Thursday, January 30, 2014

Where the heck has Katie been?

Looking back on 2013

So it's been forever in three days since I've written anything worthwhile here. I figured we'd do a 2013 year in review post. It seems appropriate, if a bit late. 

In the beginning of the year we were still dealing with the emotions of my father's passing in June 2012. We decided that to help my son, and myself, to move on we would get a puppy. In April we flew out to California to see his godmother whose dog had a litter of puppies on February 9th. My son named her Jewels after the female lead on Psych. We flew home with two puppies in a carrier. Thank God for sedatives they slept the whole way home. 

Having a new puppy is a lot like having a baby. You get up in the middle of the night to let them go out to the bathroom. They chew on everything. We are constantly taking things out of that dog's mouth. We still do and she's almost-year-old. A bout of  Giardia, a dog bite at the dog park, training classes, intestinal issues from ingesting rocks, toy stuffing, and sticks. The dog has taken up a lot of time and money but we love her.

In the summer, when my son's godmother came to visit us, we had a bit of a plumbing problem. Stepping off the bottom step of the stairs we would hear a squishing noise and if we weren't careful our feet would get wet when water seeped up and over the boards of our laminate floor. We thought it might be from the neighbors because we discovered the squishy mess when they were doing laundry. The management A large hole was cut in the living room wall and left open by the management company for months. It took a long time to figure out that the valve at the base of our powder room toilet had broken and was leaking.  When she arrived a house was well a disaster. All of the our lower lever flooring had to be replaced.

My son started the fifth grade in August. I'm not much of a photographer. I'm generally too busy living life to record it. But I always take photos of the first day of school. About a week after those photos were taken my iPhone 4 died. It wasn't dropped in water, wasn't dropped it all, it just stopped. There was nothing the geniuses at the Apple store could do to get my photos off of this phone.  It wasn't connected to the cloud and I hadn't backed them up in 3 months. I lost everything. Live and learn. Thank God for Facebook. I have one Back to School photo I posted there.

Losing three months of photos and a wet moldy bathroom and a hole in the wall put me in quite a funk. I was trying to do Project Life this year, and without photos what is Project Life? I'm a pretty horrid scrapbooker because I don't take many photos but I wanted to document the first year with this puppy. Kids take several years to grow up but a puppy grows up in one year. I figured I could do one year. I got so far behind and felt like such a failure. I started spending more time than I should have playing Candy Crush and reading crafty blogs.

A non-Christmas Card
I made for OWH

I read about Operation Write Home (OWH) and turned my attention to making cards for troops. I got a couple of crafty friends together and we made Christmas Cards for soldiers to send home. It was fun and I continued after my they left. I sent 144 in 2013 and plan on making a lot more this year. I like crafting with a purpose, and a deadline. And keeping soldier's connected with home is a good cause.

Later in the fall I was taking the dog for a walk and she decided to run after one of the neighbor kids. "Sure I'll run with you." I thought. We were all laughing having good time. Then a loose paver jumped up and tripped me. I took a tumble. But it was less like a toddler learning gymnastics and more like a tree being felled in the forest. Two days later my left thumb started popping when I bent it. The pain was, and still is, intense. Grasping things became difficult. Pinching came a thing of the past. I was told I probably popped a tendon and all I could do was wait it out. I was advised to get a brace to immobilize my thumb during sleep, but soon it started cutting off my circulation and then the dog destroyed it. When I went back to the store they didn't have any of any size so I've just lived without it.

The funk deepened, and the Candy Crush / crafty blog addiction grew. When I saw the We R Memory Keepers 3 x 4 punch on someone's blog I thought "Hallelujah! This will help me get back on track with Project Life." A quick way to take the photos I DID have and quickly crop them to the size I needed. But I'm not good with big punches. There isn't a lot of space for them in my studioffice. I've always found them hard to use but since my fall using that punch was never going to happen. 

I turned to the Internet to see if I could find a thin steel die that I could use in my Cuddle Bug. WooHoo! I found the perfect die at Your Next Stamp. The YNS Journaled Weekly Die Set contains a 3" x 4" rounded corner card die that is open in the middle so I can see where I'm cutting, the abbreviations for the days of the week in a nice script, an open ended bracket, and 3 different arrow shapes. I cut everything with that 3" x 4" die, photos, car repair hang tags, brochures, magazines. I was making headway. I was putting together pages. I was thrilled silly with my progress. Then this week I lost that die. Can't find it anywhere. It's driving me crazy. I cleaned my studioffice and I still can't find it. Say a prayer I find it soon.

Looking Forward

2014 is going to be a year of making things happen. I can no longer sit and wait for things to happen around me. I finally get that. Our mourning has to be over. It's time for life again. So with that in mind Katemade Designs is going pro. I will be hanging out a shingle and creating digital work, websites and crafty items. 

My first craft show of the year will be March 8. I plan to sell cards and other crafts but also facilitate the writing of any hero letters with operation write home coloring pages, and card kits I make myself.

If you are stuck with this blog post through this far God love you. Because of Dragon Dictate I can ramble on for as long as I want. But you are not required to read every word. But those of you who have are in for a treat. I have duplicate stamps and other crafty supplies still in the packaging that I am willing to give away. My mistakes — your goodie bag. Just leave a comment telling and make sure that I have your email.

Happy Crafting,


alexa said...

So nice to see you posting again and sorry you have had such a rough time :(. Looking forward to seeing all your digital stuff - and hope you will be fully better very soon. Oh, and that you find that die!

Aunt Polly said...

I think it's enormously healthy to get back to blogging, and you are really good at it.

Katie said...

I am glad you have had a little extra love in your life due to your new puppy (hopefully he will stop eating rocks soon though!). And I hope your thumb feels better soon. I have been to your blog off and on throughout the past few years as we have the same name and last initial (this time you commented above me on the Jillibean Soup Blog - so I had to see who the other Katie B. was). Anyway, glad you are blogging again and hope you have a fabulous year! If you click on my name you will see my flickr account and email. Thanks for sharing.

Katie B.