Sage and Sass

Sage and sassy wanderings of a curious mind.

Gift for a dear friend or, hmmm I could sell these… January 10, 2012


I am a knitter from way back.  My grandmother taught me when I was five.  That is forty years of experience right there.  That is a lot of experience.  I got to thinking about this recently when I decided to go back to doing my crafts as a business.  I have done this many times in the past, all with relative success, but my knitting has always just kind of been for me.  Plenty of fabulous gifts have been passed to my loved ones but I never really thought of it as a money-maker.  I have made jewelry, done sewing, painting and chalk portraits all as supplemental income, but never my knitting.  I have even crocheted things to sell, but not knitting.

I was thinking of this very thing recently while plotting out a present for one of my oldest and dearest friends.  I have been playing around with the idea of starting up a new craft business to supplement our income.  The thought of looking for a job while being a medical marijuana patient is daunting at best.  So of course my mind went in the direction of using my talent for profit.  Do what I love, stay home, make money?  Win, win, win.  First, let me explain just what kind of knitter I am.  AVID, and I don’t mean I just really like it, I mean I knit morning, noon and night.  I knit while working the table at the swap meet for my dad.  I knit while waiting in long lines.  I knit in church.  I always have a project in my purse and several going at home.  I knit while watching tv.  I can knit with my eyes closed, literally.  I live and breathe knitting.  So while deciding on a gift for this dear friend of mine I thought, hmmm, I should knit a purse.  So I did and here it is…

I had been playing around with the idea for a while, creating the perfect purse.  I am always on the lookout for the perfect purse.  One with a spot for my knitting, my iPad, my keys.  All organized and comfy, and of course, cute!  So I shopped for the perfect yarn for her taste and spent a bit of time thinking of her and her style.  And then I began knitting.  I actually took the time to sketch out a basic design which is new for me.  I usually follow a written pattern or just fly by the seat of my pants.  This time I actually designed the pattern myself with fore thought.  It was daunting, and challenging.  I had to consider design elements that would be beautiful as well as sturdy and functional.  I started out with a few basic elements I knew had to be there.  First I wanted the purse to lay flat against the body for comfort.  This friend has a spirit of adventure.  I wanted her to be able to lengthen the strap to wear cross body for long days out perusing festivals and such.  So I used hardware that allows the strap to go from short for wearing on the shoulder to a full 46 inches for across the body safety and comfort.  I also had to choose the right stitch to use for the strap to make sure it was sturdy enough to hold up.

For the basic shape I wanted it to be flat on the back side, again for comfort when wearing cross body and to accommodate a book or other flat object with ease but a full front to hold whatever needed to be held.  Easily done with some increase and decrease knitting.  I was quite pleased with the visual effect this gave as well.  I knitted and attached two pockets.  One went on the inside to hold little things that get lost like chapstick and the other on the outside back panel for easy access to things like a cell phone.  I used a magnetic clasp to hold the flap closed.  And for decoration and to bring the whole thing together I used a pendant of a peacock which I thought tied in nicely with the gorgeous colors of the yarn.

I used Lion Brand Yarn “Amazing” in the color Glacier Bay.  I knitted the entire purse except the pockets using two strands of the yarn held together throughout.  The yarn truly is amazing.  The pictures do not do it justice.  I used several design elements such as cables on the front where the flap lies so that when you lift the flap you get this surprise little touch of beauty that cables offer.  I also added a swivel clasp on the inside to hold keys or anything else you want quick access to.  I used the strap to put the front and back together to add stability and strength to the whole design.  So far feedback has been  wonderful.  Can’t wait to give it to her and get some usage feedback.

Don’t get me wrong, this was an incredibly challenging project that required lot’s of frogging.  For those of you who do not knit, frogging is a very serious and technical term.  Frogging is when you have to rip it, rip it, rip it out and start again.  LOL  But I think you will agree, it was worth every stitch.  I am already planning mine with the gorgeous Amazing yarn I got for Christmas, called Rainforest.  I can’t wait to go searching for some celtic hardware to use on it.  Happy knitting!

Slainte’

~Sam  😉

Advertisements
 

OMG is that a tattoo? or I mean, wow, that’s really pretty! July 15, 2011

Filed under: Show & Tell — Sage and Sass @ 2:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Recently a friend made a comment on Facebook about loving the reaction she get’s from people who find out she has a tattoo.  It got me thinking about how I react when I see one.  Everyone who knows me knows I am the poster child for “do not judge a book by it’s cover.”  I look like a normal, average wife and mother, whatever that means, but I live life out loud.  What does normal mean…oh never mind.  Anyway, back to the tattoos.  I, personally love them and am likely to accost people to question them about theirs.  I currently have three and a fourth on the drawing table.  I designed my first three.  The first being simply footprints that represent my babies on my ankle.  Green footprints for Tyler Jade and pink, slightly smaller ones following behind the green ones for my Jordie Rose.  A few years back I had reddish paw prints added for my beloved red heeler, Micka.  When I got the first one at the ripe old age of 32 mind you, my mother freaked.  I would have expected no less from my genteel, southern, pentecostal Mama.  She eventually got over it.  I think?               

