Erika Ray Photography » blog

You zig and then you zag.

A good friend asked if everything was ok because I was quiet lately.  I guess when one isn’t normally quiet, silence is concerning.

But I’ve got nothing that needs to be said.  Plus I’m zig and zagging all over the place.  We’re working on the old house and still working on the new house.  Add in motherhood, work, wifedom, and photography gigs and you’ve got a woman on a crazy track.

What do I do while I’m cruising around that insanity track?  Projects for my hands.  Some might think a Hands Projects adds more stress.  I did.  I used to say that these kinds of projects are a way to avoid what really needs to be done.  Classic bait and switch.  But I’m going to be nice and say that Hand Projects are being kind to yourself.  Who can handle mountains and mountains of crap without a break and really no immediate results?  Not me.  Take a tangible raw item and watch it become a practical item with your two hands.  Please…  That’s just good livin’.

When we moved in, there was stuff to be done.  But there was only so much time and crap to do.  You move boxes, but can’t unload everything because there’s no storage for the box junk.  You paint one room, but can’t paint another because the second room has the current-painted room’s crap.  There’s downtime if you look for it.  Or better said: there’s down time if you create and need it.

Week Number Two in the house and I bought fabric for our first New House quilt: yellow and gray zig zag for the living room.  I ripped and got the squares ready.  And then I sewed.  Or I tried.  My machine was at its final stitch.  I pushed it.  And pulled the squares through.  But finally it would only tack a million times before I yanked it out while screaming, “FUCK.  FUCK!  FUCK…”  My stress breaker had to get to a repair shop.  I let it sit forever in the basement and started knitting again.  Powered through a huge scarf in record time.

Finally I took the sewing machine to a shop and a week later, it came home.  It came back so sparkly and new, I didn’t know whether to burp or swaddle it.  It was so perfect that I felt guilty for how I treated it.  I felt awful that I actually used it for the past four quilts.  But I sewed and sewed.  And it felt amazing.

It’s amazingness was more profound because I needed it.  I need that break with my hands.  In less than two days, I finished the top, the quilting, and the binding.  All while working, doing motherhood, wifedom, working on two houses, and dealing with photography junk.  Yes.  I desperately needed the Hands Project.  I know that now.

More pics soon and some details about this one.  I love this little bugger.