Understanding My Demons

There has hardly been an art fair where I have found a piece of art made by someone else that I was willing to plunk down good money for. You know how we artsy types are. We see something and immediately think, “I could make that.” In fact, I will go so far as to say that we not only think we could make it, but were immediately calculating how we could sell some as well. But do we?

I have so many projects started that are hidden away in the deep dark recesses of my house, that even I don’t know where they are. Each and every supply was purchased with a feverish glee and a glowing visual of a long afternoon, crafting with my favorite tea cup.

Artsy folks have a different way of feeling about things. We get excited over scissors, crazy over crayons, and could lose our complete shit over a garage sale with drapery fabrics. So it goes without saying that no matter how much chenille we have vying for our attention, we will still get misty eyed at the opening of a new craft store.

Non-artsy muggles do not understand what happens when the magic takes over and the creative juices start flowing. It’s like being possessed. I remember one right minded person whining to me “You’re starting something else? Do you know how much crap you have in the closet already?” Hmpf!

I would just grin (mostly because it made him mad) and say, “I’m not in the mood to do THAT today.” It wasn’t a lie. All I wanted to do was knit, sew, or paint whatever it was that didn’t include what I had already started. I was not interested at all in a French knotted Christmas tree skirt or a mosaic tiled ashtray. I wasn’t trying to be wasteful. It was the joy of using my hands and working on a project that was my high. I think it’s similar to people who love to read when they crack open the book for the first time and smell.. well whatever it is THOSE people do.

I recently started thinking about my long lost projects, and even began working on a few of them again. Why would I spend so much time on something if I was never going to finish it? I was certainly able to finish them. I even thought I would finish them. So what was my issue? Then I started thinking about the creative process. Perhaps it’s not the bread I want to eat, but the kneading of the dough… maybe it’s not the flowers I wanted, but the digging in the dirt… and maybe it’s not a trim fit body I wanted… but the running on the treadmill… ok, let’s not go that far.

Then the blue light went off in aisle 7, the lightbulb in my head started to beam… I finally thought of something that made sense of all the bags and boxes of unfinished quilts and cross stitched bibs crammed in the crevices of the 3rd floor towel closet… I suddenly realized that it wasn’t the monogrammed bathroom tiles that made me happy… it was something so much bigger. It wasn’t the painted pots on my porch… and it wasn’t even the laminated Woman vs Wild bookmark that I started working on in 2012. It wasn’t the THING… it was the creating. The joy was in the DOING. Ah, I’m not a spend-a-holic. I’m a do-a-holic. Satisfied, I kicked a stray roll of raffia into the shoe rack and closed the door to my walk-in closet. I finally understood my demon. Your joy is not the flippin’ mountain, Deb, it’s the climb!

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

In my line of work, every holiday tends to spill over into theme related fun for at least a month leading up to the big day. Movies, historical discussions and art projects, to name a few, and of course our big cookout with a Rosie the Riveter Look-alike competition.

I have been celebrating Rosie for many years now, and it always warms my heart when the ladies that I work with don their bandanas and show off their “can do” attitude for the camera. Sure it’s awesome to check out the gun show, but the cool part is that these ladies are the real Rosies. When their world was turned upside down and all of their plans for family life with a picket fence went marching off to war, these were the ladies that rolled up their sleeves and carried this country.

While speaking with some younger people this week, Rosie the Riveter came into the conversation. Most had no clue who this icon was, and some said it had to do with Women’s Rights. Sigh….

I looked around the room at the young women and realized that the concept of women carrying the country was nothing new to them. They have always known the power of women in the workplace and have never known the concept of a required role of “stay your ass in the house.” In their lifetime it has always been expected for women to work outside the home and in fact, most couples could not afford the homes they live in without the second income. Women are no longer holding the bag, they are involved in every aspect of ..well everything… and of their own choosing. Women have the power to be anything they want to be. I am sure someone will argue with me about that point, but I cannot think of one thing, including being a Boy Scout, play men’s sports or be the President of the United States, that I could not be if I wanted to. Please do not give me grief on this point. I am aware that there is injustice in women’s equality, but here in the United States, I am free to pursue my Red Shoe Life in any way I would like. In my lifetime, when I graduated from high school, my options where pretty much, secretary, librarian, nurse or teacher and although it wasn’t exactly said, the only reason girls attended college was to find a husband.