The second one was a present from my new Usband on our first Valentines day together.   Matching tats.  I designed a circle of gaelic words and a claddagh that mirrors our wedding bands.  A sentiment that reflects both of our mind sets regarding love and therefore not breaking the taboo of never get a name or something you will regret if that relationship goes south.  I am wild and creative, not stupid.  Even though I am certain this man is mine for the rest of my days.  Usband got his on his chest and I got mine in the location of the oh so popular tramp stamp.  Lower back area for those of you not in the know.  My reply to a friend who attempted to tease me in regards to this location?  “It can only be a tramp stamp if it is actually stamped on a tramp.”  So there.

My third, is a drawing I had played around with for years that sort of represents my own spirit.  It’s a celtic seahorse.  If you haven’t guessed by now, I am of Irish decent and feel a very strong pull to all things celtic.  Since my first tat was representing my babies and the second one my love, I thought it was time I got one that represented me.  I am a Pisces and my Celtic sign is seahorse.  This one is on the back of my neck.  My mother has about a 50/50 track record of stopping herself from making her opinion known whenever she happens to see it.  I am proud of her effort! 

I am always surprised when people are surprised by my body art.  I realize I have perfected the whole chameleon way of life.  I am good at fitting in.  I am comfortable in my own skin and curious about the whole world so I usually do not stop to think about whether or not I will fit in somewhere, I just “travel” where I please.  And for the most part it works out more than it doesn’t.  I am equally comfortable in a conversation with church ladies as I am with the two young men I had an interesting conversation with at Borders last week.  I asked them if that was the new issue of High Times they were snickering over and if it was could they pass me one.  They did rather slowly and with their mouths agape.  A lively conversation about marijuana laws ensued.  Up until now my tats have been fairly modest and carefully placed.  But still, I am so used to my quirky and diverse nature that I think it should somehow be immediately obvious to all who meet me.

So what, you may ask, is this fourth one going to be about?  Well, I am back to square one I guess.  I have been pondering the whole empty nest thing, even though it is a few years away.  Time does fly you know.  And my bubby is 10 years old now, that’s getting up there for a heeler.  My girls, who are not babies anymore will be central as will my little shadow walker Micka.  A celtic tree of life is in there.  It is coming together nicely, will be rather large and the location is going to be my right thigh.  This one will not be as discreet as the others.  I have decided I enjoy the artwork I wear and am not so concerned with covering it up at this stage in my life.  I am 45 afterall, that is considered adult isn’t it?  I live in the desert, shorts and swimsuits guarantee it will be obvious.

So what do you think?  Will you think differently of me when you see it?  Oh dear…poor Mama…

Slainte’

~Sam

 

To weed or not to weed…or you’re thinking of doing what??? June 30, 2011


  I suffer from chronic pain.  It sucks.  It really sucks.  I have known many others that suffered but until it happens to you personally, you really have absolutely no comprehension whatsoever what it is like.  I admit it, I am guilty, in the past, of thinking, “OMG when do you not feel bad?”, upon slipping up and asking one of them how they are doing.  That doesn’t make me a bad person, it is is just so hard to understand what chronic really means.  When you are relatively healthy your experience with pain or sickness is fleeting.  You get an injury or the flu and you bide your time or take drugs that knock out the pain and before you know it you are up and running again.  That is your reality so you tend to think it is everyone else’s also. 

  And how bout those drugs?  Ah the wonderful world of prescription painkillers.  I hear people talk about them in various degrees of awe.  There’s the typical younger response of,  “Dude, I twisted my ankle but I got some killer painkillers.”  Then there’s the middle aged, “the doc gave me some pretty heavy duty pain killers but I will only take them if I have to.”  My personal mind boggling favorite, “I’ve been on them for years, couldn’t get thru the day without them, they are prescription so they are safe.”  Really???  Ummm, newsflash, no they aren’t.  Not knocking them, just saying…wise up.  If you can take them and they help you, awesome for you but do not presume that because a doctor writes you a prescription they are without consequence.

