poor deer

Oh my gosh! The listing for this Middie deer hat is about to expire! I knocked the price down a few bucks! Buy it, buy it! I'm also open to a trade!


A year ago, I had a bad anxiety bender. I couldn't eat; I had no appetite and felt nauseated. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't be at the computer or watch TV or movies or craft or do any of the things I normally do because I was so preoccupied that I couldn't concentrate on these everyday things.

I went to sit with my mother in the living room and bother her because I suddenly had nothing I could do. This so rare -- I have so many things I occupy myself with that I am always working, like a little elfin shoemaker on something. But I just couldn't concentrate. My dad's beat-up old classical guitar was leaning against the bookcase in the living room, as it always is, and I picked it up and asked my mom to show me some chords. I already knew the D chord from previous attempts to learn to play the guitar. I just wanted to learn to play "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore," as silly as that sounds. My mother printed out a chord chart for me and some songs with easy chords: "This Land Is Your Land" and "Sloop John B."

Although I had tried to learn several times, each time I found it incredibly difficult to hold the huge body of the guitar and spread my fingers over the wide neck, and the guitar was out of tune all the time and I couldn't tell whether I was striking any chord correctly. They all sounded like mud!  "Is this a C? How should I know? What does a C sound like? I can't tell!" I didn't know how to tune it, either. I am a musical person, but I never learned any instruments because the idea of taking lessons and having recitals made me so anxious. And I was really afraid of breaking a string or somehow damaging my dad's guitar in another way, so I didn't dare fiddle around with the tuning.

Still, I suddenly threw myself into it, picking the guitar up over and over and over, because it was so hard for me that it required all my concentration. After seeing me suddenly pouring in all this effort, my mom suggested we go to the music store to look at guitars, try a few out and see if any better suited my small hands.

That was the day I decided I was definitely going to learn to play the guitar, instead of giving up because it was so difficult. I mean, it really was difficult for me. My left hand is the worst, I have weak wrists. I gingerly strummed by myself in my room, as quietly as possible, worried someone might hear me.

Over the next many months I slowly continued to practice every day -- and finally, finally, I got my Little Ghosty Boo, a lovely slimline with a tiny neck with a built-in tuner. I have played the guitar almost every day for the past year solid now, often a couple of times a day, slowly conquering those difficult Fs and D minors, adding song chords to my favorites on my UltimateGuitar.com account and basically learning new chords just as they appeared in Jewel songs, or whatever.

I don't think I will ever be a good guitar player; I started learning so late in life (at age 28), that for me, it isn't easy to acquire what are essentially new language skills. Guess what: I'm so poor at playing that I can't even strum upwards, and this is a year in. I still can't even strum with confidence. Maybe I'll never be able to do bar chords without struggling to get my fingers where they need to be. But I can certainly play "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore." It's no small feat for me.

Those couple of months of severe anxiety were awful, even moreso in retrospect, but I am also so glad that my desperation made it possible for me to obsess, fixate, and begin to do something I have always wanted to do. Even if I never become good and I never really play in front of others or even make it through a song without messing up, it has still brought me so much joy that I simply want to keep it up for my own happiness. Music is truly the best therapy.

tripping the fox fantastic

What to do when you're looking back on an exhausting month, you've finished your ripple throw (aka Reason For Being), all your TV shows are ending for the summer, and your yellow ukulele was backordered till August?? (Why does this always happen to me?) That's right. Window shop!

I've got it so bad for foxes + florals!

little dear's felt face Blythe dresses are always fabulous but this one just takes the cake!

a peek of my birthday table

Every year my main birthday wish is to not have a "party," but my mom always sets up the table totally cute anyway. This year my table is all pink and orange and gold, and there's lots of dots...!

Ripple Throw Progress Report: dunzo

Yesterday I finished off my ripple throw aka ripple blanket aka ripple... tent? It's huge, but I really enjoyed doing it even though it got super-heavy. I know come winter time I'll really appreciate that it's so big and heavy!

It's about 6'5" wide and almost as tall (soo hard to take pictures of!). I lost count of how many skeins of yarn in total I bought because I mainly bought one here or two there several times over. But I was very cheapy and always bought things on sale or with a 40% off coupon, if I could, and I was working with Red Heart Super Saver or whatever a lot.

I started on February 7th and finished on May 4th, so it took three months, and it was easy as pie to work after the first several rows. I'm really pretty pleased and I hope I get to make another (smaller) ripple sometime soon.

Thanks to Attic24 for the pattern! I definitely recommend it!

Now what will I work on? I might get back to making little Blythe hats or I might do some embroidery...

Animal Hat Gang

Everyone knows I love a good animal-eared hat! I wear my fantastic fox hat from awberry all the time and I always get complimented on it (most people are sincere, too; the sincere outnumber the bemused, promise). I've been looking around on Etsy for a new hat to add to my little collection...

I really like all of the sleek animal-eared affairs bobcathats offers! But the unique barn owl and raccoon hats are probably my favorites!

Another beautiful owl hat available in a nice variety of colors from River City Knits.

Love this super-sweet kitten hat from Vixie & Mynx.

For the more understated bear-eared hat, you can't beat this one from Nolie Polie Olies.

This tan fuzzy animal-eared hat from Miss O's Creations is simple but looks so cozy! She's got other similar hats in all kinds of colors and I must say I like them all!

And I must confess, I just bought this adorable fox hat from Designs By Lines for a birthday present... FOR MYSELF because I'm an aduuuuult:

I'm so excited!

I sure did see a whole lot of babies sleeping with their hands tucked in their chins wearing all manner of adorable animal hats... and a lot of stuff that I'm sure is on Regretsy too.

Animal Eared Hats Bonus Links!!:
  • Mathematical Jake the Yellow Dog-inspired hat! I would wear this.