My recent projects

I just finished my first quilt of the year! It’s just a simple hexagon baby quilt–but it feels so good to finish a project. I learned a few tricks with my sewing machine with this process and some important details about fabric marking chalk that frustrated me terribly, but it’s done now and I can breathe a sigh of relief.


I also worked on some jewelry storage for my bedroom– Continue reading

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The funeral was a grueling affair. My father was wheeled in by his brother and parked in the front row beside me. He never lifted his head—he just stared at his knees through the whole service. There weren’t very many people in attendance. Family members numbered the most. Mom has—had—a really big family. The preacher droned on and on about how wonderful Mom was and people sniffled in the rows behind me. I couldn’t cry. I had already cried all of the liquid from my body and was left dry. Everyone looked at me strangely. They asked me “are you okay?” I didn’t have the voice to answer, but a quick nod usually sufficed. Continue reading

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Art 101 (or starting again after 20 years)

I’m not sure why I stopped being artistic. The last project I remember doing on my own was in the seventh grade (at least 20 years ago). I haven’t always enjoyed my time at YVCC, but my art class last quarter and one this quarter have been so much fun. I’ts also helping me get over my fear of rejection. That one fear has kept me motionless for so long, but I’m not going to let it any more.

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I get a lot of satisfaction from creating and I plan on doing more. I’m thinking about auditing more art classes next year.

I hope everyone has a creative day!phone2 384

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Nameless Threat (Part 3)

After dinner I realized I hadn’t checked on Roger’s cat all day. I thought it would be nice to get away by myself for a few minutes but Opal invited herself along.

“I’m just dying to see what that prissy man’s house looks like.”

Better than mine, that was certain. Roger had the best taste and never had to compromise because of spouse or children. Everything was beige and tan with splashes of blue, green and burgundy. My house is decorated in blue. The kitchen is blue, the bathroom is blue, and the living room is blue. Gordon thought his “you-know-what” would fall off if flowered fabric touched our bedroom or living areas.

I found Roger’s key on my jumbled key-ring and we dived out of the frigid air, closing the door behind us. My mother-in-law started snooping immediately; leafing through piles of papers and looking at his mail.

“Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”

“Look at this”, she said excitedly. Continue reading

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Stream of Consciousness Assignment

My husband is much more focused than I am. He has ambitions and dreams. I don’t. Well, I dream of living in a cottage near the ocean. Not much of an ambition, but there it is. I think my dreams got dialed down about the time my children were toddlers. My locus of control was snatched from me and I have no idea how to get it back. You see, in order to raise children you must grow up in alarming ways. I was 21 when my first child was born and I had no idea what I was getting into. It didn’t matter that every older woman in my vicinity delighted in telling me that I was losing control; I didn’t believe it. Until one day the last fibers of my rope slipped from my fingers and I swam in space and time not knowing where my horizon went. I looked at my toddler, my second child, he was so angry because I had made him go to his room for punishment of a crime I no longer remembered or cared about. My intentions as a mother were simple even in the beginning–to raise my children to become perfect adults. In retrospect, it was so silly. My children are going to be the people they choose to be, not what I choose for them. But anyway, I digress. Back to me. I signed up for classes at the local Community College and loved it for about a year. I excelled in math and english; biology wasn’t for me. I learned some things about myself. I got a part time job at the local library (I love books and thought it would be a perfect fit) as a page. I didn’t mind that my only job was to put away books, I enjoyed putting them in order and placing them on the shelf back where they belong, ready to be checked out by the next customer; back where they could whisk someone out of their daily life. The other women who worked there were so unhappy in their own little lives and didn’t understand how I could only work 12 hours a week, or how I could be satisfied with placing books back on the shelf. There was one other page there; a homely young woman going to the same Community College. She did nothing. I mean nothing. She sat on a stool and browsed the internet. When I would come in the next day, everything would be just as I had left it–nobody else could put things away. But the thing that got me was that nobody noticed. Nobody said “Thank you. You do such a good job.” So I left. I quit. But I also quit school and that was a bad thing. I quit because I couldn’t see where I was going. I still can’t. My ambitions are dark, nimbus things just out of reach. I have a better job now, but I still don’t know where I am going. I work at the county courthouse in the Law Library and it’s good, but not perfect. I want to write but can’t make myself do it every day. I am still floating.

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My Craft Supplies Addiction

I have a confession. My name is Janelle, and I have a craft supplies addiction. I need an intervention–stat.

Why? I ask myself (after I get home).

I am in the process of sewing squares into strips that will make my “Winter Birds” quilt. I love this fabric and have had this quilt on my mind for at least a year. Why, then, can’t I just enjoy the process? Why did I need to go in search of new projects today? I bought 4 patterns (on sale, of course), 4 yards of fabric and felt remnants (at a craft store going out of business), and brought home a many new ideas for future craftiness (that I didn’t need). I want to make quilts, bags, dolls and doll clothes, clothing and costumes. So many ideas swirling around in my head. But to finish a project takes an act of willpower–I want to start on the new thing, pick out new fabric. It’s an illness. An addiction.

I need to quit my job.

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Nameless Threat (Part 2)

We were watching my mother-in-law make her way through the small airport wearing bright pink pants and a wild shirt. She was hard to miss as she bee-lined for the counter. Two seconds later we heard the loudspeaker: “Will Mr. and Mrs. Giroux come to the front counter, your party is waiting.”

I couldn’t believe she didn’t even look around. Gordon shot me a look that I chose to ignore and we headed for the front desk.

“You’re looking well, Mother”, she should be flattered; that was the most he had spoken all morning. Instead, she was miffed when he sidestepped her hug. Continue reading

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