I now have a daughter and she has the internet. Where I would never have imagined what could be possible, there is now nothing in this world a woman can’t find on Google and pursue. College and beyond is discussed from birth and if they would like to get married and have a family, she can do that while she works, attends school and climbs Mt. Everest.

The role of women has gone from mere cheerleaders of their families, to hardy participants, and leaders of the world around them.

I am proud of today’s women and am honored to be one of them. We not only bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, we are doing whatever else is takes to “Git HER Done.”

Rosie started it all and had the right idea all along. You CAN do it. You have always had the power to do it, and now you can do it with a pair of awesome red shoes.

Happy Labor Day, ladies, and for more awesome “can do” videos, check out my YouTube Channel called Red Shoe Life!

Technology- Push the Button

It is unfair to say that I am not a fan of modern technology, but I would say that there sure as hell are parts of it that are not my friend. I do not know what is my issue with keeping my devices charged, as it would surely be a simple thing to plug them in each night. This small move would assure that I am rip roarin’ ready in the morning, but in my defense, you can only plug the damn things in, if you can find them! It is a running joke about where have I left my phone in the office. I spend time each day looking for my iPad, to view the App that tells me where I left my phone. Oh it’s comical alright. Little do they know that I also misplace the bugger at home, in the car and well, just about everywhere I go. My husband, Chance, gives me a lot of grief over this, but in fact, he is likewise missing a lot of expensive hats! Just sayin’

The frustration with my electronic items does not stop there. I also cannot find the chargers that go with them. In the rare instance that I do have a charger, it is not the right one. Why the heck do they make so many different kinds and that does not even count the cords that hook them to other uncooperative things like my computer or my car.

It has been my greatest triumphs to figure out how to FaceTime with my kids, down or upload videos onto YouTube (I’m never sure which one it is) and set up my iPod with a killer playlist which is Blue Toothed to my new mini speaker. Booyah, this girl is on fire!! My Nikon can magically send pics to an App on my iPad, my FitBit can tell me when to pee, and I can set my coffee maker to perk a cup of Frappe latte at 4:30 a.m. every morning. What more do I need?

A lot. These are just gateway devices. There is a hell of a lot more to explore, but I gotta take it slow. Keeping up with technology is imperative for living my Red Shoe Life, but I usually end up in a virtual reality nightmare of an endless warren of wires, and the monotonous hum of a aol dial up.

Figuring out technology can be frustrating, but it is key to keeping up with current events, medical breakthroughs and of course, the Kardashians. Surfing the internet helps me carry on an intellectual conversation, save money on my car insurance and experience world events as if I were actually there. It stimulates my brain, keeps the temperature in my home at a steady 72 degrees and allows me to order a 50 bag of sheep food to be delivered without ever leaving the house.

If you think that sounds exciting, be sure to check out my latest YouTube video called Red Shoe Life-Virtual Reality for a good laugh. The kids gave me a quick tutorial on a few simple technical games and had a hearty snicker at my expense. Truly, if you want to know how to figure out something technical… ask a kid.

Guys, all joking aside, this is serious. Being able to use technology is a key component to living a Red Shoe Life, and it is very easy for it to get ahead of you. Don’t let it intimidate you. There are whole stores full of people just standing around waiting for you to ask them a question (and sell you the latest gizmo). Ask them. Ask everyone until you understand. Don’t be afraid. There isn’t a button on any home gadget that will end the universe. Live your Red Shoe Life and push the button. Push all the buttons.

I do, when I can find them.

