Sunday, April 2, 2017

HC, where have you been? Dealing. I've been dealing.

It's not unusual for me to go dark around the holidays and come out of hiding come the end of February, but add to that a medication issue, and you've got someone who is high-anxiety, low-spirits and all around distracted and unproductive.

Yes. I'm alive. I have been however, struggling a great deal with my brain chemistry, and in part, it's given me little energy to focus with. I have been writing. That's a good thing. And doing some editing work to finish up the next two books I will be releasing this year. But I haven't done much else except try to take care of my kid and sometimes, even myself.

I started going back to talk therapy for one. And my anti-depressant seems to have hit the two-year poop-out, and stopped working, so my doctor doubled the dose, and I have been creeping out from under my rock to see the light, hissing and scowling all the way. But this week, I've been feeling something close to normal. Which is amazing after having spent the past quarter of a year in depression and anxiousness.

Part of my crash was the significant reduction of a creative outlet. Another part was my removing myself from the Oregon Regency Society, which took a lot (way too much) of my emotional energy, and without that, I sort of got lost. When you've had something like that to keep you focused for ten years, and suddenly there's all this open space in your head where the drama used to live, yeah, it can be jarring. It's been healthy for me to leave that aside. To give me the chance to dream up new ventures without the baggage of difficult, unkind and attention-hungry people.

In the meantime, my husband, who is a fucking hero, was talking about using our tax returns to put together some kind of she-shed for me so I could have space for my sewing, crafting, writing and miniatures without taking over the house, and without tiny fingers getting into all my stuff. It's something I've wanted for a long time. I've literally stopped sewing because it's been such a pain to hear the complaints about the mess and such.

When we realized our tax refund was a tenth of what we hoped, I was a little disappointed but didn't say anything. But hubby, who I think has been particularly worried about my state of mind lately, went without my knowledge and took out a little loan to create this little retreat for me. So this Friday, a troupe of three guys showed up with a double-long trailer full of materials, and five and a half hours later, their assemblage retreated, leaving behind Feffie's Cottage. My little she-shed.

A trailer of bits and bobs arrived at noon.

Leveling took about 15 minutes. The blocks were arranged, and the
floor frame was made in record time.

They built the walls, tyveked them, put windows
in, etc, before they lifted them in place.

They spread the two end walls to make the fourth outside

The bit left unfloord was for the decking.

Wall 4 goes up.

Then it's time to put in the porch wall.

Then one guy goes up and puts in the rafters for
the loft. He did the roof and rafters
pretty much on his own.

Helpers handed up materials.

Sheathing the roof. 

These guys move fast.

Metal was about to go up. Foreman was starting to
do the trim, which meant the project was almost done.

Adding the pre-built railing. Cute huh?

Adding the ridge cap and rake. finishing touches.
Trim is done.

There it is in all its glory. My she-shed dubbed 'Feffie's Cottage'.
Feffy is my nickname.
We went and bought some paint to match it to our house yesterday. It's a little humid to do that today, but it will get done soon enough. It's a dark teal blue. I also got a creamy tan called Crepe for the trim. When I was on the Behr website they suggested a colour story and I'm kind of in love. The house colour will be the Juniper Berries, which is what our main house colour is. The trim will be tan, and I'm toying with the idea of painting the door either the soft bluish white or the track green. What do you think?

This morning, my husband got up early and let me sleep in. We had some leftover flooring from my nesting period/home makeover attack when I was pregnant, so he went ahead and used it up on the floor in the cottage. It's only about 128 square feet of indoor space. Enough room for my cutting and sewing tables, a few chairs, a large IKEA shelf I plan to buy, a small armchair, and my desk and chair for writing. I have them all laid on my floorplan already.

The main 'area' is about 8 x 10 give or take.

This little bay area is about 8 x 5 and it's where my writing
desk will be (by teh window).

The loft is pretty big.

The little porch. :)

So there you have it. If all goes well this will be my creation central from now on. I'll be able to do dollhouses again and sew unrestricted. I'll post progress pics as the Feffie's Cottage takes shape.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm still here. Really.

Yes. I’ve been silent for months. Well, in the blogiverse mostly. I’m rarely silent unless I’m sleeping. What have I been doing? Well… I’ve been writing books. I finished one and sent it off for editing. I’ve been working on a collaborative project with author Shéa MacLeod, which is in rewrites stage right now, and I am about two thirds through another novel. I’ve been pouring my creativity into my books. I have been given the unique gift of time; the first time since my little baby was born four years ago (Yes, he turned 4 last Thursday, I can hardly believe it). He has started preschool in earnest, which allows me nine hours a week to sit down at the local café (which is really like the town’s living room, it’s awesome), and to write freely. It’s been a while!

