Dude, Where’s My Cardigan?: Husband’s 2012 Christmas Gift Progress Report


IN THIS ARTICLE:
Making good on your promises to those you love
even when life gets weird.


We’ve got loads of reasons for leaving business unfinished. Like, there are some things that you don’t finish out of a crippling perfectionism — the kind that tells you that if a thing won’t be perfect, it isn’t worth finishing. Or there are some things you don’t do because you’re really busy and they’re not as high on your priority list. And then, of course, there are the things you leave unfinished out of sheer laziness. All can be shame-inducing.

But there’s a special kind of shame reserved for when you’ve promised to make something for a loved one for a special occasion that you had every intention of finishing on time for that occasion, but you don’t.

Such is the case with this cardigan I promised to my husband for Christmas. Christmas 2012.  It is now October 2017. Or, wait a minute — maybe I promised it to him for his birthday? Who knows, I can’t even remember. All I know is that I started making the thing five years ago and have promised to finish it every subsequent year, but life got weird. Weird how? Work stressed me me out. Work stressed him out. We were stressing each other out. Resentments festered. Etc.

#FBF to that time in 2014 when I posted on Instagram about how I was making progress. Ha!

To make matters worse, this isn’t just any cardigan — it’s the “Dude” cardigan. Yep, the famed ’70s Pendleton worn by Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski. An article of clothing I chose to DIY for my husband because he’s been a HUGE fan of the Coen brothers since he was a youth growing up in a small town in Northern Ireland with this crazy, far-fetched ambition to one day move to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry. Such was his love for the big screen. And the small screen. All the screens.

#TBT to that time, in 2016, when I said I just might “actually be able to finish” it. Double ha!

With much hard work and persistence (on top of natural talent, of course), my amazing dude uprooted his life and moved halfway across the world to make his goal a reality. Even when life got weird.

Image: The Big Lebowski | Gramercy Pictures

I, on the other hand, chickened out of my childhood career ambitions, moved a mere 30 miles from where I grew up, and I can’t even finish a lousy cardigan for the person I love most in the world.

Of course, I could continue using the “poetic” excuse of taking the same laissez-faire attitude while making this cardigan as the Dude himself took throughout the film. That is, “the Dude abides” unchanged as all hell breaks loose around him.

But, and I’m going to be super frank now, one of the biggest reasons I didn’t put in the time and effort to finish this cardigan for my husband was resentment. I was depressed and dissatisfied with my life. Consumed by a job that was only leading me farther away from where I wanted to be. He was busy with a career that was blowing up. And resentment manifests in all sorts of ways — like being unwilling to put in the extra effort at the end of a tiring day to make good on a promise years ago. And, in more ways than one, this cardigan seemed to epitomize his success and my (perceived) failure. Resentment makes us conjure up crazy symbolism like that.

A month ago, it was two pieces of knit fabric. Now, it’s an actual vest! A wearable thing. Two sleeves and a collar away from done.

But no more. I hereby proclaim THIS to be the year. Not just for finally finishing this cardigan, but for making a greater commitment to finish what I start. To actively pursue and take responsibility for my own happiness. To love my loved ones like there is no tomorrow. Unconditionally. All of those things we know we should do but don’t — until tragic things happen in the world that remind us that tomorrow is never, and was never, guaranteed.

The back.

So Los Angeles had better have a cold, cold winter this year, especially after the record-breaking heat we’ve had throughout the fall. Otherwise, my husband’s going to be sweating buckets wearing this thing on Christmas morning.

This terrific knitting pattern can be found at andreaknits.com/dude.

Oh yeah, and I think it’s also fitting to announce that 10 years ago on this day, we got married inside a Toyota Prius in a drive-thru wedding ceremony in Vegas.

Here we are, driving down the aisle.

Love, American style.

And ordering. I think we had the dinner combo.

One wedding please, supersized.

Looking forward to 10 more years with my dude.

Social Media Gives Me Social Anxiety…So Why Can’t I Quit?

My thumb vs. Facebook. A daily battle.


IN THIS ARTICLE:
what some researchers say about social media
and anxiety, how Facebook totally screws with my head,
I ask for your experiences and input


It’s clear to me that the more time I spend on social media, the more anxious I get. Yet I keep subjecting myself to it — every single day, several times a day.

At least I know I’m not alone. Google  “social media and anxiety” and you’ll scroll through headline after headline reporting stuff like: Social Media Is Causing Anxiety, Study Finds;  Social Media, Loneliness, and Anxiety in Young People, etc.

Continue reading

The All New Incurable Homebody: DIY For the Socially Awkward


IN THIS ARTICLE:
dad’s words of wisdom, the rebirth of the blog,
how crafting helps my social anxiety and
maybe it can help yours


Saturday, August 26th, was my dad’s 73rd birthday. To honor the occasion, my younger sister Liesl and her husband Kenny threw a celebratory lunch at their apartment. Though I didn’t make it for the meal (I’ve got dietary restrictions up the wazoo), Continue reading

How to make galaxy cushion covers video tutorial

How to Paint a Galaxy Design on Cushion Covers

Homebody space geeks — is your sofa your universe? Design your own personal nebulae! (Image: Maya Marin | ehow)


IN THIS ARTICLE:
An apology, I quit my job to work from home!,
relaunching the blog, watch my first video tutorial
– galaxy cushion covers


First, an apology. I’ve been away for so long, it’s shameful. And that’s because I’ve been working full time with a 3-hour-plus daily commute — and that’s just exhausting, both physically and emotionally. Especially for someone who needs plenty of alone-at-home recharge time, which has been scarce.

