Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tumour marker results

I got my tumour marker results today, and I have good news: they dropped to 35.8! That's down from 46.2 the last time we did the markers some months ago. 30 is normal so it seems like mine are heading in that direction. That's great news :)

I'd guess that there's no recurrence in the breast since the markers are so low. If we could just get this fatigue under control, I could live a "normal" life again, maybe :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Movies and taxes

Both Ian and I are preparing our tax returns, since they are due tomorrow. We've been filing as common-law partners because we are living common-law and people tell us that it's better for us. I don't know whether I believe that. Last year I remember that I got less back than I would have if I'd applied as a single person, and it seems that the same is true this year. Sigh. I'm going to have to pay $364 :(

We watched a new version of Macbeth, where the characters were drug lords in Australia and their groups instead of rival kings. It was really good! So much was said through actions and not words that it meant that the words made more sense than they usually do to me. The actions explained the words, and the dialogue and monologues came naturally, which doesn't seem to happen with other renditions of this play. I felt that I really understood the story and I very much enjoyed it. Be forewarned, though: this version is quite bloody; there are a lot of killings in Macbeth and they've thrown in a few more for good measure. But if you get a chance, see this movie.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fitness evaluation today

I went for my fitness evaluation today. My fitness level is ok, based on the 5 minutes on the bike, and I have decent balance and range. I already knew that I was on the chubby side and so I wasn't that surprised to find out that my BMI was 30.9 or something. They did a body-fat test by measuring something on my arm, and it came back with 37.8% of me is composed of fat. I didn't expect my fat level to be that high.

After all these tests and stuff I talked to someone else who explained that I would achieve my goals more quickly if I hired a personal trainer. Of course that's true... but it's also expensive. I know a few people who have hired personal trainers and they toned up and lost weight quite quickly. If I could have one for free, I'd definitely go ahead and get myself a trainer.

The person kept dodging my questions about cost. After a while, she said that I could get 12 hours of personal training and pay $74/month for 8 months. That means that the personal training would be about $50/hour - a bit more than I can afford right now, given that I want to reduce my overall debt. The personal training rates are going up $10/hour as of Thursday so it's certainly better to buy it now, but I think I should wait until I can really afford it. In the meantime, I'll muddle around by myself, using the different exercises that they developed for me.

In other news, we bought tickets to see Radiohead on August 15. I'm very much looking forward to the concert; we both like Radiohead and so I hope we have a good time.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I see sewing in my future

It looks like the new messenger bag is going to be a go; the person is answering my replies, at least :) I'm happy about that, although I guess this means that I should have been sewing drum bags before. I'm ready to start sewing them tomorrow, though.

If this keeps up I'll start having nightmares about drowning in bags :)

I think that I'm able to decrease my oxycontin painkiller intake but I think that I may have tried to decrease the amount too quickly. I got woogly tonight, which is usually a sign of withdrawl. Sigh. I'll tell you, taking a lot of painkillers - even though I have to - is no fun. I don't like that I have both a physical tolerance and a physical addiction to the things. The doctors say to not worry about addiction in this case. At least I'm not craving more painkillers or any other drug, so I think that I'll be ok.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lots of sewing but less for me

The core needle biopsy area is still sore, but at least it's stopped bleeding. I think it's slightly less red, too, which leaves me feeling quite relieved!

Someone is asking about a messenger bag from me and while I hadn't planned to do any bags like that for a while, well, I'm not going to turn anyone down, am I? I took pictures of the different outer fabrics and linings that I have. I'll edit them tomorrow and put them somewhere so that the person who's interested (as well as anyone else) can choose from them.

