Confession: irrational annoyance

I have a confession to make. I have a little sister who’s 10 years younger than me, and every time she’s in my presence, I get a very irrational sense of annoyance.

I love this girl, I’ve always done and I do truly care for her. But over the past years, I have gradually developed an irrational annoyance toward her. She’s done nothing wrong to me and I find it so sad and heartbreaking that I get annoyed so much around her.

Other than the fact she’s starting to hit puberty, there’s nothing different about her now compared to 3 years ago.

So today I’ve decided to hold myself accountable for it. I’m going to start combating that emotion and invite her over to play board games, bake and stuff like that, so that I can bring back the pure, sisterly love I know I have in me. And now it’s public, and I’m embarrassed because of it so that’ll motivate me further.

Love,

Aleksandra

Reklamer

Repurpose your socks!

This morning I went to put on a pair of socks. To my surprise, my toe went straight through a hole!

I decided to upcycle the pair of socks into a pair of tights for dolls. I’ve seen people do this with their socks before, so I figured I could probably do it too. So here’s how to do it, in case anyone wants to try it.

First, lay your socks like this and cut where the line is.

On the left is a sock that’s already cut, and the right shows where to cut it. You also cut from the ankle and up, where the sock is folded in the back.

Now it’s not a perfect, straight cut, but it’ll do. Most socks have a certain amount of stretch to them so it’s not a big problem if it ends up like mine.

Next, you wanna unfold them and lay them right sides together. That means the outside of one sock goes against the outside of the other. Sew the sides together. I forgot to take a picture of this, but I’ll draw it for you.

strømpebukse

Both left and right sides of the rectangular part are to be sewn through both layers.
When that’s done, you unfold and lay the tights so that the seams are mid-front and mid-back (still right sides together/inside out).

Now, sew from one toe to the other, sewing the legs shut and thus completing the tights. Mine were a little baggy in the belly area, so I had to take them in a bit in the front and back seams. Here’s my result!

Love,
Aleksandra

Sewing with a broken arm

I broke my arm two Fridays ago. This is my first time breaking anything, and that means I can no longer take pride in my strong bones. It was a very clean fracture and the bone remained in place, so that means I didn’t need a surgery. They put a cast on my arm and (most likely) I’ll have to wear it for five weeks.

This is an illustration of the bones in the over arm and the under arm. The bone I broke is the one called «radius», and the red line is appropriately where it broke.

Now the most logical decision would be to leave the arm on rest for the time the cast will be on. However, what in the world would I spend my time doing if not sewing?

So I’ve set a couple of limitations for myself in order to allow me to sew while not pushing my arm too far.

  1. Only sew dolls’ clothing (because dolls’ clothing takes less time than any other sewing project I do)
  2. Maximum 1 set of clothing a day. A «set» could be either a dress and a jacket, or a pair of pants, a t-shirt/sweater and a hat.
  3. If the sewing is causing any kind of pain to my arm, the sewing session will discontinue.

Those have been my self-set rules over the past week, and will most likely be my rules the next 4 weeks.

So with those rules in mind, here’s what I’ve sewn after I broke my arm:

This is an upcycle of a t-shirt that I hated wearing because it was too big, but I loved the color.
This is also an upcycled t-shirt that was unflattering and too big.
This fabric was a leftover that I was struggling with finding a use for before I started sewing dolls’ clothing. It was one of the first fabrics I ever bought!

So far, I’m pretty happy with the compromise I’ve settled between my mind and my body (my need to sew and my broken arm, more specifically).

It’s not like I’ve got the time to sew every single day anyway, since I have hospital appointments, meetings at work, chores at home, and conversations with my doctor that also need to be attended/completed.

Love, Aleksandra

What is Pride to me?

Being gay, it is only natural that I have some sort of connection to the Pride month and the Pride celebrations.

When I first came out of the closet, I was living in the USA and it was less than a month left of my stay. I had set my mind on letting my mom and dad know about it before I went back to Norway. Skype was down at the time and I needed to let them know at that moment. So I wrote them an e-mail explaining everything. I emphasized in that e-mail that I’m still the same person, I’m still myself and the only difference is that now they know one more fact about me.

My mom’s first reply was «alright, but you don’t need to go around telling anyone, we have a reputation to uphold».

Ouch. That burned me and it sticks with me to this day. I went to my school’s counselor and had a few appointments with her about my being gay and my parents’ reaction. I didn’t feel that I got much out of the appointments other than tears and red eyes.

My coming out was 6 months before I met my fianceé, and my mom was pretty tense about it up until after that point. After that she slowly started to warm up. She’s amazing now. She loves my fianceé just as much as much as both her sons-in-law.

Now don’t get me wrong, I felt empowered by putting it into words, and after a while, when I told more people, some would come to me and tell me I was an inspiration to them for coming out and that they were somewhere on the spectre themselves. My best friend was one of them and I remember feeling so proud of her for telling me. Having people come out of the shadows made me feel like I wasn’t going through it alone.

Pride to me is that feeling multiplied by 1000. Being in a Pride Park with hundreds of other «children of the spectre» is such a great feeling. As RuPaul Charles tends to say:

As members of the LGBT community, we get to choose our family.

When I watch a Pride Parade or hangout in the Pride Park, or simply realize someone is gay, I genuinely feel like we’re in a big, supportive family.

It comes from the fact that we, as a group, have been discriminated against, physically and mentally abused, been ruled laws against and been through shootings simply because of our sexuality and/or identity. Being crammed together by such unfortunate events, makes us feel a sense of belonging together because we know we can find support, understanding and compassion within our group.

