A couple of years ago, I once again jumped into a new hobby. That’s what I do – get it in my head that something would be a great gift idea and force myself into learning how to accomplish it within a day.
One of my favorite websites to drop in and daydream is Cindy Ferguson’s blog. Although I remind myself I need to put in the time like she has in developing her talent, I can’t help but still expect myself to pull off a major miracle.
So far, I’ve accomplished one masterpiece (in my humble opinion), even though I didn’t design it. I found this pattern in a magazine I picked up at a secondhand store years ago and put it aside believing that “some day” would eventually arrive. This was my first attempt at Scherenschnitte (traditional paper cutting) and I was thrilled to see it turn out so well.
After that success, I decided I could give them as gifts and pulled off this one
These days I am working toward re-using paper rather than buying new, but have discovered an unfortunate reality: I can’t see like I used to.
I don’t know if any of you have experienced this with your eyesight, but the more time I spend with the computer screen, the more my eyes dart back and forth when I try to focus on something. I’m certain it is due to the screen stimulation and is one reason why my blogging has been pretty non-existent until recently. In my earlier attempts with some paper projects (that I’ve since abandoned) and in the handsewn gifts I forced my way through, I have had to use reader glasses to see…and even then struggled with my stitching.
On top of the changes and symptoms that occur with illness, we forget that aging is still going on. Many of us feel older than we should in relation to our ages because the topics of our conversations and thoughts stem around health issues we used to hear elderly individuals drone on about. That incessant focus on weird happenings and spontaneous aches are now things that we can’t help but throw out there, hoping that someone can give us assurances that they are real and that there is something we can do about them. Or, just to vent some frustration at losing yet another part of who we are to time.
Vanity aside, I try to gently embrace my aging simply because I know that there are many who were never given the opportunity to do so. The death toll, both here in the States as well as all over the globe, are strong reminders of how much I need to be grateful for, despite all the wrinkles, fat deposits, stiffness and indigestion I face.
My paper cutting expectations were, in my opinion, reduced in order to at least enjoy this craft a little this season. I downloaded a pattern from Alltogetherchristmas.com and got to work on some old-fashioned paper cutting…snowflakes reminiscent of my Kindergarten days. I brought in my daughter to help me create some of those toppers for all the baking/food gifts I’ve been churning out.
For those of you living with health challenges, give yourself a break. As the deadlines for shipping and giving draw closer, this is a good time to re-evaluate what your expectations and realities are in giving and consider how you can modify them. Anything we do tells the person that we thought of them. For those of you living with someone facing health challenges, offering some additional help may allow us to create the gifts we want to create, like my daughter did with the snowflakes, and is a loving gesture. Another couple of simple (but valuable) gestures include buying wrapping supplies (for example, Dollar Store bags, boxes, bows and tissue) or even wrapping them on our behalf. Maybe this will help us feel a little less of that self-induced stress than we have, undoubtedly, already built up within ourselves.
Notes: Any links I offer here for free downloads do not come without risk. I haven’t noticed anything from doing so myself, but I can’t guarantee there isn’t something embedded that I missed. So, as it is with anything on the internet, consider your own acceptance of risk.
The sources of the first patterns are unknown to me, since I found them years ago. My credits go out to whomever they may belong to.