I've also planned to make some drum bags for the upcoming open house on May 4 at the bellydance studio. That way, people can buy them if they want to. That would also be a good day for my class to practice the choreography for the recital on May 11 :)

Of course I decided that I wanted to make a dress out of the fine cotton fabrics that I bought :) Some of them shrunk quite a bit in the prewash! I've got a pattern adjusted and I've decided on a layout; the actual sewing should be quite straightforward, I hope.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Core needle biopsy aftermath

The core biopsy didn't hurt yesterday, but oh my goodness it has been very sore today! It's swollen and tender to the touch and is definitely bruised. It also turns out that it had been bleeding last night and so I had to do extra laundry today.

I went out to the yarn store and bought a book on knitting with wire. I thought that was pretty cool :) I also bought some yarn that I'll stick in my stash of yarn-to-be-knit. That pile isn't nearly as big as the pile of fabric-to-be-sewn. That's good because I don't have the kind of space to store that much stuff.

Ian and I are both really tired and so it'll probably be a very early night. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow - I do want to get some more sewing done :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

An appointment day

The core biopsy I had this afternoon was quite uneventful. I told my surgeon, who did the biopsy, that I needed extra local freezing. He gave me an extra shot without even blinking, which I liked - some doctors argue about that, but he didn't. I asked him how many samples he was going to take and he told me that he'd take as many as he wanted :) He ended up taking eight samples.

After that I saw my family doctor and we're going to change my pain medications once again. I'm to up my fentanyl to 125 from 100 and see if I can drop my oxycontin. I hope I can :) I see my doctor for follow-up in about a month.

And what's a day of appointments without a little shopping? :) I'm currently obsessed with the idea of making myself a shirtwaist dress (shirt dress), with buttons down part or all of the front. I love the 50s styles like that but the retro styles in the pattern books usually have a big full skirt which is not so attractive on me (it makes me look shorter than I am). I found a couple of patterns that I can use to make the dress I see in my head, and I also found some other dress patterns.

I did buy fabric but only one length; it's cotton with stylized flowers on it. And I helped two different people find what they were looking for - one was a mom with her daughter and the other a grandma with her granddaughter. It was fun helping them figure stuff out :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A whole day of non-sleeping!

I did end up joining the gym. It'll be $19.95/month forever with some restrictions: I can only go on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday; and I can't do the spinning classes. I can do almost all of the other classes, though. While being restricted to three days a week seems like a big disadvantage, I figure that it will be a bit easier to keep to a set schedule if I can't just put it off until tomorrow. I'm looking forward to going and working out again.

Remember that thickening in my breast where the results came back with nothing, but recommended further tests? Well, tomorrow my surgeon is doing a core needle biopsy of the area. He knows where it is and everything and so it shouldn't be a problem with him doing it. I don't expect any problems with the test, and hopefully the results will come back ok.

I was up quite early this morning because the surgeon's office called with tomorrow's appointment at 8:30am. I managed to stay awake all day - yay! Hopefully this means that the Pamidronate won't knock me out entirely :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pamidronate day

I had my Pamidronate infusion today. It went ok, although the nurse couldn't find the port on the first stick so she had to poke at it twice. Ouch. They say that it's not supposed to hurt, but I don't really see how that's possible; I guess I have wussy skin that is very susceptible to pain. They did draw blood for the tumour marker test and I checked and they're doing the right one this time :) I'll call next week for the results

The nurse suggested that I get some Emla cream and put that on an hour before the bloodwork appointment. It's available over the counter and it's supposed to numb the skin enough to make the port access pain-free. I hope it works!

I'm not quite as tired this time around; I'm still tired, but I shopped for a couple of hours while receiving the infusion and I was sewing afterwards. I didn't sleep this time like I have the last two times, so maybe I won't be as knocked out as before.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to look at a gym. They're offering $20/month for forever but with limited access: I would only be able to go Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays (or some other 3 days a week schedule) and I wouldn't be able to take all classes. That might work for me as I wouldn't go to the gym more than 3 days a week; the only question is which days I would be going. Anyways, I'm going to see what the gym has to offer and what other costs they have and stuff. We'll see. I've missed going to Well-fit (the 10 pounds I've gained since I left has something to do with that) but that place is too expensive.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Reading about bellydance costumes

As you might remember, I ordered some bellydance costuming books. They came today, a whole week early! All of the books are by Dawn Devine Brown and they cover everything from the technical aspects of making a costume to the design elements that emphasize or minimize things. I'm reading them all, cover to cover. Next I just need to design my own costume. So exciting!

