The Fall Decade Ride

October 15, 2012

I know there hasn’t been much news for a while, and I am sad to say I haven’t been focusing much on art lately. I’m still adjusting to life off the bus and trying to figure out where I’m living and how to make some money to live there. At the moment, my studio is overflowing with boxes and bags of Phin & I’s things while we try to reorganize our lives. So not much art. But! I did just make a little video short from our fall Decade ride. It was my very first fall Decade and it was so lovely and magical. The weather was perfect and as always to food, fun and company was absolutely splendid. So enjoy a little snippet of decadence ♥

On The Road…

August 17, 2012


Hey all! I’m on the road with The New World Manifesto, and it’s been great! We’ve been working hard filming our daily episodes. Running on very little sleep, and fueled by copious amounts of coffee we’re basically all go all the time.

At the moment we’re in Brooklyn NY, filming episode 5. At the same time, we are preparing to premiere our first batch of documentaries tonight at The Body Actualized Center, a community space and yoga studio at 143 Troutman St. in Bushwick. There will be films and discussion, followed a big party! It’s going to be a lot of fun so if you’re in the area, stop in! The show starts at 9pm.

If you don’t happen to be in NY today, you can watch our films as they’re uploaded on The New World Manifesto website, and don’t forget to follow the blog (filled with beautiful still images and accounts of our adventures) and like us on Facebook! Hope to see you tonight!

The End Is Nigh!

August 6, 2012

Here’s our Vermont crew. We also have Grant & Natalia flying in from Poland on Tuesday and in Denver we’ll be picking up Anestis, who is flying in from Germany.

Hey everyone! So I will be leaving soon on a journey of epic proportions! Starting August 11th I will be embarking on a 40 day 40 night, 8000 mile odyssey across the USA in a vegetable oil powered school bus creating a documentary about the
coming of the end of the world!

According to the Mayan calendar, the world as we know it will end on Dec 21st 2012. Our goal with this project is to collect ideas from free thinkers around the USA of what we want our new world to be like and use that information to create a manifesto which we will then bring to Chichen Itza Mexico on Dec 21st, 2012 and offer it to Gods.

My job in all of this will be to transcribe and illustrate our manifesto as we go. I hope so much that you will come and follow us on our journey and be a part of it! We will be uploading short documentary episodes daily and we will keep you posted on all that is happening along the way, and we would love to hear your feedback and ideas and see you along the way!

So please, join me and the crew of The New World Manifesto by following us on facebook and through our website at http://www.thenewworldmanifesto.com/ And if you are interested in our project, if you are excited to see our adventures and interviews, if you want to be part of the action we would very much appreciate your donations to our Kickstarter!!

Thank you and please forward this widely and support our cause!

The Lemur & The Circus Strong Man!The Cat & The MouseThe Elephant & The FrenchmanThe Gazelle & The Cupcake ❤Giraffa Camelostovepipalis & The RatRabbit & Ladybug
The Crow & The HoboBear & The PrisonerThe Fox & The Tea PartyThe Loon & The FishermenThe Mouse & The Sousaphone player on a grassy knollSwan & The Bunny Writing His Memoirs
The Hampster & The Black Bird Dinermpster & The Black Bird DinerSeahorse & The Equine

What Lives In Your Stomach?, a set on Flickr.

Mental Health, Round 2

February 13, 2012

 

Okay, that took much longer to write than intended. It was partly because I was busy, partly because I was depressed and miserable (thanks to STILL being mostly one-handed, among other things). But here is the next installment of my update on my progress.

 

The trip home to Vt was intense and trying and therapeutic. It was helpful to be on the road, with almost no chance of seeing anyone I knew while at the same time I was constantly feeling like a spectacle for looking so obviously out of place in all of these small towns. I wore pants and a hoodie almost every day (which is not my style at all) just to blend in (also not my style). The one day I put on a skirt and wore my usual wild attire I felt so nervous and ended up in such a panic after going into a diner to use their bathroom and having the whole room turn to stare at me that I made my mother pull off the interstate so I could change.

 

But the hardest part was dealing with my mother. Not so much her but the effect I was having on her. Having my boyfriend leave me when I needed him most, when I felt safe and secure, finally, that he wasn’t going to leave me left a huge hole in my heart and my confidence was shattered. For the first time in my life, I was actually worried I might do something to drive my own mother not to love me anymore. My fear of loosing everyone I love was so big that I was able to do things I couldn’t do before. The fear of my problems driving my mother away became bigger than the fear of talking to people or going out. I tried so hard to feign normalcy just to keep my mom from seeing how truly fucked my state of mind was. When she saw it, saw the panic or anxiety, it stressed her out so much. She had no idea how to deal with me. That’s why I hid it as much as I could, so I wouldn’t scare her away.

