You Is Kind. You Is Smart. You Is Important.

This jewelry box took form in my imagination after the Strapped To The Gurney episode. I realized a week or so after that event that no matter how humiliating it had been there was a very important message there that I had missed.

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I HAD ASKED FOR HELP!!!

OMG!

What a breakthrough. I had done something to really, REALLY, take care of myself. I had saved my own life! From that point on, my pattern of spiraling into hell as the result of a panic attack started to change. Part of it was a change in my medication. But every time I felt the spiral start to come on it took less and less time for me to find my way out. Now, I go home, take a hit from my medical marijuana vapor pen, and call my boyfriend or my mom or one of my two best friends. I save my own life all the time now. I have stopped praying for the cancer to come back so I can just let it take me.

This box is one of the results of this epiphany, this complete 180, this psychic change. Change is a strange thing. It doesn’t happen overnight and one day I got slammed so hard I almost didn’t make it. My first bona fide suicide attempt with booze and pills. But before I got the pills in me, I called my boyfriend. My NEW boyfriend by the way. Not the pathologically lying, crazy, fucked up, brain damaged dude before (oh the stories…).

New boyfriend was there in 20 and took care of me and ever since I haven’t had a real thought about it. Not one I’ve entertained more than a couple minutes. I pick up the phone. I turn on some music. Okay, I’m lying too. I turn on America’s Next Top Model or Grimm or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series (Swedish version) or Practical Magic. Sometimes music. Sometimes a book. If I’m home and I don’t have to drive, I smoke out. They all make the Panic go away. Sometimes I feel like Gollum having an argument with himself but the good one wins every day now.

So. The “You are Worthy of Life” box. Inspiration was also from the book, “The Help,” when Aibileen is talking to the young girl she cares for. It is something she repeats to her almost every day, knowing that when Aibileen isn’t there the little girl isn’t loved at all. I felt I needed this for myself. Because I’ve spent my entire life getting to believing this. That I am Loved. Worthy. Kind. I still have days when I can’t but they are becoming more rare.

I have a few last things to complete, the bottom edge and the feet and then a good varnish. Then I’ll show you the final piece. This is a magic box, make no mistake. Everything that goes in it is a little charm for life, for love, and for joy.

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Pineapple Madness

On this day last year I checked myself into Harborview Emergency  (the worst place I could have chosen, all the wackos go here when they have no insurance) so I wouldn’t kill myself. This is one of the reasons I wasn’t posting. I had to get some distance before I could even talk about it. I’d been gradually more and more suicidal and depressed the year after my cancer treatment. Meds weren’t working. I called first, asked if I should go home first and get pj’s and toothbrush and they said, oh no, we’ve got everything you need. You just come in, we’ll get you a room, get you cozy, and take care of everything.

They sedated me, strapped my hands and feet to a gurney in a busy hallway for 5 hours and then after another 5 more hours in the ward and a talk with a doctor they sent me home. They had lots of chairs in the special psych emergency ward where I could have quietly sat and read for those five hours but if there is no bed, you get a gurney until there is a bed. The beds are all in rooms with doors so the other weirdos can’t bother you. One guy stood just outside my door until they shooed him away. It was a horror show. It was clear I wasn’t as around the bend compared to some folks there. The doctor’s advice? “Usually after a couple hours here, most folks feel just fine and just want to go home.”

Once you tell them you feel suicidal you lose ALL your rights IMMEDIATELY and COMPLETELY and not even a lawyer can get you out. Trust me. I called. You’re in until they say you’re out. This is how they treat a breast cancer patient with PTSD.

My one triumph was that I was able to get one hand out of the straps and use my cell phone and hide my head under the blanket. Some triumph huh? Pathetic. At the time it was as good a fuck you as I could come up with.

And I guess I was glad I didn’t have a pineapple growing out of my lady parts. Must have been Pinterest. I spent a couple years on Pinterest. The first year I was so drugged out it was all, “oooh pretty, pin.” over and over and over again.  or “oooh funny” or “oooh I wish my life was that pretty”

These are the photos I found a year ago on the day that this event happened. For your enjoyment. I mean who wouldn’t want a pineapple coming out of their butt?

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P.S. It’s taken all 2 years post treatment to get to a place where I call someone when I feel the spiral down into hell begin. And I get home and smoke some medical marijuana, it takes the suicidal thought jag away immediately. I don’t know what I’d have done without Casey. Why he stuck with me through all this crap still blows me away.

Work in progress

A subject near and dear to my heart, I’m working on a 9 x 12 panel piece. I’m really excited how it’s turning out. I can’t show it all just yet, it’s a present, but here are some close ups that hopefully won’t give it away, at least not too much. Lots of love and protection and prosperity magic going into this large stealth charm.

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Fires at Six

The first photo below is a TRIP. Those lines don’t exist on that mirror in ANY way. They simply aren’t there when I look with my eyes and feel with my fingers. What is that all about?