For all that I have no compulsion to sew, I've been sewing a lot. I'm working on this great shirtdress right now out of a tan fabric with black embroidery and black tulle accents. I'm using black for the collar and sleeve bands and black buttons and the dress is coming together quite nicely. I actually managed to get the collar on properly!!!!

The way I did the collar was first to stay-stitch the neck and the clip the neck to the stay-stitching to make it fit around the collar curves. I add drops of Fray-check to the points, but since the seamline is outside the stay-stitching, it's unlikely that the fabric will ravel through on those points.

Tomorrow I get another Pamidronate infusion; I wonder how long it will knock me out this time?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

At least I got to sew today

I managed to get a bunch of sewing today, which is what I'd planned to do yesterday. The weekend has not been a total loss :)

It's supposed to be nice tomorrow and I'm looking forward to getting out and doing something fun. I have my Pamidronate the next day and I don't know what I'll feel up to later in the week.

Ian is home from juggling - he's very, very tired but had a great time.

Where did Saturday go?

No, really. I didn't post last night because I didn't have a Saturday. I went to bed Friday night and got up about 15 minutes ago which means that I slept about 30 hours straight through. Except for the times that I woke up to roll over because my lower back, hips, knees, and ankles hurt (thank you, Femara) and the time I turned my alarm off. I really thought that when I turned the alarm off, I would get up in the afternoon on Saturday. That'll show me :)

I've been very tired for a couple of weeks now, since I did the bonspiel followed by the recital, and I think that I just haven't caught up with the sleep I needed. Hopefully I'm done with that kind of sleeping marathon for a while.

Friday, April 18, 2008

On my own for the weekend

Ian's off to Rochester to juggle for the weekend which means I'm on my own until Sunday afternoon. The only thing I have to do all weekend is the dishes and the rest of the time is my own. I actually got up early this morning to see Ian off and managed to stay awake all day. I entertained myself by sewing, surfing the internet, and watching tv.

I watched This is Spinal Tap while sewing this afternoon. Oh, that's a funny movie - how can you not laugh while watching the dwarves dance around the 18" high Stonehenge? :) Even thinking about that scene while writing this makes me giggle out loud, even when I'm by myself :)

I found this awesome site by Swarovski called Create Your Style. There are tons of user-uploaded design ideas using Swarovski products, and there are even instructions on how to do some of the basics in wire-work and beading. Even better, there's a place where you can design your own item using Swarovski products. The whole site is worth a look.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's like summertime!

I love wearing new shoes! I wore one of my newest pairs today when I went to lunch with my friend and then my Spirituality and Healing group. Unfortunately, new shoes don't always love me :( I ended up with blisters on my heels and some pre-blisters on other parts of my feet. Oops. It's the price I sometimes have to pay for summer shoes :)

It's unseasonably hot here - it was over 20C today and is expected to be 24C tomorrow! Of course this is very welcome because I, for one, am tired of the cold and rain and snow. Hopefully the rain they're forecasting for the weekend won't show up.

Edited: the shoes I was wearing are Carmea by Nine West. The shoelace detail, together with the quilted satin and the suede, caught my eye. The other pair of shoes I bought are very similar to this pair by DKNY; there are some subtle patch placement differences but the shoe is essentially the same. It's super-comfortable and cute - and the sole says dkny all over the place.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sleeping, sleeping, sleeping

Sorry there was no update yesterday - I was pretty tired and my back was very woogly. I couldn't even read my book and ended up sleeping until almost 4:30pm, or about 16 hours. I still wasn't feeling fully awake and so just watched tv this afternoon. Later I got up enough energy to do some sewing.