 

In the end, it was instrumental to my “recovery” or rather, my ability to be myself within society, to be me with all my problems and still able to walk down the street. I think perhaps I went into “survival mode”, which has always served me well. Because I had to, I started going out and doing what needed to be done. People used to tell my boyfriend and my sister that what I needed was to go out, to be forced to live normally. I still think they were wrong. I still believe that what I needed was to be alone and build my strength and I know that if anyone ever tried to make me go out during those years of isolation my reaction would have been panic mixed with anger. There are a very select few (meaning 2 and even they frequently meet with resistance) who can tell me what to do; anyone else who tries usually meets with hostility and contempt. So for me personally, the only way for me to go back out into the world was to be backed into a corner and have that be my only viable option. It had to be my decision, or it never would have had a positive effect.

 

When I first got back to Vermont, I was by no means at my best. Life was still incredibly hard. I often felt incredibly stressed and anxious. I would get so worked up in minor conversations with my mom that I would have to separate myself to calm down. I still avoided people and spent almost all of my time at home for months. Coming home was by no means an instant cure, but I believe it was a vital step to a beautiful and healing place where I could be outside and go for long walks without fear. Here I was able to work on parts of my well being that I had neglected.

 

There will be more to come, but I’m not pretending that I’ll actually stick with any sort of time-table. It’s coming… eventually.

Today I learned that it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. While I have major issues with the term “mental illness” (implying that all people who are sensitive to the traumas faced by so many, or who can’t conform properly to our strict and often unreasonable societal rules, written and unwritten, are just “sick” and need to be shut away or medicated), I still think mental health it’s a very important topic.

It made me realize how much I’ve neglected this blog, and how much I left unsaid after my long, grief-filled absence. I think now is the most important time of all for me to share my experiences with the few of you who want to hear them, and the many out there who might benefit from stumbling upon them on this great resource we call the internet, now that I’ve conquered the worst of it and am living a fairly “normal”, happy and independent life.

This is a long story and will have to be written in installments since at the moment I’m suffering from severe tendonitis and am unable to use my right hand.

So I’ll need to go back in time first, I think. When I stopped writing over a year ago, it was spurred by a very traumatic event for me. In therapy, I spoke out for the first time in my life about the trauma in my past and less than a month later my boyfriend (who was not only my lover and my rock but also my main caregiver while I was locked away from the world, and my advocate to the outside, legally and informally) was gone. The pressures of loving and caring for someone so broken and incapable had finally gotten the best of him. He stood by me for so long and I greatly appreciate it and can understand why he left, but at the time I was only angry, hurt and depressed beyond belief. At the same time, an argument with my sister left us not speaking for quite some time. And some poor decisions made by my therapist resulted in me quitting her as well.

I spent months completely secluded in my studio, having multiple panic attacks per day and unable to eat or sleep much at all. I began exercising compulsively, in an attempt to wear myself out so that when I lay down to sleep I wouldn’t feel as if I were being electrocuted. I worked on some very intense and disturbing art pieces and spent the rest of my time crying, walking on the treadmill and doing sit-ups push-ups and any other type of exercise I could think of until I could barely stand.

Around this time, my mother decided it was time for me to come home. Being the most loving and dedicated mother (even when her baby is far too old to be considered to need babying) she spent far more time and money than she had to give flying to Washington, loading my belongings into a truck and renting a car to drive the two of us, my dog and two cats 3,000 miles across the country and back to Vermont.

Stop in later for more of the story, hopefully I’ll have it up in week or so but perhaps longer considering WordPress barely works with dial-up and old-ass computers.

Newness

August 13, 2011

Hey all. So life’s been crazy and intense but I’m starting to feel like I’m back on my feet finally. Sorry the whole ‘documenting my struggles’ thing didn’t really pan out… It’s awfully hard to put your thoughts and feelings out into the ether when you are so unhappy… At least it was for me. Things got so SO  bad for a bit there… But now I’m back in Vermont staying with my mama and I feel a lot better. I always feel good when I’m here, how can I not? It’s just such a beautiful, peaceful and serene place to be.