Cosy home alone. I couldn’t move if I tried. Happy after a lovely family reunion weekend. Dozing by the fire trying to re-read “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.”  zzzz what?

So tired. Good tired.

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The first photo below is a TRIP. Those lines don’t exist on that mirror in ANY way. They simply aren’t there when I look with my eyes and feel with my fingers. What is that all about?

Cosy home alone. I couldn’t move if I tried. Happy after a lovely family reunion weekend. Dozing by the fire trying to re-read “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.”  zzzz what?

So tired. Good tired.

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It’s Your Turn To Talk

So tell me. I’m starting to ponder the illustrations, tools, and pouches I’ll start making after April (yes, this process can start much sooner than you think!).

If I could do a poll here (can I?) I’d love to know some things from you but I’m not paying for PollDaddy yet.  I won’t share with you the images that that left in my mind…

1. What motifs would be most meaningful to you? Images of ritual acts? Ritual tools? Deity? Symbolism? Talk to me…

2. Are you interested in low ticket items like greetings cards and prints? or much more high ticket items like one of a kind wooden boxes, wands, runes, embroidered tarot bags? What would be a middle ticket item to you? What is a too high price for something as special as a OOAK tarot bag?

3. Do you usually only give presents at Yule or do you want things available all year long?

4. Which are the holidays that you would be most likely to give cards besides the obvious Yule? Would you like a full set for sending or for framing and placing on your wall or altar?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Too Much To Do?

Get cancer and suddenly those things you thought you couldn’t get to or didn’t want to get to, well, over 2 years they suddenly have changed or disappeared. Or they are sitting there waiting for you. Some of these will be exciting to you, others probably not.

CHECK OUT THE FUNDRAISER FOR MY MASTECTOMY TATTOOS!
It’s a great opportunity to get some original art and help out a friend at the same time.

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  • The Medieval Tailor is up and running!! I did not end it after all. I do have a few more demos that still need to be added but I’m getting there. I’m still getting between 2500-3000 hits a month there. Even from Africa. Who knew. The shoe demo is live now so go make some cool shoes and send me pictures!

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  • The Etsy shop is empty and right now I’m in the middle of a fundraiser to help me get the funds to cover my mastectomy scars with tattoos. Just in case you didn’t notice that above. Don’t know what I want for a design but I will finish my half done arm design on Veteran’s Day (hey, I’m sort of a veteran, had my own personal war) and I’m making a few items as inspiration to donate.  Check it out here. You can donate and if the donation is of a certain amount you will get a piece of art from me.  Once this is done, I’m going to start working on greeting cards and prints for Yule, Samhain, and Beltaine or just whimsy. I’m hoping to have more energy after the end of April when the deadline for the fundraiser pieces is done. This way more folks can have pieces of my work without paying the high ticket prices.
  • A friend has been making witchy dolls (which have been on my Oooh Wouldn’t That Be Fun List for a long time). They are adorable and she’s inspiring me like crazy. I have my own designs and ideas although hers are adorable. You can check out her shop here, Polly Lind Artist. No dolls at the moment but her wall hangings are pretty darned cool too. That said, I want to make my own dolls, probably smaller and with no props but that’s in the creative cauldron bubbling away until all is ready.
  • The woman who stole my Medieval Tailor website and presented it as her own got her site taken down by the administrators and all is well there!  I don’t have to hate her or anyone else any more. Cancer stops that stupid shit right in its tracks. You get very real and simplify the things that matter. Checked off the list.
  • I’m eating far more of certain foods than I should and have put on 13 pounds since treatment ended almost 2 years ago.  So back on low carb for me. For every 20 pounds of extra weight you increase your chance of recurrence and since there is no “5 years, oh goodie my cancer won’t come back” with breast cancer, this matters. Now on the list.
  • The gym is hard because I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet (also my fingertips) and so walking, jumping are out, have to be VERY careful on the rowing machine, but the stationary bike works ok. I must find a way to dedicate myself to this. I’m so frikking tired and in pain most days it’s very hard to do but again, this matters. Also now on the list.
  • I wasn’t going to decorate for Halloween but the photos below in an earlier post inspired me and since I’m having a once in a lifetime shindig this weekend it will be nice to have the place looking festive. We have many fond memories of Halloween since my nephew joined this world. He’s too old to trick or treat this year but I’m going for the decor. This shindig really is once in a lifetime. Bro and nephew haven’t been here for 4.5 years and it’s likely that in another 4 years Mom will no longer be with us (sobsniffohgodnotmymom!!!) and she can’t travel to France. So getting my son and his family, my bro and his family, mom, Casey and his daughter all together at once, well, this is a big deal. I’m making my famous chili. Now on the list.

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  • No longer doing circles, I dream of the day I have energy to do formal solitary work again. I do informal work all the time. I really want to get this back in my life big time. This WILL HAPPEN. SMIB.

What are you working on? Do you have any holiday plans? Are you making anything for presents? Baking? Raking Leaves?  What does Autumn mean to you?

Falling Leaves Blessings!