One thing I did yesterday was to buy some books on making bellydance costumes. They were very expensive on (one was $65 which is what I paid for all 3!) so I bought them from They're due to arrive around the beginning of May. I'm doing more and more bellydancing and thinking more about costumes, so I'd like to be able to some good ones. I can't afford the $500+ to buy a beaded costume that will need significant alterations anyways. So we'll see how things go once I have the books. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

On my way to Mississauga

Shhhh.... can you hear it? The caCAW, caCAW, caCAW at the edge of your hearing? No? Well, I can hear it, but just barely - it's the call of the Winners store and it's loudest when you're near one.

As I was tonight. I'm dog-sitting in Mississauga tomorrow morning so headed there this evening. I had told Ian that I wouldn't be stopping at the Winners on the way to my destination, even though it is my favourite Winners. I meant it when I said it, too. Really.

But then as I got nearer and nearer I heard its caCAW call and thought, "well, I guess I could go in for only 15 or 20 minutes to look only at shoes." I have been looking for two specific pairs of shoes: one black ballet slipper with rounded toe and one that I can wear with pants to walk around in. I've told Ian about my hunt for these shoes before, so he knows that I've been looking for them.

I found both of those pairs of shoes tonight at Winners and both were on sale!!!!! I also found a couple of other pairs of shoes that were on sale that I could have bought but decided to pass up. In the end, I got exactly what I was looking for at a very inexpensive price - clearly, heeding the Winners' caCAW call pays off. I've learned my lesson: if I hear the caCAW call of the Winners store, I'm heading in. Don't try and stop me! :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

FunkaBelly fun

Last night some of the Haft Vadi students headed to Toronto for the FunkaBelly dance. It's a monthly party thrown by one of the instructors in Toronto and it's full of bellydance music, dancers, and fun. There are some performers and a nightful of dancing. I had a great time! I didn't love all of the music they played, but I definitely loved the performances and the opportunity to dance with and meet people that I had seen but didn't know.

I'd been really nervous about what to wear and ended up wearing one of my long, black, bellydance skirts and a black top that I love. I didn't bare my belly because I didn't feel like it but the top and skirt made me look really curvy. The theme of the party was "An Homage to Plumage" and I bought a red feather boa out of which I made bracelets and a choker. I also wore my usual bellydance scarf.

Some people looked really awesome!!! One woman had closely beaded a bellydance belt out of iridescent sequins and it looked really amazing. A friend of mine also sewed sequins onto a bra and it looked fabulous! I'm so proud of her :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Oncology appointment today

We got to see my oncologist today. She had seen in the report from my surgeon that my dad had died and was very tender and nice, offering her condolences and stuff. I was touched by her compassion and humanity.

The funniest part of the visit was getting the results of my tumour markers. When I had my Pamidronate infusion changed for the port, the nurse I talked to said that the tumour marker blood draw (which was to be done later that week) would be included in the blood done on Pamidronate day. On that day, the nurse had no orders for the tumour markers, went back to check, and came back and said that we were doing some. So they did do a tumour marker test that day; the trouble is, it was the wrong test. I was tested for CA125 (an ovarian cancer test) instead of CA15-3 (my test). At least the CA125 came back normal, meaning I have no ovarian problems. That's good, because I have no ovaries :)

So, umm, we're going to re-do the tumour marker test this next week. I hope that we end up getting the right test done this time. :) I can call and ask for the results a week after the test; if they're ok, then the nurse will call me back with them and otherwise I'll hear from my oncologist herself.

In other news, the FISH test from the last biopsy came back negative meaning that my cancer is Her2neu negative. This is actually good news, because if the FISH test showed that I was Her2 positive then the cancer would be more aggressive.

The doctor found the thickening in the latest lumpectomy scar and said she hadn't had enough experience with that scar to know whether or not that there was a real thickening. She called my surgeon and they've decided that he's going to do a follow-up biopsy. My oncologist left a message on my answering machine saying that my surgeon's office would call and set up a different kind of biopsy - I assume that this means that I'll get a core biopsy instead of the fine needle one that he did before that gave no meaningful results.