I’m working hard my dolls these days, too. Not making any new girls at the moment just preparing the ones I have for the art show I’m having in October! I’m so excited and really nervous but I think I’m ready this time. Since I’m actually going to attempt to ‘make it’ as an artist, I decided to start a new website just for my art. It’s still in the works (mostly because I only have dial-up at my house and my flickr account ran out!) but hopefully I can get it up to par before October. Feel free to come and check me out and subscribe on Facebook if you’re interested in what’s happening with my dolls and other art. I’m really hoping I sell some… I don’t really want to part with them but if I had money, think of all the fantastic art supplies and fabrics I could buy!!!

So come and see me on <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/pages/Poppets-Lace/163928737024920/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”> Facebook! </a>

P.S. – I know the new site’s a bit sad, but I’m working on it!!

So all my money is now gone. Between all the initial payments to rent this house and insulating the garage, I now have no savings so buy a new camera. It’s sort of depressing, but that doesn’t really last once I see what I’ve gotten out of it all! I now live in a beautiful house with an amazing, sunny, private yard and soon I’ll have a humongous studio to boot. Plus, Sarah and Joe will be reimbursing me for some of the costs of it all, so I only have to save $700 in order to have as much as I previously had saved away for my dream camera.

The past few days have been the most intense and exhausting days I’ve experienced in probably over a year. Actually, ever since we moved I’ve only had a couple of days of laying about. It’s been really nice to be outside and finally get exercise, but I am so tired and stiff! My body is definitely not used to this, but it will be soon! It will be nice when I finally have my stamina back, at this point I feel like I’m shutting down around 5 and I can’t really function after that. But I’ve still gotten so much done!

First off, I built a compost! Okay, so maybe this isn’t that exciting for anyone else, but for me it’s like an incredible feat! I don’t think I’ve ever built anything on my own before! It seems like I must have, but I really can’t remember anything… So lets just say this is my first. It’s really simple, just five pallets with chicken wire and held together with baling wire and some hooks on the front so it comes off (easy access compost). It didn’t take me that long, either, but I felt so accomplished afterwards!

I think it might be hard for people who’ve never had serious social anxieties to understand how totally amazing this is. I haven’t gone past my own front porch in a year! (except to be shuffled into a car) So to be somewhere I can feel safe walking around alone and even go off into the woods and build something big and complicated (a year ago, I would have also been to overwhelmed by the process, crying and panicking every time I thought I did something wrong) This is so amazing for me and I am so proud and happy!! ^.^

So THEN, after that was done, we started working on my new studio. It never would have happened so quickly without Joe, if it happened at all. Joe is the most wonderful and amazing man on earth! He worked constantly for three days to make my studio a reality and not just a garage. I don’t know what I’d do without him. I know that he worked so hard because he wants me to be happy, and he knows that without my studio I’ll go mad (all my art supplies are still in boxes in the living room, it’s the only thing left to unpack) so I just want to say that I am the luckiest woman alive ^-^

Joe was trying to leave at 5 for the long drive down to Eugene, and when I told him it was 6:30, this was his reaction. But he kept working until it was all done!! So I made a lovely dinner for us all.

So now the garage looks, from the inside, like a giant cardboard box. We didn’t have much money to spend on it and it’s such a huge space! So what we did was buy fiberglass (yuck!) and put it in the walls and ceiling with a patchwork of cardboard and duct tape over top to keep it in. It looks so janky, but I think it’ll work! The most expensive part of the job was the floor, which is just plywood, but plywood’s expensive!

So I spent about two days cutting open cardboard boxes and duct taping all the holes and the flaps so that Sarah and Joe could tack them up on the walls. When I say it, it doesn’t sound like work at all! Maybe I’m just so stiff and wiped out from moving that it felt like work. Or maybe my body is just so deteriorated from not leaving the house or getting much exercise that I’m a total wuss! That sounds more likely.

With all the big, messy stuff done (putting in the insulation and cutting the plywood) Joe’s gone off to Oregon to practice with his band and visit family and me and Sarah are finishing up the job. All that’s left (pretty much) is to paint the floor so that it doesn’t splinter. I put on a coat yesterday, it was so much harder than I thought it would be! Getting the paint in all those little grooves and things. I used a whole gallon on the floor, that’s how big it is! The paint I used yesterday was sort of a dark gray, but today our paint is light purple… I have no idea what the result of that will turn out to be, but that’s what you get when you’re buying the miss-mixed paint, it’s cheap but not always pretty. Although purple on gray sounds nice…

Tomorrow is my birthday. Well, officially, but since Sarah and Joe are both working we’re celebrating it on Monday, with a lovely Sushi picnic! I’m so excited for that, but I am a bit weirded-out by my birthday. It just seemed to come so suddenly! And I keep forgetting how old I am, I’m never sure if I’m turning 26 or 27… :/ But I’m really excited because for my birthday I’m buying myself a fig tree ^-^ It will be so wonderful! It can grow in a pot forever, I can bring it with me whenever I move and in a few years, I’ll have fresh figs in the summer time!!! Yumm…. figs….