Playing with Friends Annie & baby Maxine
 So I am taking advantage of it. I have my crafty projects (and project-a-palooza) on hold for now. I have a desire to create pretty things with my hands, but I need to finish this novel and get these projects done before the end of the year so I have new releases for Comic-con in February. If you want to know more about these things, or more about the world of my writing, which is done separately from everything else under the nom-de-plume Miranda Mayer, please feel free to like my page on Facebook, or sign up for my newsletter from my website. I don’t email very often, only when I’m about to release something.

His first tournament.

School starts
 Other big news is I have stepped away from the group I founded, the Oregon Regency Society. I did it for a variety of reasons, but what it came down to was that there were constant issues with drama, unkind gossip being flung by people who were supposedly my friends, returned to me by people everyone respects and who were then called liars by said gossips. There was also a problem common to groups like these, and that is people with input but no actual action. There was the old problem of people who take on too much, and then cannot take responsibility for not following through, and who spew blame instead. Bottom line, it just wasn’t fun anymore. I’d been through this kind of thing once before, and I just didn’t have it in me to weather the drama to try and fix what had been poisoned. So I have cast it off the shore into the hands of others, and wish the best for it. As long as the people who have maligned and vilified me continue to be involved, I will not. I might try to play with friends again someday, and I already miss so many people, but for now, I need to just focus my energy on things that are fulfilling to me. Like my child, my creative outlets and well… me. My mental health needs to be important too.
Chilling behind my table at the Rose
City Comic Con. He's pretty deft
with the iPad.
 So I’m here, prepping for the holidays. My son’s paternal grandfather has been struggling with stage 4 cancer. My son has Bronchitis, and so does my husband, and as grandpa’s immune system is compromised by Chemotherapy, we cannot go to their home for Thanksgiving. It’s kind of sad, because my mother-in-law has been really having a rough time dealing with all of this, and to top it off, she has painful arthritis in her hip. I was going to go and help her cook the meal so she wouldn’t be miserable the whole day. But we can’t put Grandpa John in danger. So I will be cooking a small thanksgiving meal for the three of us here at home.

School time.

Waiting to go to class.
 Alex had his fourth birthday party on Saturday. He had a wonderful time, and Stephie made him the most beautiful Paw Patrol cake in history. He was so fixated on the cake, it was hilarious. It’s amazing to think that the child we never expected is now four years old. It’s crazy. It’s too fast! I wish there was a rewind button so I could go through it all again. Even the colic and the teething.

So the holidays approach. I imagine you all have plans for them. I’m excited about Christmas. More than ever since we had Alex, and this year, it’s the first year where he has as much anticipation as a child should have, and I’m excited to put the tree up with him, and to decorate the house. I intend to do it after Thanksgiving, come what may. The earlier the better. Considering how awful this year has been, we need some damned goodwill in this country. Even if there are battles to be fought still.

Class is over!

Feeding the gulls in Astoria.
 Oh! I found a kitten. So we now have another cat. She’s fecking cute. I might be a little allergic to her, but how do you tell your kid, sorry, no cat. So I’ll just manage with it. She’s a brat. So I appreciate that about her. Anyhoo, I will try to be better about snarking, crafting and journaling as I go. I won’t have any new costume posts for a while, I’m afraid. I don’t really have any desire to participate in events right now, so I don’t have any reason to sew new Regency things. But the lark may come where I will want to make a hat or whatever. So who knows? Maybe I’ll arrange a non-related event just so I can play with the people I want to play with. Time will tell.

New BFFs.

My girls started laying. Two were killed by raccoons. Hubby
shored up the enclosure, and my friend Molly gave me a couple
hens to replace my lost ones.

Halloween spookiness.

The kitten (Peppercorn), has claimed Simon as her
personal bed.

My little lion trick-or-treating homes for the first time.

Bratty McKatten

Everything Paw Patrol for his party

Kitty McAssface Von Kattenstein.


The lovely cake by Just a Dash cakes (aka auntie Steph)
I’m off to forage for Thanksgiving ingredients and such, in spite of my sinus infection. See you on the flip side folks! I’ve missed this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Project-a-Palooza; Project TWO ~ Colourful Découpage

Project-a-palooza rolls on with the next phase, and that is playing with lovely colourful patterns. The video explains the goal, while also simultaneously showing how easy it is to block out a playing toddler. You even get a glimpse of my offspring as he movie-bombs me.

Here are some of the progress pics so far:

So fun! Lots of detail work tho. I'll post more pics soon! :)


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