I asked her what would happen if there was a recurrence in the breast and she said that the whole treatment would change. We could do a mastectomy - some recommend it, and some don't. I think that she also implied that I'd be off of the Femara and onto something else. Hopefully we won't have to make that kind of decision.

My oncologist is scheduling a CT scan of my entire chest, abdomen, and pelvic areas as well as a bone scan. We hope to have these done before I see my oncologist again in two months. We'll also re-do my tumour markers in a month.

Oh - one final thing..... I asked about the bruising over the catheter from the port-a-cath after curling. She said that I'm not to be doing any kind of really vigorous activity because that catheter can move. So if I want to curl in bonspiels, I need to skip (call) the games - something I've tried very hard not to do. And it means that I definitely can't paddle regularly on a dragonboat team. I think I'm ok to continue bellydancing and stuff as well as most of my other activities.

Overall it was a very productive 20 minutes. I really do like my oncologist and I'm so glad that I have her as my primary oncologist.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Almost semi-famous

The facilitator of last night's group took me aside today after my Spirituality and Healing group and told me that she was glad that I'd been there last night and had said the things I'd said to the person who was toxic. That person and I had two separate discussions where she had said something that offended me and I responded almost without thinking. I was touched and pleased that the facilitator recognized that it was hard for me and that being around that person was difficult. Therefore, I won't make a final decision about whether to go or not to the group until next month.

It turns out that my image is semi-famous here, too! At the Princess Twin, before movies start, they have slideshows. Apparently Hopespring has four slides that they are showing now and I'm in at least one of them. I think Ian might be in it, too. I'll have to go and see :)

Tonight we went out to see the Just for Laughs road show. I'm really glad I went because I've been feeling a bit down and I got to laugh a lot tonight. I don't know if laughter is the best medicine, but it certainly does help me feel better once I start laughing.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A change of group

I had my young women's support group today. I came out of it feeling sad and angry and I'm not sure that I really want to go back. I'm not getting anything out of it and I'm finding that I'm withdrawing while there in an effort to protect my inner self while there. So I don't know that I'm giving anything to the group, either.

These feelings have a lot to do with one particular person who has been attending the group this time and last month; I find her to be very overbearing. It feels like she sucks my energy out of me into her. I suspect that I'm much too sensitive to be around someone like that right now because I don't have much in the way of emotional protections up. As silly as it is to leave a group because of one person, well, I need to protect my self for a while. I definitely need a break from the group for a while until I'm stronger.

After the group I went to game night which was much, much better. I got to spend time around people who were friendly and having fun and we played fun games. I'm so glad that I went - I feel much better. We haven't been able to go for a long time and I hope we can go more often.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Me and my antidepressants

As I mentioned before, I'm taking antidepressants and I feel that they've totally changed my life. This entry expands on my history and why I think that. If you have questions, please ask them.

I've had episodes of major depression throughout my life: although I don't remember it, apparently my parents got called in to the school when I was in grade school because I had told them that I wanted to kill myself. I do remember wanting to run away and being depressed then, but not telling anyone that I wanted to actually kill myself. I think that was probably the first big episode of depression that I had - at least, it was the first one that was recognized by people around me. I suspect that I had been depressed a few years prior to that.

The worst episode I remember was when I lived in Markham about 10 years ago. I was drinking pretty heavily, which didn't help things, but I was also lonely and sad. There was a voice in me that said that I was ok but I couldn't listen to it and I didn't believe it; it was overridden by the other voice that said that I didn't belong, that the world would be better off without me. One night I sat at my kitchen table with razor blades in my hands and seriously contemplated killing myself. Eventually, I made the conscious decision to not commit suicide that night; a friend had told me before that if I thought I didn't have any reason to live, wait one day to commit suicide - one day won't matter, and who knows what could happen that day that might change my mind. After that I realized that things were not good, I was unhappy, and I decided to change my life. That's when I ended up making the decision to go back to university.

