Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mourning Time

We do a lot of mourning in life - when someone dies, when important chapters in our lives end or change or when you husband leaves you for a pregnant chain-smoking cunt (Oops, did that sound angry?  I swear I don't care I'm glad I'm not married to him anymore).  But we don't as often take the time or honor the importance of mourning the small stuff.

Since we moved to Key West last September Mark swears that I'm way crabbier and bitcher than I ever have been.  And its true, I'm hung up, most days I struggle to really find joy in my new home.  First, the lack of what most people consider to be shitty  weather - rain, clouds and cold, seems to be getting to me the most.  I knew when we moved here that my least favorite kind of weather was sunny, blue sky weather, the kind we have here constantly, but I really just thought I would get used to it.  I haven't.  I swear I'm trying to pass it off that I have Summer On-set Seasonal Affective Disorder but no one really believes me.  Then when you throw in the factors of missing important events back home and being over a thousand miles away from your besties, the ones who help you deal with your emotions, and well, shit - it's depressing.



Mostly its the things, both mentally and physically, that I'm holding on to that trigger it.   Once, just one freakin time I wanted to look at some clothes on the shopping site Zulily.com and now I forever get emails from them.  I could simply unsubscribe to them - but honestly I like looking.  But then, as happened the other day I saw a pair of leather boots.  It took me by surprise how much I wanted them, loved them. They were beautiful and wonderful. But where the fuck in Key West would I wear them.   It instantly put me into a REALLY bad mood.  I couldn't be helped.  I was depressed because I didn't need boots and I don't know if or when I ever will again.


http://www.musthaveshoes.com/shoes/cataio-mud-otbt.html

 Why would I need boots when  I couldn't even save my favorite black leather flats because did I mention that when my favorite wet and/or cold weather rolls in I can't really enjoy it because I'm too busy trying to keep everything we own - from our shoes and couches to our spices and picture frames from growing mold.



I still have two boxes and one drawer of winter clothes here.  The heavy duty stuff is still back home in my parents basement.  In the bottom drawer of my dresser I keep my jeans, a few long sleeve tees and a few light jackets and sweatshirts.  And you know what?  I hardly needed them last winter.  For a few days it was in the 50's but seriously, that's hardly cold.  The other two boxes still sit untouched.  Then why do I keep them when space is at such a premium? Because I love them.  They are my winter favorites - pants and dresses and sweaters and jackets.  I just can't bear to let them go in the hopes that someday I will live somewhere cold.

These are the things I need to mourn.  Holding on to them is a constant reminder of the things I don't have right now.  Then I get so busy thinking of what I don't have that I can't be bothered to spend time thinking of what I do have.

I think that maybe if I take the time to really grieve for all the little things and nuances from my old life that I really miss that I can make room for new things that will find their way in.  By the way, me writing this is not me saying that I am currently grieving for those little things - I'm not ready.  I'm making my way from depression to acceptance.  So one of these days I might just have a little breakdown, or a big one where I just sob uncontrollably and inconsolably, about all the boots and coats and cloudy cold days that could have been and then, I hope, I will move on.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Freedom

We can't choose all of the circumstances in our lives. Our families are chosen before birth, we are born in a certain place in a certain time and under a certain set of cultural influences.  These things are what they are and we have to grow from there.

One of the most important freedoms we have is choosing who our friends are.  We are able to filter through all of the people we meet to find those amazing few with whom we connect in a deep way, can share our true selves and value the opinions  and insights they return to us.  It is important to choose them carefully - they are your sounding board for how you see the world and often the frame through which the world sees you.

Making new friends is as important as keeping the old - each person meets you and learns you (and loves you) from who you are at that moment in time.  Old friends offer insights colored from an intimate knowledge of your history while the new form opinions colored by your emotional zeitgeist without a hint of baggage.

What a wonderful world where we have the freedom to choose our friends!



In honesty I stole this picture from the Really Really Blog.  Learn more about that night HERE.
I have a few more folks in mind who I'd love to add pics of that I just don't have right now - so I'll be sure to add them when I can.