Continue reading

On my needles: the Sarah Lund Jumper

The Killing Denmark Sarah Lund

Sara Lund (Sofie Gråbøl) — the crimefighter who made comfy knitwear kickass.

I’m finally home (hurrah!) after a year spent in Northern Ireland working on an M.A. at Queen’s University Belfast. I’m supposed to be fully immersed in researching/writing my dissertation (due in a few months), so I swore up and down that I would not start a new craft project until I was finished with it. Then I promptly ignored myself and picked up my knitting needles. Continue reading

Handmade Christmas Gifts & Some Big News

Little Bailey in her teddy bear hat, courtesy of Auntie Homebody.

The jury is in and I’m guilty of being the world’s laziest blogger. I’ve been happily unemployed and crafting…and not updating my blog. Without an excuse in the world. Anyway, I’ve got a few handmade Christmas gifts to report, which I shall do. Continue reading

new dress + craft sabbath

I certainly do live up to my blog title. And being such a homebody, I don’t often get the chance to socialize. Which is why I decided to host something which I’ve dubbed Craft Sabbath — a time for folks to get together to get their craft on. I originally intended for it to be a bi-weekly, every-other-Sunday affair — but this proves difficult as I’m attempting to balance full time employment, grad school, a band, and a host of hobbies. So it looks like Craft Sabbath will turn out to be a once-a-month thing. Still, a group of people showed up for the very first Craft Sabbath on the 4th to knit or to learn how to knit, eat snacks, sip beverages and to chat. (Thanks for the terrific photos, Damien!)

Also, I made a new dress from the same pattern I used for my orange/white striped minidress a little while back. It’s a Built By Wendy (Simplicity 3835) raglan sleeve number that was meant for a woven fabric, but I decided to use a stretch knit so that I didn’t have to put a zipper in the back because I’m lazy that way. I got the fabric on sale and I don’t know what it’s comprised of exactly. Rayon maybe? It’s very smooth and stretchy and reminds me a bit of bathing suit fabric. Anyway, now that I know that this pattern can be used with jersey knits with great success, I’ll have to make a couple more in order to put a dent in the large stash of printed jersey knits that’s piled up in my closet.

yes, it’s been far too long…

…since I’ve posted or have even visited my favorite sewing blogs. Oh, the crafting withdrawals! So what’s been stealing my attention? Well, a few things really…

First, I’ve been writing/recording/rehearsing with my new band, then work got a bit distracting, and finally, a medical scare struck our otherwise serene household. It’s a long story involving a frantic 911 call and an ambulance ride to the ER. I won’t regale you with details (and my hubby probably wouldn’t want me discussing it here!) but please be assured that everyone is now safe and sound.

Anyway, there was something about this episode that made me want to take a break from my projects — to slow down, smell the proverbial flowers, count my many blessings and all that jazz. Of course this meant spending lots of quiet time with Dane, the kitties, myself and of course, a load of good books!

Some of my reads over the past couple months:

And I haven’t completely neglected my sewing machine! I did find the time to whip up a cheerful fabric bookmarker…

…as well as couple of fast and easy dresses, but I’ll save them for my next post!

a painting and a meme

I decided to blow the dust off the easel and do a little bit of painting, which certainly isn’t my strong suit, but oh how I enjoy messing about with paint!

It turned out a tad more somber than I’d initially envisioned — especially given the nature of Oona’s “Happy” challenge. Still, I had fun creating it — which, I believe, is the whole point.



Finally, I’d like to get to a meme that Geri at Sewable tagged me with. It’s sort of a “slam book” (remember those?) style questionnaire. I won’t tag anyone with it afterward — not because I’m a no-fun meme killer, but because I’m a hermit with a ridiculously small social circle. So if you happen to surf in and haven’t been hit with this meme yet, consider yourself tagged. 🙂

What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was 25, married to my first husband, living in San Jose, and working, unhappily, as a writer of computer software manuals.

5 things on my to do list
For today:
Bake a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread

Get the a/c in my car fixed

Read The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins
Organize my sewing area
I haven’t thought of a fifth yet!

Snacks I enjoy
I enjoy fruits and veggies, but unfortunately I always end up reaching for potato chips and pastries

Things I will do if I were billionaire
Go back to university and get about 20 more degrees. Fund the arts. Travel ’round the globe.

Places I have lived
Los Angeles, CA
San Jose, CA
Cambridge, England

Jobs I have had
Market researcher
Baker
Lingerie saleswoman
Technical writer
Church pianist
Singer/Songwriter

And I’m sure that’s a whole lot more than you ever needed to know about me.

never too late to learn

I adored arts and crafts as a kid, but somewhere along the line I got this notion that I was no good at it. So I put aside the water colors, construction paper and sewing needles and threw myself, heart and soul, into music. So I suppose my recent obsession with making stuff might just be the start of a midlife crisis (I turn 35 this year—egads!) which manifests itself in anxiety over the fact that I hadn’t learned enough domestic skills. Mainly, though, I’m a recent convert to the Handmade Revolution. Oh, and, yes, I love pretty things—and if I can make them myself, well that’s even better!

So I suppose I’ll start out this blog by backtracking to relay my craft successes and failures—but there’s not much history to cover as I’ve only started a few months ago. For all you experienced craftsters out there, any advice (and I do need it) is welcome and solicited!