Later on, when I first went back to school after my first breast cancer diagnosis, I remember talking to a counselor about this and telling her that it was like there was this dark grey film over everything; that not even the colours were bright. She told me that I was clearly depressed - who wouldn't be? - but neither of us thought to suggest the antidepressants to me.

In between all of those times, I'd kind of gone up and down - sometimes I'd be sort of happy, but most of the time I'd be more depressed. The bad inner voice stayed sort of quiet, although the good inner voice didn't say much, either. Quite often I would scratch at my chest, arms, or legs when I was depressed and angry, which can be difficult to hide. I was definitely the freak in the corner after one of those episodes - but I already thought of myself that way, so it was ok, in a twisted sort of way.

Things got really bad after the mets diagnosis and once I'd had my ovaries out. , I finally talked to my doctor about the depression because I was experiencing one that was as deep as the one where I almost killed myself. It scared me because I didn't think that there was anything else that I could change - the last time, I could go to school and quit drinking and smoking and whatnot, but there wasn't anything like that that I could do this time.

And I really didn't want to commit suicide - my mets will take care of making sure I die young enough already - but I didn't know how to stop the bad voice that was telling me that it would be a good idea. It was the same voice that had told me before that the world would be better off without me, but it was much stronger this time. If you've heard that voice, you know it's scary, because it's you but it isn't you all at the same time, and it sounds so reasonable... and it can be seductive. Anyways, it scared me badly so I talked to my doctor and he put me on antidepressants.

Since then, things have been completely different. I can listen to my good inner voice; I know that the other one (the one that slinks along together with my depression) isn't right and that I am not weak, or dumb, or stupid, and I do know what I'm doing and that I'm good at what I do, and that I have a place in this world. Moreover, that bad inner voice is almost completely quiet. I had no idea how much that voice permeated my thoughts until it was gone.

I wish I'd thought to take the antidepressants before this - I wish I could have taken them at so many different points. I think my life might have been a little bit different anyways, what with the support groups and such, but I don't think that I could be the person I am right now without the antidepressants. At no point before I started taking them was I truly as content and happy as I am now.

If you do have episodes like I did, please try and get help - there are lots of antidepressants out there that can correct the chemistry that causes the depressions. Life really is better now, at least for me, and you all deserve good lives too.

Monday, April 07, 2008

More on the recital

I got some rest last night and feel MUCH better. I was able to go out to lunch with some friends, go and get more materials for drum bags, and go for a walk.

The bellydance recital was great; I'll be doing the same choreography on May 11 in that recital. There were a lot of different instructors and their students there, which was interesting. The atmosphere was quite a bit different from other recitals that I've attended; everything felt a bit colder. Most of the groups of students ignored the others. I was lucky and managed to talk (in passing, at least) with quite a few people. That was good, at least.

One of the best things was seeing all of the different styles of bellydance. There were little kids doing a simple choreography, an American Tribal group (there are different tribal schools out there, and the biggest studies something called American Tribal - apparently there's quite a bit of controversy there), some cabaret-type dances, and others.

I'm going to make another drum bag prototype for Wednesday. I need to change the one I made to be about an inch shorter and to have a pocket in front. They also want a bag for clay drums that has a half-inch padding throughout to protect the drum. I got the foam padding and some plain black broadcloth for these drum bags. The broadcloth is the same as is used with the quilted broadcloth that I'm using for the other drum bags.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bellydance Recital

My recital went well today; I felt like I performed well. I saw a lot of different styles of dance, too, which was cool.

This is the second early day full of physical activity and I'm exhausted. I'm heading for bed (yes, at 7:30pm!) and I hope to have much more to say tomorrow.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Curling all day

We curled all day in a bonspiel; we ended up coming in second in our draw which was awesome! We all curled pretty well and the last game was so close that it could have gone either way. Needless to say, we're very tired. We did win 1L of maple syrup each plus another random prize so we came away ok. Hopefully I will be well-rested enough for my bellydance recital tomorrow.