EDIT: February 14, 2015

I took this pic on my last day at my job in Key West.  I miss these girls greatly.  I've never loved a job so much or had so many laughs day in and day out.  I was so lucky to find such amazing friends on that tiny island so far from everywhere.

Another partially blurry pic taken by a man.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What's in a name?

Sometimes people ask me, "Why Peace and Plastic?"

Peace and Plastic is about balancing extremes. It's about falling somewhere between a peace-loving, mother-earth-worshipping hippie and a shiny plastic citizen of the future.

When I started this blog I wanted it to be about my adventures being "green" - so trendy, I know - but then I realized that I'm really not green enough to peddle earth guilt to everyone who doesn't wipe their butt with rags and occasionally forgets a reusable shopping bag.  I would have been living a lie. So I eased up, looked at my real life and decided that was pretty awesome on its own - just the way it is.  From writing my very first post, I enjoyed capturing my real life - crafts, nail polish, nachos and men.  This was in the hope that I could present here a more real story of my life - a story of someone who does the best she can for mother earth but still likes to get the plastic bags from the grocery store because what else am I going to use to hold the cat poop when I clean the litter box.   I don't believe in all or nothing, black or white or any similar one or the other, no shades of gray philosophy.


I know Peace because I love making my own laundry detergent, washing my hair with baking soda (I'll seriously never go back), moisturising with coconut or olive oil, air drying my clothes, recycling and generally doing what I can to reduce waste and my tread on the earth.  These are things that I enjoy doing and I feel in no way are a burden to my life or my time.  I feel they enhance it.

But wow do I love Plastic - convenience and stuff.  I love to shop and consume. I don't reuse plastic baggies (though I try not to use too many) or foil.  I use a lot of foil.  I even love it when occasionally I get a break from riding my bike to work so that mark can drive me. Oh, and Amazon Prime? Yes, please.

I think about every decision I make with the overall intention of being respectful of our resources - but if only 7 out of 10 choices make it - its still a passing grade, right?

Peace and Plastic and whatever story it tells has served as a wonderful "diary" of the last few years that I think I will forever enjoy looking back on and having this memoir is what encourages me to keep writing (though not as often as I wish I would) and trying to capture more and more of my real life.   I am forever grateful to Jamie of the ReallyReallyBlog for convincing me to start blogging.  Love you Jamie!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

(Don't) Rush

So last night we were watching and episode of Chuck, a network TV show that aired from 2007-2012 about a regular guy who unknowingly learns all of the governments secrets and is forced to become a spy.  In this particular episode, Chuck has to play and beat an 80's style arcade game because the disarming code for a bomb satellite is hidden in the victory screen.  Through the episode, Chuck learns that the music of Rush, specifically the song Tom Sawyer, is the "music of the universe" and that listening to it will help him find the rhythm to succeed.




But that is just TV.  In a patch of mental clarity after a somewhat existential meditative massage, I realized that in real life "rush" (the verb, NOT the band) is a thing that prevents us from finding success with the rhythm of the universe.

Don't rush life.

Que Sera Sera as a storm approaches over the Cow Key Channel bridge.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fish School Quilt

It's finally finished.  It is done.  I have planted my own little seed in the world and I'm watching anxiously to see if it grows.

That's right folks, I've published my first quilt pattern!



The whole idea started back when we decided to move to Key West.  I knew I would have a while without a job and I wanted to use it as a chance to work for myself for a bit.  Initially I had planned to make Key West-y quilts and sell them to tourists under the name Island Warmth with the tagline "Live somewhere cold? Bring the warmth of the island home with you."  I even went as far as purchasing IslandWarmth.com.  While I still think this is a fun and fabulous idea, it had its drawbacks.  Through research (and some common sense observation) I learned that folks are rarely willing to pay  for what a handmade quilt is really worth which is generally several hundred dollars.  Also, knowing myself, would would add a need for perfectionism - thinking that if I was going to ask for lots of smackeroonies  from someone that they should be in exchange for something flawless.  Oh, and don't forget the countless hours I would need to spend behind the sewing machine - not that I don't love it when I'm inspired and in the mood - but if I went through a dry spell I wouldn't have anything to sell. 

