>> Monday, July 27, 2009
I turn 29 today. I'm not really sure what chronological age means these days, seeing as my friends are a range of ages and at all different stages of life -- something my brain still has trouble comprehending. Nevertheless, birthdays still bring out the 10-year-old in me: I'd like someone else to plan a celebration and I enjoy opening presents far more than adults are supposed to (but, then again, who wrote those rules?). Unlike most 10 year-olds, I don't care (much) about what's inside the wrapping paper; I just like pretty packaging, not knowing what I'm going to find, and (gently) ripping off paper and ribbons.
Indeed, the name of this blog comes in part from a birthday gift my dad gave me 10 or so years ago. My parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and my only request was that it was something I could open. I like gifts of money as much as the next person, but I really like wrapped gifts, even if there's just a token gift inside. My dad went off to the Torpedo Factory and bought 2 handcrafted hippo sculptures. The box was heavy, wrapped, and I had no idea what I would find. It was a total surprise, and I don't think I would have ever bought the sculptures for myself (he liked them because I have a stuffed hippo I won on the boardwalk when I was 10 that I never named but my dad dubbed "happy hippo").
A few weeks ago I received a package in the mail from my cousins, a brown-paper wrapped rectangle that I knew was a birthday present. Every summer, without fail, a package arrives in mid-July and I debate whether or not to open it or wait. Most summers I succeed in waiting, and it's always fun to see what Vivian and Bob have picked out. Delayed gratification won out this year, and I'll open it today. They always get me something I like and it's rarely something I would have bought for myself, which makes it even more special.
Speaking of that which I bought for myself...
I picked up my new bag yesterday. It's the Everyday Tote from Jiji's shop. Jenny is great to work with and will customize bags for no extra charge (I added a keyring-loop-thing to mine). Many of you recommended I choose the gray fabric, but in the end I went with my gut and selected the yellow (it's a creamy, buttery yellow) because I like color and I especially like color when the weather is dreary, and I therefore decided that this would be more of a pick-me-up on gray winter (or summer, it's been a gray & rainy NY summer) days.
As it happens, today is my birthday and this is my 200th blog post. I missed my one-year blogiversary (wow, that's apparently a word as blogger has not underlined it in red!) a few weeks ago, and the birthday/blog birthday combo gives me a chance to reflect on the past year. I can say with certainty that I've learned a tremendous amount about quilting, fabric, and the amazing crafty-blog community over the past 12 months, and for that, I am very grateful. In thinking about the past 365 days, I've also realized that I'm not sure I do enough for myself (in a variety of facets of my life, but I'll stick to the crafty angle here). I've given away every quilt and almost every other crafty thing I've made in the past decade, and I'm going to try and make a few things for myself in the coming year. I won't stop giving to others, as I thoroughly enjoy making things for other people, but I think I need to make some things for myself as well.
Lest I sound totally whiny and self-centered, I plan to do a birthday/blogiversary giveaway, but I'm going to delay it until August when I return to my more permanent lodging and life.