June 30, 2009

Personal Stuff

There's been a lot of stuff going on recently, and I feel like I've been really falling behind with the blog here. If you're not interested in Sean and my personal life, then please feel free to skip this extra long post. I don't mind. :)

First, Sean and I just celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! We got all dressed up and had dinner in the courtyard of the Kennedy School McMenamins. It was really lovely! I made a chocolate cake with homemade strawberry filling and ganache frosting. We've been pigging out on it, but we may have to force it upon some of our neighbors so we can still fit into these nice new clothes we just bought.

Second, our exciting news is that we may be buying a house soon! We've been wanting our own house for a really long time, but it's never been the right time for us to buy. We keep tabs on the market in our area, and I finally said we should talk to a mortgage broker. It could actually happen in the next few months!

We're trying to find a place with a big unfinished basement or garage that we can turn into the new studio space. It would be so convenient to have all our sandblasting equipment in our house with us. We're learning that we may have to sacrifice our proximity to the city to get all the space that we want, but it will be a worthwhile trade-off.

[This is a picture of the bottom of a whiskey glass that my dad carved with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It's so cool!]

The third major personal thing we're dealing with right now is my Dad's health. He just had surgery on his skull for a hematoma. I don't know how he feels about me talking about all this, but it's helping me deal with it by sharing with other people.

Basically, he bumped his head a few months ago, and the injury caused blood to collect next to his brain. He just had the excess blood removed, and now he's waiting for his brain to expand back to the size it should be. In the mean time, he has decreased function from both sides of his brain (so reading and speech can be difficult, and his creativity is impaired), and he has frequent seizures. The seizures aren't like falling-on-the-floor spasms, it's just mis-firings in the brain that make large portions of his body go numb.

Anyway, it's very frustrating for him, since he can't go to work, and he can't get around much. My dad's a really artistic person (he plays--and builds!--a number of musical instruments, he does digital mandala designs, he's passionate about photography, he draws, he has lapidary tools for making jewelry, he engraves glass, rocks and anything else he can get his hands on, and so much more,) so not having creative abilities is probably one of the hardest things he's ever had to deal with. The most recent activity he just got into is drawing Zentangles, and I really want him to do more!
I'm trying to come up with something fun for him to do with his current free time. Maybe he can do some more photography (he's got a new Canon camera that I know he loves to play with), or maybe try a new craft. Is there something fun that he can just follow the directions for? Something that doesn't involve much reading? It's so hard to imagine what he's going through. I know I'd feel completely lost if I was suddenly missing so many skills. We're all expecting him to recover quickly, but that doesn't make this time go by any easier. I love my dad so much, and it's really hard to be on the other side of the country from him.


Brett & Shrie June 30, 2009 at 5:09 PM  

Origami would be perfect. Often there are just pictures that show the instructions. You can get kits at any book store or paper store!

PS - I follow your blog and Etsy shop! I have one too! www.shrielenee.etsy.com/www.LoandBehold.org

jarsika June 30, 2009 at 8:56 PM  

It's kind of from left field but have you ever felted before? It can be very zen like and if suddenly something happens there's definitely no way he can get hurt. It's not that expensive and you really can make some beautiful stuff.

Also on a COMPLETE side note... did I SERIOUSLY see your stuff on the Urban Oufitters website. WOW... all I can say is WOW. Good for you guys huh?!?!?

Martice July 1, 2009 at 12:11 AM  

Hi, I've never posted before on your blog I think, but your story is so sad :(
I hope that your father gets better soon!


SisterDG July 1, 2009 at 8:43 AM  

Wow, congratulations on your anniversary and the potential house! And I'm sending lots of good thoughts to your Dad, and to you. It's so horribly stressful when a parent is sick or injured.

Jariska's needle-felting suggestion is a great one. And how about something like mosaic? It's a lot of fun color and pattern play, and has elements of the building-type of projects he enjoys. You could even use the pre-cut tiles to avoid any sharp edges. Or, mosaic with sheet plastic cut into pieces...

Amanda July 1, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

Thanks for the crafty suggestions and all the kind thoughts! It's really helpful right now.

My mom did some mosaic stuff a few years ago, so I'll definitely suggest that to him. I've always wanted to try felting, so maybe I can talk him into testing it out for me. I'd never though of origami, but that's a great one too. He seems like a paper-craft kinda guy. :)

Jarsika--Yeah, those are our glasses at Urban Outfitters! We actually just licensed my artwork to them, so they produced the glasses themselves, but it's still really cool. ;) Thanks for noticing!

Adrienne July 1, 2009 at 2:16 PM  

House hunting is so exciting & nervewracking at the same time. Some of the houses we saw were unbelieveably awful, which was funny in a really sad way. But when you find "the one" you'll totally know it!

Many good thoughts to your papa. Felting might be a good fit for him!

Sophie @ Century Finds July 1, 2009 at 4:09 PM  

I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, that must be so frustrating for him. I hope it isn't too long until he is his old self again.

And congratulations on your anniversary! I am just drooling at the thought of that chocolate cake :-)

LeaKarts July 1, 2009 at 4:23 PM  

I hope your dad recovers soon! I can't even imagine what that must feel like for him.

I am also really exited for you guys and your soon to be house & your 6 year anniversary! Congratulations!

ClareBears July 1, 2009 at 5:06 PM  

Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. I do hope your Dad get's better soon. It's very tough when you don't know what to do for them.

I think all of the previous suggestions are great and I love the zentangles. They're so unusual and I love them.

gaias daughter July 2, 2009 at 5:14 AM  

Amanda, the brain has an amazing ability to heal itself . . . ask Sean! Anyway, best wishes to your dad. And thanks for sharing about the zentangles. Looks like something I might like, too.

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