YAY!! New house ♥

May 5, 2010

So we’re pretty much all moved in! I’ve been on overdrive for days. My whole body is sore and I feel like I haven’t stopped moving in so long.

Our new living room view

Our new house is in such a beautiful place, the yard is so lovely with the garden beds and lots of birds and trees. I wish the weather wasn’t so cold and yucky! I want to be outside all the time! I want to roll around in the grass and fall asleep in the sunshine. But I have to wait until there actually IS sunshine.

Just a tiny portion of our yard

My studio is crazy! It’s gonna need some work before it can really be considered my studio, right now it’s really just a garage. We need to put up insulation and to put in a floor (probably just plywood) so it will be warmer. The landlord said it was okay to install a pellet stove, too, so it’ll be a toasty little house for me! It really is more like a house than a room. It’s so big! It’s really hard to see from the photos, but it’s absolutely massive! It’s making my head spin with giant art project ideas… Oh the things I could do, now I just need to get over my compulsion to make such teeny tiny art.

Here's the inside of my new studio. It's hard to tell how big it is, but that slatted thing that looks like a dressing screen is a futon frame and the desk took up my WHOLE ROOM at the old house.

So that’s all the things that make this place awesome, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I haven’t said anything about the actual house… That’s because the house is just weird. It’s one of those “modular homes”, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in person until now. It’s like living in a giant play house. I keep imagining that it was made in a factory where they have giant molds shaped like a house frame and they fill it with plastic. I can’t understand why anyone would ever build or buy a house like this willingly! It’s so cheap and crappy! The cabinets have weird laminate over them that’s coming off, the bathtubs are shallow with no overfill drains (odd.) the cupboards in the kitchen are a bit lacking, there’s really not that much space and only two drawers! And there are no closets in the main house, no place to put a broom or a vacuum or coats. And the worst part, we can’t put tacks or nails in the walls!! The landlord said the walls are coated with vinyl and if you put little holes in them, you can’t spackle them, you have to just replace the whole wall! We’re going to have to get creative to cover all the ugly white walls and the ridiculously large mirror in the kitchen.

This house is just silly. It’s not very well designed and it’s ugly. But I don’t care!! It’s a house! And it’ll totally work for the next year. Plus, I’ll have my studio and that’s all I really care about. That and the gardening space. I have my studio, and a lovely, sunny yard to garden in. Joe has his music room. Sarah has her own big bedroom and me and Joe have our own little bedroom. I have my kitties and my pooch, and it’s starting to look like home ^.^

S.D., lost in the moving mess

Panic vs. Temper?

April 28, 2010

So a strange thing happened to me the other day, but let me start at the beginning.

Our closest neighbor (I can see his outhouse from my art room... YUCK!)

We’re trying to move. The house we live in is nice and cheap, but it has a lot of downfalls. We’re really close to the paper mill, which is stinky. We don’t have any privacy since we live on a little plot of land with like 8 or 9 other people and our yard is small. We get NO sun, and our house is always cold and moldy. There are lots of reasons to move, but for me the biggest, for me, is that our house has no doors inside. I have no privacy unless Joe and Sarah leave, which is just awful. I would like to be alone sometimes without having to ask them to leave. And I really need more space for my art. The space I have now is okay, but I really could use more. Plus if I ever start the stop-motion project I have in my head, I need to know it’s not going to be knocked over by some cat.

We’ve been looking for a house for a couple months now. It’s turned out to be incredibly hard! There are so few houses for rent and the houses that are for sale are either way too expensive, have no land or are giant mansions. We don’t want a huge house, just a little one with space to garden. One day I found this house that looked so perfect. It was way too expensive, but I couldn’t help but be drawn to it. It’s on 3 acres, very private with lots of sun but it’s only one mile outside of the city limits. I thought perhaps there was a way.. Maybe we could work something out? So I wrote to the owners.

