Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting Inspiration

Crocheting and many crafts had never interested me during my childhood.  My paternal grandmother knows how to knit and she used to knit so fast and make sweaters, and all of the neat things that she used to sell when my father was growing up.  When I was growing up, she just made these cute things for us and the rest of the family. Growing up, I asked her to show me how to knit.  I wanted to do what her fast knitting fingers would do and make all that she made! However, I was not as talented.  As soon as I began to knit, I thought it was boring. I was a child who needed to be outdoors, and sing, and dance, and figure out solutions to problems. Ergo, the fast knitting fingers was what I wanted, but I did not have. Grandma would tell me, "You need to keep practicing everyday and you will get better and faster that way."  This is very true, however, even though I had patience as a child, I could not bare the boredom.
My sister, on the other hand, knew how to sew and do cross embroidery, etc. She knows how to knit and she knitted me this awesome purse for my birthday a few years ago (in 2008 to be exact).
The colors, the detail, and she even lined the inside with a black cotton shirt I used to wear in college (that did not fit me anymore, of course). My sister is holding the bag in this picture.  She is smaller than I am in size (just about an inch shorter than me, so we are almost the same height). I had given her a bag with old but nice shirts that didn't fit me anymore.  Whatever she didn't want, I was going to give away.  She new about this black sleeveless shirt, and she knew how much I liked it (so comfy!).  She lined the inside of the purse with it, and even gave it a pocket! The purse has a zipper too.  Awesome purse!!

One of my cousins gave my nephew (born Dec., 2011) this beautiful green baby blanket, where she knitted the blanket and crocheted the border.
 I kept thinking what a wonderful gesture, he will have this for the rest of his life, and say, "My aunt made this for me."
I also kept thinking, that the aunt he would be referring to would not be me... So what could I make for him with a lot of love that he could always have?

This past new years eve, my husband and I went to NYC to visit an aunt of his (his Godmother). She lives in CT, very close to the city (well, close for people in TX, and maybe other states that drive longer distances). One night, while we were watching television, she would crochet what looked like something a bit smaller than a blanket, but not quite a throw either. I knew that crocheting was done with one hook, but I had no idea how it worked. So I sat my 34 year old behind next to her, and asked her to show me. She was doing a stitch called single crochet: the basic stitch in crocheting. And she was making an afghan.

When we came back home, I went to a local Walmart and bought a crochet kit, complete with a picture guide and with a few different sized hooks. I bought a yarn, and began to learn how to crochet on January 4th, 2012. Here I was, at 34 learning how to crochet. A craft I always thought was boring! Then I found out this whole community online that teaches with free online videos (much better than the black and white pictures I had learned with), and many online sites with info. Since I cannot stand making something that will not be useful, I began practicing different stitches by making granny squares, and coasters, and dishcloths, before I made my husband his beanie and scarf. (Video bellow is of the scarf, not a tutorial, and in English; my husband is sporting the scarf and beanie, and the bad picture of myself is the night I finished the beanie).


Suddenly, this craft I never thought I would do,  I am doing! And I'm making things! Useful things! It's a great passion and a de-stresser. As I work as an accounting manager, and do a few different taxes for a couple of companies, crocheting has taught me to just think about the craft project I am doing, and forget about all the other problems. It really has taught me as an adult, how peaceful it is.
My husband now tells me that we don't have to buy presents anymore! That he has me to make presents for everyone else now. HA! Cost effective. :)
Here are some loafers I made for my nephew:

And so today, I am now at project number 19. I will post another blog with most of my projects soon. With pictures! And please comment, let me know if you would like any of the free patterns. If you are on ravlery, my username is Laly7. Look me up!

Just as I got inspired to to something different, I hope this will help other people find the inspiration to start something new. Go out there and find something new, even if you don't know what else you want to do: may it be beginning to learn a new language, starting to draw or paint, playing squash, preparing to go on a trip, learning to sew, or carpentry, or starting a new business. Come on, get inspired! You never know, you might get surprised that you are really good at something you never thought you would be.

Have a wonderful and positive day! You are the one that makes it positive. Go for it! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Day, New Blogger

A new blogger here.  As most new bloggers surely relate, I'm not sure exactly how to begin, but I am just going to try and have fun in the mean time. :)
The idea of starting a blog began a few years ago, when I began to think about my everyday life, the world around me, and the world in itself (what it was going through), and cancer. By now, I have heard from almost everyone that I have met they have either known someone with cancer or has had cancer - either survived it or took it to their death.
A few years ago, I had stage one cervical cancer and even though I do relate to having this horrible disease, I cannot relate to having gone through radiation or chemo therapy. At the time, I was 31 years old, without children yet, and I was very fortunate to have a doctor who cared and knew what therapy to give me.  She said, "It's at stage I and you haven't had children yet.  Therefore we will not do chemo or radiation, we will try the hormone therapy."
She was an angel sent from heaven. I had seen my own father go through chemo and radiation once before my diagnosis, survived it, and then he went through this a second time before his death last year (but this we will leave to tell in another story). After seeing my dad go through one round of chemo and radiation, it was a huge relief to hear the words from my doctor when she said no chemo or radiation. This therapy is very energy draining, and makes you suffer.  It makes the people and loved ones around you suffer as well, since we cannot do anything to help the pain.  The feeling of being helpless to someone you love is like when you have to climb a mountain to succeed and being paralyzed stops you. Not to mention the suffering the patient endures.
When the doctor tells you you have this disease, your world collapses: you do not know if this is your last chance to be painfree and living life.
I luckily had a second chance, and decided I will make the best of it, no matter what.  I am not sure why God let me live still, however, I have to follow Him and figure out what my path with Him is. If I can help others in some emotional way, inspire them, even in the last second of life; or help the kids of my neighborhood find the owners of the lost dog; or help my family go through rough times; or help, help, help somehow...
That's the only way we can live life: being positive, and going up from where you were: there is always hope!
This is how I began thinking about blogging... I finally got to it, and I hope to inspire, make people laugh, and give hope to others out there, in anything you might be going through, or if you just want to sit and read about something other than what you went through in your day.
Have a wonderful and positive day! You are the one that makes it positive. Go for it! :)