   I, personally, cannot take pain killers.  I have allergic reactions to 90% of everything docs prescribe for me.  Not exaggerating.  New docs will say, “oh no problem, everyone can take this one and we’ll start you on a low dose.  You won’t even know you are taking them.”  And then I spend 3 weeks having side effects that make me sicker than the original condition.  And the docs are always so shocked by this.  “But, EVERYONE can take this!”  Apparently not.   I absolutely love my current doc, BTW.

insulin pump

What neuropathy does

What is my condition?  I have type I or juvenile diabetes.  I am on an insulin pump.  Been on insulin over half my life and now suffer from peripheral, autonomic and poly neuropathy.  The pain can be annoying or excruciating with varying degrees in between.  But there is never a day without pain.  I have suffered several setbacks along my diabetes path, some pretty scary and painful but I always beat them.  I won, I came out on top and I never let it get me down for long.  Until about 3 yrs ago when my body just started going all willy nilly on me.  Without going into a bunch of detail you don’t want to hear I will hit the highlights.  It began with nausea that led to about 6 months of not being able to keep food down or blood sugars stable.  Around this time I also started having what they call “no symptom hypoglycemia”, pretty technical term there isn’t it?  I have always been very fortunate in that I always had strong symptoms when I was dropping too low.  I would even wake up if I dropped in the middle of the night.  Not so anymore.  Scary?  You betcha.  All of this led to having my gall bladder removed.  Which may not have been necessary.  Too late now. 

Having my gallbladder out did stop the nausea for a while.  But then about two years ago a whole new round of symptoms started kicking my butt.  Excruciating bouts of pain that would start with my whole body burning, then sensitivity to touch or clothing and then stabbing pain and then back to the sensitivity and burning and then back to normal.  These flare ups as I call them would last anywhere from 3 to 6 days and then I would have about 10 days before the next one hit.  Working was out of the question, I never knew when they would hit or how long they would last.  God bless my dear Usband!  Long story short, I now take Cymbalta to control the flare ups, which it does to a certain point.  While I no longer have the flare ups that completely grounded me, what I have instead is a constant version of it that never lets up.  Don’t get me wrong it is preferrable to the flare ups.  Oh and did I mention I have to take another med to protect my kidneys from the Cymbalta? 

  So this constant or chronic pain is what brings me to the title of this blog.  I can’t deal with this pain anymore.  I need some relief.  I need to be my old self or at least an older version of it.  I am not a cranky, miserable person.  I am a happy, spunky, pro-active, git her done person.  I am a hugger dammit!  Now I am limited to touching only when it will not cause me to shriek in pain.  And I am tired of it.  I am doing all I can do to correct, control and live with this and it is not enough.  I need relief.  I have tried everything recommended for the pain and nothing has helped.  And then I remembered…

  Once, in my early twenty’s I was having a pretty painful bout of pancreatitis.  It was bad.  The very dear friend whose couch I was crashing on at the time of this bout got sick of watching my suffering and all but forced me to smoke some weed.  I had no insurance at the time and no money, so I was screwed.  She convinced me to do it, didn’t take much convincing to be honest and much to my surprise and relief, the pain let up enough to let me sleep and go back to work the next day.  It was a miracle.  All was right in my world again.

  Now personally, I have always thought it was insane that pot is illegal when alcohol which is much more destructive, is not.  But that’s just me.  I am not getting into the debate over legalizing marijuana here.  I will state my opinion, it is natural, it is beneficial, I think it should be legal.  Read the history, it might surprise you.  However, I come from a very conservative, religious background.  And I believe in following the law.  When in Rome and all that.  So when the memory of the relief I got all those years ago popped back into my head recently, most likely due to the fact that Az is now a medical marijuana state, you can imagine I was torn. 

  To weed or not to weed?  That was the question.  The answer?  Weed, definitely.  It didn’t really take much thought.  It is legal in Az. now and my condition makes me a candidate.  Yea, yea there’s the whole federal issue still but, I want my life back.  So I talked it over with my Usband and our girl’s.  They were very supportive and on board with anything that would give me some relief.  Then I turned my attention to my folks.  I brought it up first just as a discussion, you know, “how bout that medical marijuana issue.”  Surprisingly my mom and dad didn’t have much of an opinion on it.  So I let them know I was considering it.  My mom laughed it off and said whatever works, I know you need something.  Dad was overly concerned with the controversy and possibility of being arrested federally.  I told him I was willing to risk it.  He didn’t like that. 

  Anyway I took the plunge, I got my medical records and went to a recommending doc.  I got my recommendation and now I am waiting for my card.  Now, since Arizona has the dispensaries on hold, I must decide whether to grow my own or use a “caregiver”.  I would like to grow my own just to ensure the organic part of it and all that but, I do not have a green thumb.  I kill weeds on accident, no pun intended.  Hmmmm, what to do, what to do…I am sure there will be more on this subject.  In the meantime, what is your opinion and or experience on this subject??? 

Inquiring minds want to know!

Slainte’   ~Sam        BTW, I really do recommend educating yourself.  No matter what your views.  Do not let a doctor or any health care person make decisions for you.  Know what you are taking, know the alternatives and be a responsible health care patient.  It’s important!