Deb’s Dreads

Life on the farm has been a swampy mess lately.  It finally thawed out and now has had at least two weeks of monsoon conditions, causing my girls to be cranky and not their usual glamorous selves.  Even Andrew, my Southdown Baby Doll sheep is moping.  I miss his smiling little face as he waits patiently for the other roller rink floozies to fight over the sweet feed.   I just muck around in my waders, schleppin’ hay and tidbits to higher and higher ground.  I’ve even been eyeing a pile of old fence wood contemplating building an ark.  BTW, thanks Bri and Brandon for the IKEA bag… it is working great for hauling hay and keeping spiders out of my hair!

So yes, I have a collection of sheep that I originally got to spin their wool and make art yarn. I love their wool.  It’s soft and fluffy… and so plentiful…  I even have a wonderful spinning wheel that I use to hang clothes on in my bedroom and drag out to the Mid-South Spinning Club once a year. The tubbies in my garage are really stacking up.  What to do… what to do?

I guess I lost my enthusiasm for yarn when I realized that I just can’t knit or crochet…  tried it… can’t do it. Perhaps I should have taken that into consideration before I purchased the sheep…  The other downer is that most people in Memphis just don’t wear woolen socks and hats.  Go figure!  I just had to come up with some other way to use all this wool.   That is when it hit me…  woolen dreads!  If you are unfamiliar with these cool beauties, check out Google or Pinterest and see all the vibrant colors and adornments.  My brain exploded when I saw how creative I could get with it and immediately fell in love with the whole process.   Thus, Deb’s Dreads were born.

Today the dreads went even further out on the limb of the crazy tree… One of my awesome sisters has a beach side gig where she sells wooden nautical art and driftwood masterpieces.  It’s called “The Wooden Peg” (her name is Peggy) and if you are ever near Jensen Beach, you’ll have to check her out.  One of the biggest sellers at The Wooden Peg are mermaids.  She hand cuts them, paints them, puts on the do-dads and voila… Ariel swims off the shelf faster than Peg can make them.  So one day we were yakkin’ about a new project and it suddenly popped up that it would be cool if the mermaids wore dreadlocks.  Hmm…  hot pink perhaps??  This conversation resulted in me making a set for her today which will be ready for the dying process tomorrow.  I can hardly wait to sew on the little pink sequins and tiny sparkly shells!

This got me thinking about other types of dolls.  I rang Florida and asked if she could make me a stand up version that I could make colorful dresses, head raps and dreadlocks.  Now my head hurts… I’m going to have to get more sheep…

Stay tuned for the finished projects and let me know if my knitting days are over.  In the meantime, making dreads for my human customers keeps me happy and insures that I can continue to use my spinning wheel as a clothes rack… or better yet… use it as the helm’s wheel on my new ark!

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Wyncies Woolery

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Named for the lovely lane in England where my husband’s grandmother lived.  “The Wyncies'”  thatched roof cottages and winding country lanes stole my heart and began my obsession with all things sheepy!

My little flock include Old English Southdown Baby Dolls and Shetlands, who boast names like Agnes, Andrew and Penelope. Both breeds are miniature in stature, but surely make up for it in personality!

Of course, I will be blogging now and then about my escapades with wool, but today my post is about making woolen dreadlocks.

I know, I know, unusual you say. Well, not really. Just unusual in MY world until now.  I have been having so much creative fun with this.  Just Google woolen dreads and you will see the most amazing works of art. They are dyed awesome colors and adorned with beads, fabrics and beautiful jewelry… All of which is right up my ally.

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It is a lengthy process if you start by shearing your own sheep.

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Then the fleece is sent to a fiber mill…which takes six weeks and eventually it returns to me like this!

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then comes the fun part of making them into dreads.

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and dying them.

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And then you get to wear them!!!

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Hahaha! You guys should never let me stay home by myself!

 

 

 

 

What’s Up Doc?