Anti-depressants have made a HUGE difference in my life and I wish I'd found them earlier. I'll write more about that tomorrow, though, as I need sleep.

Friday, April 04, 2008

More on that inner voice

Thinking more of feeling inadequate.... I do have a voice of reason, but I'm not so advanced that it's there all the time. And it isn't necessarily a positive voice all the time; it's fairly unbiased and it tells me that I'm as good as I think I am, but I'm not always good, you know? I am good at some things and abysmal at other things, and I fall in between on others. I'm pretty good at the things that I do because I like doing them and doing something is the way to get better.

The funny thing about deep-seated fears is that they're ready to come out pretty well any time. In a new situation, I tend to feel more inadequate than usual and it takes me a while to pull out of that. It's this feeling that makes me feel shy in new situations or around new people. If it bothers me or I feel that it's limiting me, then I think of someone who has the characteristics I wish I had and pretend that I'm that person. The good thoughts usually follow.

And if the good thoughts aren't on their way, it's a sure bet that my antidepressants aren't working. I wish I'd known that antidepressants could make such a difference as I would have started taking them years ago.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

What we fear

In my Spirituality and Healing group we're talking about accepting our feelings and selves for what they are. By doing this, we hope to achieve mindfulness and happiness. Anyways, one of the quotes we were looking at today said that people's deepest fear is not of being inadequate, but of being powerful. That we're afraid to shine our light upon those around us.

It is true that I've long held a fantasy where someone comes up to me and says, "we've been watching you. You're very special and we want to give you riches and make you all-powerful." But that doesn't really come from a deep-seated fear of my own power. No, one of my deepest fears is that I will be found inadequate - that I will be found out as someone who is not as good at things as I think I am. I don't think I'm alone in this fear, either.

Fortunately for me it doesn't come up too often as I have another voice that says that I'm exactly as good as I think I am :)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A fun shopping day

I got up early this morning to go to the Fabricland in Stratford. Vogue patterns are on sale for $5.99 and I wanted to go through some other discounted patterns and buttons. While I was there, I ran into the friend I went shopping with on Saturday and she helped me look through everything. I ended up getting a bunch of buttons, patterns, and trim on sale. We had a great time.

I took the drum bag to bellydancing today and construction-wise, it's fine. I need to shorten it by an inch, though, as it is a little long. And although the original specs were with no pocket, now I need to add a pocket that will hold a folded sheet of paper or two :) Also, there are some clay drums that are very fragile and break easily. They want bags that have 1/2" padding in them for those. The bellydance term is over for a couple of weeks and I'll have something ready when I go back.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Finished a drum bag

I finished the drum bag prototype for the bellydance studio today. I'd been meaning to do it but then wanted to sew only for me. Over the last few weeks I've had some ideas in my head and I was finally able to get it done. It's made of black quilted cotton broadcloth with piping and straps.

The bag is smaller at the bottom than the top, to accommodate the shape of the drum. For my first pattern, I just took the extra off at one end of each side of a rectangle to form a trapezoid... but then I realized that this wouldn't work because the seams wouldn't meet at right angles. The way to draft the pattern is to start with a big rectangle and then fold small, evenly-spaced darts out of one side to make an arch-shaped piece. This was perfect.

Then I realized that I'd included too much ease and had to trim it down a bit. Fortunately that wasn't too hard. I'm quite pleased with the bag, overall; I've serged and top-stitched my seams for strength and attractiveness. And now that I know how to make the bag, it would only take a couple of hours at most to make another one.

Hopefully it will be the right size and design and the studio will like them. If I were to sell ones like this myself, I'd probably sell it for $25. If the studio wants to sell them, I'll sell them for less (bulk orders get a discount, of course :)