So to me, Pride is an annual chance to be exactly who you are, surrounded by others that are all over the spectre, who understand. It’s a chance to let everything go and just have fun. During Pride season, I feel like my life is pride.

It’s always a bummer when Pride season is over, but we all know there’ll be a new one next year.

So now I’m hibernating until June next year.

Love what you’ve got.

I’m writing this post because Ghost (one of my rats) is ill and we may have to euthanize him on Monday. Trying to keep a positive way of thinking despite most likely having to lose a very dear soul from our little family.

Sometimes I stop to think of the things I have right now that I could lose any moment, that add quality to my life. Those things are what make my life bearable. I’ve had a life without those things before, and it was a low-quality life with a lot of mental issues. Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t have survived it because sooner or later you find what brings you joy, but bottom line, during the periods where I didn’t have anything to add the quality and depth to my life and personality, I was feeling pretty bad in general. So here are my things that add richness to my life and that I wish to show appreciation to.

  • I have a job with a fairly high salary for an uneducated employee.
  • I have a hobby that makes me proud and gives my identity another layer.
  • I have a fianceé that I’m planning to buy a house with.
  • Currently, I have two rats that I love dearly.

There used to be 3 rats, and all three had/have great personalities and they’ve added an own chapter to my fianceé’s and my life. They’ve brought lots of love, worries, smiles, laughter and tears into our apartment. I wouldn’t be without any of the moments we’ve had with them because they made us richer in knowledge, experience and love for non-human beings.

There’s been a lot of trips to the veterinarian with them to ensure their health would be in tip-top shape, to cure diseases, and for lice and other worries we’ve had with them. We’ve learned that money is no match against the love and compassion we feel for the rats. We’ve learned the symptoms for various illnesses/issues they may face and we’ve faced them all together.

First one below is a video of Ramsay acting the way he always does when there’s snacks around. The rest are pictures.

Getting the rats truly gave us a life filled with love and compassion, even though we don’t think about it that way in our daily life. There’s a lot of people that think rats are disgusting and scary, but they don’t phase me. I just wish they could see them through my eyes and perspective.

I’m grateful to have had these rats and the depth they’ve added to my life.

Love, Aleksandra.

Sewing changed my life.

Quick trigger warning. This post will mention depressions, suicidal thoughts and sexual abuse.

In August, it’ll be 2 years passed from the date I decided to drop out of university and move back to my hometown, and moving in with my fianceé. That was a life saving decision, quite literally speaking. But let’s rewind even further back, to the time I was living in Trondheim, alone aside from the two mice I decided to take on.

I’m 20 years old, living in an apartment complex 5 km from my university. My days were routine, like most students’ days are. That’s until one day in October, when I was made a victim of sexual abuse by a stranger, inside my own apartment.

I wouldn’t tell anyone for a couple of months. I was struggling with intense flashbacks, fear and severe depression because of what had happened and me keeping it to myself. Right before Christmas I wound up telling my girlfriend everything. She didn’t freak out, she got incredibly upset and angry.

Still, my depression carried on and I lost track of sleep, food and school routines. I was a mess for quite a while and it was a good week if I’d managed to go to school more than 3 days that week. I stayed in bed, watched Netflix and wrote a journal.

I had never thought depression would have such an impact on my life. I was a mess. Every night I cried, wanted to die and talked to my girlfriend over the phone. I ended up telling my parents between 18th- 23rd of February, and my mom tried to get me to free counseling for victims of sexual abuse. I went a couple of times but then I started ditching more and more appointments in favor of my depression. Every day I looked up which pills would be effective to end my life.

I figured one day that it wasn’t worth it spending my money on food, so I bought a sewing machine and some fabrics. It took every single penny I had left for that month. I stayed up many nights sewing from 10 PM to 8 AM. Now this isn’t my life changing moment, because I still was depressed, skipping school and avoiding most people.

However, sewing gave me something to do, and at least I was learning something (kind of) useful.

Summer arrived, went by and in August 2016 I told my parents I probably wouldn’t survive another 2 years alone with my thoughts. They let my girlfriend and I move into the apartment in the basement of their house, where we still live.

My dad pulled some strings and got me a job, so I’d be able to pay my loan, and live a good life. Routine made it better for my mental health, and I started sewing because it made me happy, rather than because it occupied my mind from flashbacks and fear.

I started learning proper techniques, making clothes and stuffed animals for my siblings, niece and nephew. Sometimes I’d make things that shouldn’t have seen daylight, but more and more often I made things that made me proud of myself. Now I’m proud and happy about almost everything I make, and it makes me feel a sense of purpose. I sew to sell now, and sometimes my siblings ask me if I’d be so kind as to sew something for them. Seeing them get happy about the garments I’ve made for them is the best feeling I know.

This is how sewing changed my life completely, and it’s also why I’m holding onto it for dear life.

Love,

Aleksandra

I’ve been on a roll!

My vacation is over with after today, and I realized I’ve sewn a new product every single day after I started my vacation. I gathered everything I’ve made today and I was baffled and impressed by myself. Pictures upcoming!

Underwear for my niece!
All of the baby clothes plus a couple of rattie mattresses!
Sweater for my sister. It turned out great. Love the different fabrics together.
T-shirt and shorts for my brother.
More underwear for my niece, made of scraps from the t-shirt.

I don’t know what else I can say, I’m just proud and happy!

Love,

Aleksandra