Living a Red Shoe Life means living it to it’s fullest.  One very important way, is to take care of your body.  I can honestly say it has been years since I’ve been to see some of my doctors, but it always seems to come in line after everything else.

For example, there is no tellin how long it’s been since my last eye exam.  If it wasn’t for Dollar Tree cheaters, I probably wouldn’t be able to BLOG at all!

So, with my Red Shoe Life in mind, I have started making some appts. and with that came the big decision to have surgery on my frozen toe joints.  RA is a tough customer, but with my Red Shoe plans, there is no room for foot pain.  So, yesterday off I went at 5:15 a.m. and then this happened….

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So after a little joint reconstruction , a bit of bone grafting and a weirdo cyst taken out of my bone, I’m good as new!

I got my new knee scooter today, which is not as easy to use as I thought it would be, but I’ll be back at Tango lessons in a few weeks!

So this week while I have a little free time, I’m going to be making some long overdue calls and get it over with.  Seriously gang, taking care of your body is important.  I know it can be pricey and time consuming, but the price of ignoring your health is even higher. Not only does it cost you in dollars, but it could cost you living your Red Shoe Life!

As I go forward with my transformation, it becomes clearer and clearer how important it is to be cognizant of every facet of my life.  Your health is a big one, so make sure seeing your doctors are on the TOP of the list.  Suffering from a preventable issue is inexcusable.  I’ve got places to go and a Red Shoe Life to live, so off I go to seize the day before the day seizes me!

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Moo For a New You!

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It seems like I will go to any lengths to provide comedic relief for my more serious posts.  I have been wanting to talk about Collagen for a while now, but it is so damn boring, I just had to spice it up.  So, some of you know that I live in a rural area and these lovely ladies live next door.  They are fun to “moo” to, have great cow pies for my garden and I can set my clock by their nightly return to their barn.

Well, on my walk over the weekend, I got the brilliant idea that I should take a picture and post it with my info. about Collagen.  Apparently they have been reading my BLOG, because then THIS HAPPENED…

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and the only thing between me and this guy was those two little strings of barbwire.  Needless to say,  my lovely walk turned into a speedy exit and I promised that if they spared my life, I wouldn’t mention that the best source of Collagen is bovine!

Ok, so Collagen, I thought it was just an ingredient for wrinkles in face cream.  Apparently, I was only hitting the surface and didn’t know the big picture.  I’m going to simplify our chat and if you have more questions, please GOOGLE it, because there is really a lot of evidence with scientific explanations…. and uh… just look it up.

I have explained in previous posts, my frustration with doctors when you have to go around in circles to get information.  When there is something as great as Collagen, why don’t they just freakin’ tell people?  So, it turns out that Collagen is really good for your joints.  It is recommended for Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as all kinds of arthritis and other joint issues.  It improves everything from circulation to recovery from athletics.  You can think of Collagen as a type of elastic that holds us together and comes from the Greek word meaning “glue”  It holds up our falling faces, reduces the look of cellulite, reduces inflammation, heals your leaky gut, builds strong bones, tightens loose skin from weight loss, speeds wound healing, and everything else from dental to healthy hair.

I mentioned that there is Collagen in some skin creams, but for real benefits, you have to start on the inside.  There are tablets and powders and even bone broth that can be made by buying grass fed beef bones from Whole Foods and stewing them in a crock pot to make a wonderful soup.  Go to Wellnessmama.com for a great recipe.  Bone broth can be also made with organic chicken bones, pork bones or even fish. With that said, I just don’t want to mess with it and I went for Collagen supplements.

I have been trying out a Collagen powder that I  put into my bullet proof coffee in the morning and off I go.  It has no taste, but it does have a few carbs.  It is made by Zint and I ordered it from Amazon.

Check it out, try it out.  I think it is really helping me.  I just wish someone had told me about Collagen years ago.  Yeah, I still put that crap on my face, but since beauty is only skin deep, I’m going for the good stuff…. not just good.. it’s “Moo-velous!”