After weighing the pros and cons of the quilt-making business concept it just didn't float as well with me.  Then it dawned on me.  One of my biggest problems is that I have too many ideas stuck in my brain and I can hardly get them out fast enough.  If I was forced to sew several of the same quilt it would be so irritating and I would get frustrated. I didn't want to be limited to Key West theme quilts and while there is an Island Warmth Collection on its way there were just too many non-islandy ideas in my head.  All I wanted was to share my quilts and designs with people and through patterns I can share with quilters and quilters can share with the world!  Granted I know that I'm not world-wide yet but a girl can dream right? 

I had a blast working through new software to learn illustration and design programs and shortly thereafter my pattern was on paper, well, digital paper.  I ran head first into making my first trial quilt and I was so tickled by the little fish (especially the silly one swimming backwards)!   I call my version Le Petit Poission de Fromage, which, pardon my French, means something like Little Fish of Cheese because the little feesh reminded me of a delicious little snack food.

Fish Quilt




I couldn't wait to have a pattern tester try it out and my wonderful Instagram/Cincy-Florida friend @Saphre1964 was on the ball and soooooooooooooo quickly sewed up this lovely quilt.  (I was so excited to see her batik version since I had envisioned making a second version of the quilt using batiks.) 



Now I just can't wait to see more quilter's interpretations of this pattern.  Everyone has their own style, edge and quirk to bring to it which makes seeing each new iteration so awesome!

If you want to check out the pattern visit my Etsy Shop by clicking HERE or on the Peace and Plastic Pattern Shop button on my side bar.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Travel: Home and Handmade


Yep, this is happening.  I'm heading home to Cincinnati!  I'm just so excited and I can't wait to see my family and friends and eat and eat and eat. (Chipotle, Skyline and Larosas)

In preparation for my trip home, I wanted to make my own bag so I could "Travel Handmade", as they say, and seem really cool while I am making my way through the airports and when I arrived home.  I think my wish to look cool will be successful because this duffel (the StudioCherie duffel aka Simplicity 2274) is pretty much one of my most favorite things I've ever made.

First, I busted out three of my most favorite fabrics.

Denyse Schmidt Plaid & Dot in Lilac

http://www.hawthornethreads.com/fabric/designer/denyse_schmidt/shelburne_falls/plaid__dot_in_lilac

Juliana Horner Rosebed in Pomegranate

http://www.joann.com/juliana-horner-quilt-fabric-rosebed-pomegranate/12519419.html

And pretty much my most favorite fabric ever...

Alexander Henry Zocalo in Tea

https://www.etsy.com/listing/163000175/alexander-henry-zocalo-tea-by-the-yard?ref=sr_gallery_4&ga_search_query=alexander+henry+zocalo+tea&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

 I was also pretty excited about prepping the jute webbing used for the handles - I get excited watching colors bleed when I soak things in the sink.  After its soaking I washed it as well and it came out really soft and not as camel scented as when I started.



After that I just started cutting and sewing and did a bit here and there and it went together pretty easily and painlessly.  I truly had no issues which is pretty awesome. Pretty much the only change I made was to make the zipper tabs little loops so that I could clip on a strap if I felt the need. The result? SO COOL.










Now if only I could smuggle both cats home in this thing...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just Be Done Already

I totally missed the sign up for the first quarter of the 2014 Finish Along so of course I had two complete finishes.  One was my Night Candy quilt and the other has yet to be fully revealed.  I plan to have a least two finishes this quarter as well - or well, at least one, I really really really want to finish my Weekend in the Country Quilt.  It has been with me the longest and it takes up the most space in my UFO pile - and, I just really want to finish it.  It's soooo big and I just want to see it fully realized.  I haven't been able to wrap my head around a design for machine quilting and part of me is leaning toward hand quilting, I think it would really lend to the feel of the quilt that I want.  However, with the size of the quilt and the backing still needing to be pieced this could take every last minute of Q2 of the Finish Along - but it will be worth it.  I'll add a few others to my list just so they are not forgotten but I make no promises about finishing them.

