may not slide as much as mine did.

Then I cut strips just slightly less in the width of the edge.  Once again, dry fit the paper to make sure it’s not going to hang over the rim and that it covers the areas you want covered.

The main compartment can be tricky. These trapezoid cases are an odd shape and can be hard to measure! I chose the easy route and cut everything in pieces rather than math and keep everything in one piece. It was probably easier to glue down this way as well.

I started with the bottom piece, making all my pieces just a tad shorter so they didn’t overhang the edge.

The sides were probably the hardest pieces to cut. I cut a long strip using the measurement of the bottom. Then placed the long straight edge against the back of the case and traced a line, on the back side of the paper, with a pencil along the outside of the case. Once I cut this angle on my paper, I dry fit the piece inside the case, lightly scoring where I wanted the top and bottom cuts to be.

Finally, I repeated the steps from the bottom portion along the top, covering the handle screws.

Once all my edges were glued down and secure, I left the case open to dry completely for a few days.

Now it’s time to put on the finishing touches!

On this case, I wanted to put a clear flap in the lid to cover the most frequently used instructions (and store whatever booklet may have been with the machine). I will be printing out a threading diagram in the future to place here.

I cut a piece of vinyl approximately 11 by 15 inches and bound the edge with a 1.5 inch strip. I didn’t need the binding so you can skip it if you like, but I like the contrast.

I then added another strip as shown to cover the binding edges.

I folded over the raw edge and stitched it down to make gluing it in place easier.  The fabric flap will act as a hinge. I used a glue gun, but you can use your favorite strong glue to attach the fabric to the lid, gluing it down to the same side as the hinges.

For this project, I used a pretty heavy duty velcro. It has a very strong adhesive on the back and holds together quite well. I cut 2 pieces about an inch wide and attached them one to each top corner of my plastic flap. The easiest method to place the opposite sides in the case is to leave the hook and loop together and remove the paper, one side at a time, and press into place.

The lid is now done so we move on to the inner case storage. I glued the painted blue wooden pieces back in place (you can see them in a few of the pictures below).

Below is a picture of another case I have. It shows the wooden block in the middle (which prevents excessive sliding of the machine) and a metal divider for accessories. I think these were the only 2 configurations for the inside. I will be redoing this case in the future!

I cut a piece of vinyl 28 by 4 1/2 inches and bound one long edge with a 1.5 inch strip. Of course the strip is optional but makes it easier to see once in place and will keep your vinyl from distorting over time.

I have an original attachments box and based this measurement on my box. I also made allowance for ease of inserting and removing the box.

Mark at 9 inches and fold the vinyl over to that mark. I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance and bigger stitches than I normally would.

I brought the other edge over to the seam I just made and stitched a 1/4 inch again.

I inserted the box in the smaller pouch created and dry fit the piece in my case to find the spot where I wanted it attached.

Using the same industrial velcro, I cut 2 more inch wide pieces and attached one to the bottom and one to the top where I marked.

Put the hook and loop together, leaving the paper on the top. Carefully place the bottom in firmly pressing against the side. (notice the blue wooden pieces)

Remove the paper from the top and carefully press in place. This top area is where I’ll store my foot control.

Tada!

The inside is now finished and ready to use.  Because I used glue completely across the paper pieces I glued down, the “featherweight case odor” is gone.

I hope you find this information helpful and I’d love to see your case makeovers!