The woman who wrote to me was so wonderful and sweet, I really was hoping she would just rent to us! But the rent they charge is a lot and they really want to sell. So I forgot about it.

Then, last week, I saw the same house on craigslist again, and the price had come down! It was still too expensive for us, but I thought maybe they would bring it down more. Sarah told me I should write to them again and ask if they would consider renting to own, so I did. The answer I received was so exciting! The woman told me that she would talk to her husband and that they were going to try to sell it for two more weeks, then they would consider renting to own! There’s just something about this house, I feel so drawn to it…

What happened next was really hard. Sarah and Joe went to look at the house and came home saying that there was no way. The woman’s husband was very firm on the price and wanted $50k for the down-payment, which we don’t have. So that was that. But I can’t seem to let go… For some reason, I KNOW this house is ours. I don’t know what it is, it’s not a belief, it just is. I don’t know how to describe it, and I need to move so badly…. I was so heart broken when I heard the verdict.

But instead of getting sad, I got angry. I started to feel very angry with Joe. I felt that he hadn’t done anything to try to find us a new house. I check the internet daily and Sarah calls people and sets up appointments, all Joe had to do was fill out our loan application but after what feels like forever he still hasn’t, he just forgets. I got so frustrated I started to yell at him, why can’t he make this incredibly important little thing a priority?? I feel really bad now for yelling at him. I know he does so much for me and he’s very busy, but our living situation is a constant source of anxiety for me. We have to move by July 15 and I am terrified the move-out date will come and we wont have another house. It’s happened to me before and even though Sarah and Joe assure me it wont happen this time, I am so scared. I need a home right now, I can’t be homeless in the state that I’m in right now…

So I started getting mad at Joe. Instead of standing around being yelled at, he decided to leave and when he did I started to scream. I screamed so loud and so long, I’m really surprised I didn’t loose my voice. I screamed and I cried and I rocked myself in my bed. It was really hard but it wasn’t a panic attack. It was something else.

Sometimes my therapist talks about my inner child “taking over”. She says that when I freak out that is my inner child taking over and throwing a tantrum of some sort. I never really knew what that meant until the other day. When I was screaming and going through this experience, I tried to get talk to my inner child, to find her and figure out what was going on with her. But I couldn’t. It wasn’t that she didn’t answer, I couldn’t even focus on the question! I was so overwhelmed with emotion I could barely focus at all. I really felt like I couldn’t contact my inner child because she was consuming my being. The only thing I could think of was how afraid I am and how much I wish I had a safe home. I kept thinking “I want my mom”, like if my mom was there, she would make sure I had a home, and she probably would! But I’m supposed to be an adult! I am supposed to take care of my own problems with a clear head. I’ve never understood until now how much this “inner child” controls me when she’s upset.

But what is amazing is that I didn’t have a panic attack! I know this isn’t that much better, but I believe that anger and frustration is WAY more positive than fear and panic. I don’t want to stay here, getting so unreasonably angry, but it was much better than panicking. I have such a huge problem getting angry.

When I was young, I used to have such a temper. I would kick and scream and just cause a general ruckus. It was a real problem for my mom, I don’t think she knew quite how to deal with this loud, angry, obstinate child. She used to tell me that I needed to learn to control my temper and eventually I did, but not in a healthy way. I stopped getting angry. I stopped being obstinate. I started being more complacent and empathetic. If someone was mean to me, I would feel hurt but I would say “they probably have a bad home life, maybe their parents aren’t very nice to them” Instead of getting angry, I internalized it and those feelings turned to depression. I stopped standing up for myself and started feeling like everything people said that was bad about me had merit and that I must be bad.

Over the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve been trying to get my anger back. I try to get angry or at least fight for what I believe in, but it’s been hard. Usually, as soon as I start to feel anger, it begins to dissipate. Anger doesn’t hold me like it used to, and usually I can’t hold on to it no matter how hard I try. And more often than not, my anger disappears and in it’s place comes a panic attack. That is why (as I’ve explained in another post) when my body shakes and convulses, it feels so necessary. Like there’s so much energy inside me and it’s going to come out no matter what I do.

I really think that doing this inner child work is what helped me to feel angry. I don’t want to stay here, where I scream at people I love, but I feel like if I’m going to learn how to deal with my feelings in a positive way the first step is to un-learn what hurts me. Things like bottling up my anger will never do me any good and I think I’m ready to let it go and to move onto something new and different. It’s time for me to finally learn how to honor my feelings and to find a way to feel like I’m being heard without screaming.