Finish Along 2014

Q2 Finish Along List

1. A Weekend in the Country
This is it.  I have the backing planned, it just needs to be pieced, then quilted and bound.  It is possible.

 

2. A's Quilt
I've decided on a plan to make the quilt larger since A is no longer a baby and thus no longer needs a baby size quilt.  The plan is simple and should make for an easy finish.


 3. Irish Breakfast
Again, I came up with a plan for the border.  I just need to do it.  Should be an easy finish for a future quarter.
 

4. Milk
This little quilt is barely more than an idea but I'm kind of getting motivated to work on it again.  So hey, I might even have a completed block by the end of the quarter.



Lastly, I have two new projects to add to the list.

5. Gypsy Yo-Yo's This is going to be a yo-yo quilt made of Red/Orange/Purple/Rust/Burgundy type colors. I decided this morning that I'm going to vary the sizes of the yo-yo's and make it organic and free form instead of rows upon rows.


6. Flighty Woman's Sampler My own sampler quilt for the woman who can never quite make up her mind. At this point is is just a pile of fabric and a sketch, but hey, it's a start. P.S. Doesn't Leeroy look handsome modeling the fabric?

Truckin' Awesome: Shelly and Eugene Visit Key West

So , you know, it's only been a month and a half since my last post, but it is only because I've been recovering from all of the fun I've been having.

Why have I been having so much fun?  Eugene and Shelly came to visit.  Yes, Eugene and Shelly.  It was super fun.

They rolled into town the afternoon of February 20th in their awesome red rig and we headed downtown for tacos at Amigos to catch up.

 

 Eugene and Shelly were "camping" in their rig in a little campground on Stock Island that came complete with giant iguanas.  Since Mark and I still had to work during a majority of their stay they used our bikes to get around.  They even road several miles in the middle of the night after an evening on Duval St!


The campground didn't allow pets (lucky for us) because Roo (or Roodles) as I like to call her got to stay with us.  Once she and the cats determined their respective corners I put her straight to work modeling my latest quilt.



Saturday morning we headed to our favorite spot, Ft. Zach and had a good old fashioned grill out.

Eugen and Shelly even introduced us to some new non traditional treats - bacon wrapped bananas.  YES.

Eugene roasted a pepper.  Though since it didn't finish until after we ate our meal, we cut it up for dessert.


Mark opted for a Nutty Bar.


Eugene explained to Mark that peppers are better than Nutty Bars.


Eugene's pepper had a small weird baby pepper growing inside of it. So desserty!


After our morning in the sun, we retired back to our place to have some cafe con leche and chips and queso.  Eugene used this time to show me some of Roo's more advanced modeling techniques. In this photo she is modeling my Leaf Peepers quilt.

Sunday morning we headed back to Ft. Zach this time joined by our friend Johnny and his special friend Emi.  Emi whipped up some traditional Japanese style grillin' food.









 While we were waiting for the delicious Asian spread to cook it appears that Eugene heard evil, Shelly smelled evil and Mark, well, Mark saw evil.




 I pretended to be dracula.

 Later that evening as we strolled down by the Bight we stopped at a cigar shop where we picked up a few mini's.  Eugene also picked out a few extras for the next day's big adventure.  Oh, and we also met some random guy and his wife who wanted to be in our picture.  They were very nice.
 

On Monday, while Mark and I were at work, Eug and Shel chartered a fishing boat and went out to catch some grub.  

They were successful!


Don't worry Eugene, someday you will catch a fish as big as Shelly.

Her's was huge!

When Mark and I stopped after work to meet them at the rig I had a little fun being a pretend truck driver.   TOOT TOOT


Later that night we stopped at Dante's where they cooked up some of Eug and Shel's fresh catch for us and we all drank fancy drinks called Teenage Dreams or something. 

We also made several trips to Vino's, a wine shop owend by childhood best friend of a friend.  There may or may not have been a secret note left for when said friend visits the shop of his childhood best friend.

After our few days of fun, Eugene, Shelly and Roo(dles) all hopped back in to the big red rig and headed out of the keys and drove on to new adventures.  Hope they come back soon!