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Patchwork Therapy

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An impromptu long snow weekend led to lots of crafty therapy.  I finished a quilt that had been in -ahem- progress for about a year now.  After some serious consideration (not really, it was more like productive procrastination), I decided to use this method that I saw some time ago on Whip Up.   It saved so much time!  Basically, I had all layers together (sandwiched right side down, batting, right side up), and then quilted everything together as I attached each line.  To take out a step in the quilty process (having to construct the top and then quilting the layers together) worked perfectly, especially since it will be an everyday couch quilt.  Here are some  in-progress pictures:


Everything is quilted together- starting at the top, I laid out the bottom (RSD) with batting on top (using a few safety pins here and there).  I put the first line down RSU, and the next line RSD on top of it.  The I sewed all layers together.  Next, I folded over the top strip RSU, and laid the next strip on top of it RSD.  Going over and over until… voila!  Then I edged and was all done.  Sadly, all of the ups and downs on the floor to lay it out has me totally sore today.  The hazards of quilting are real people.

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I also finally finished a square by hand from the amazing Wombat Quilts.  I cannot put the fabrics together quite as well she does, but with her pattern it’s hard to mess it up!  Now, I am far too lazy to make an entire quilt, but I think it will be a lovely small something-or-another.  I just need to add an edge and back and I’ll be donezo.

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Weekend Therapy

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This weekend, my therapy was totally retail-related.  But by way of magazines…the best kind.  I have long been a fan of Euro-import crafty mags, but this weekend it was brought to a whole new level when I brilliantly thought to myself, “Self, what the hey?  I wonder if there are any super-cool quilting magazines.  Could it be?…this one looks…yes…it is larger than the other magazines…yes…QUILTY GOODNESS EURO-STYLE??!!?!”  I apologize if the picture is, in fact, as fuzzy as it looks to me, but my excitement is clearly difficult to contain.  I went with Patchwork and Quilting and Popular Quilting (I’m not really sure how I missed Popular Patchwork, except for that I must find it).  I cannot be happier with these magazines, and just feel like there is something about the Euro mags that are more current, and way mare tutorial-ish.  I have even already found a new awesome sewy blog at Diary of  a Quilter from Popular Quilting– PLEASE check it out if you haven’t seen it yet…I would say it is imperative.  It’s pretty and helpful and inspiring.

I am sure that it is noticeable that I keep posting about  sewing blogs and magazines and haven’t posted any projects.  That’s because it is very time consuming to collect all of the “data” which means I’m not actually doing anything.  I’m ok with it though, it’s part of my process (and “productivity” is relative).  On the work-front, I have been stalking Kate’s Science Classroom though, who seems to take her class beyond typical Science lessons, and integrates some really great concepts for personal growth.  I admire her going above and beyond subject matter for her students, and find there are some great ideas here that can easily fit into the Counselor’s office as well!

One last note:  While perusing the crafty book section at my local book store, I couldn’t help but notice this precariously placed self-help book.  Regardless of the fact that I mix therapy and crafties right on this here blog thang, I had to refrain myself from leaving a note that says, “Crafting is in again!  Just because I’m crafting on a Saturday night doesn’t mean I have low self-esteem!  I choose this life! I have friends (friend) and everything!”

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Monday. So, so Monday.

Wow.  Monday came back with a vengeance in efforts to make up for lost time!  This is going to be short and sweet.  I fully intend on posting my Daily Log Sheet this week (I do love making worksheets), but for tonight, I needed to unwind by dreaming of my next weekend therapy crafts.  These two blogs have made me ready to attack Terrorizing Tuesday after Maniacal Monday:

1. Un. Real. The sweet lady over at Wombat Quilts is super talented, and the feel of the blog and her writing makes you so inspired and comfy that you feel like you could complete all of these intricate patterns in a night.


2. And more amazing.  Also insanely amazing.  The projects at Cutting Corners College are like crack.  But better, because this addiction keeps me off of my phone and on something productive-ish.  I might not be doing laundry, and might be slightly neglectful, but look at the teeny tiny things I can make a stare at.  Forever. And ever.  All day.

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Mechanisms and Distortions

Soooo…still more snow time, and I have done some counsely web surfing and some weekend therapy crafting (snow addition). Here is a mini, mini quilt I made for my magazine fairy friend who is a total enabler in giving me her good reads, which only further deepens my magazine addiction (including ridiculously priced Euro craft mags).

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I first must say that I pinned this amazing post on printing post-its.  How insanely cute are these?? I’d like to alter the template a bit and have it say cutesy little things like, “Remember you promised Mrs. Counselor you would do this- Get it done!” or “Read this so you can pass your test.” or “Write stuff out so you don’t get all angry-teen!” (these are my versions of pep-talks).  But really, I’m thinking there are a lot of things that could be done with these.  I might start with making a few that just say “Get this done before:___” to attach to assignments.  I am so excited


Lastly, but not leastly, I perused my “School Counseling Hoohas and Doodads” Pinterest board and came upon a list of cognitive distortions.  I have always loved distortions, because I find them fascinating, in that it happens all of the time, and I am amazed at how us rational beings can’t see them! Really, I think we all do them, and they are ultimately at the root of my job security!  Coupling this with some crazy defense mechanisms, and you’ve got yourself a life pie.

I mean really, how much of our students’ behaviors are actually manifestations of other things going in their lives or other stressors?  I mean really, I don’t know about your school, but some of the kids over my way have some real stuff happening at their houses- stuff that essentially makes them more grown than I am. One of the things that fuel my love for counseling is that light bulb moment when a student becomes a frequent flier because they have been angry, upset, getting in to trouble, etc. – and then they talk.  They talk and they talk, and through side notes and behind a bunch of conversation about who they are fighting with or who they are angry with, or what teacher is mean, they mention a parent deploying or moving, a mom having a baby or getting a new job, a sibling leaving for the military or passing in recent years.  And it all just starts to make sense, and you can start to respond to their quasi-issues in a way that addresses the real heart of their behavior.

But all of those side actions are weighed down by defense mechanisms and cognitive distortions. I mean, I do all of the time.  Take my snowcation, for example.  Because I am obsessive about my planner (same one every year: Moleskine extra large monthly like this one), if I don’t write something down, the plan does not exist.  Because I did not get to write down all of our holidays yet, when our snow make-up days are called, I will not be disappointed because I am choosing to experience some sort of false reality. 🙂  But really, adults do this just as much as kids (if not more, which is why I work with kids).  For this reason, I really liked this list of distortions.  I think that it could even be a cool tool to point out to kids when you recognize one of these occurring.  I think when I get back I will make a laminated copy, and maybe middle-schoolize the verbiage so that I can have a quick reference.  Here is a cool PDF version that also identifies relational comebacks for each distortion.

I got these awesome thought changing cards for Christmas last year (I think the anxiety deck), and they are so cool and relatable to this.  You can use them with students, but given my early professional greenery, I usually just refer to them for tips, examples, and reference.  However you use them, they are great.  I have thought about making my own list/deck but real-life middle school style (because ya’ll know things that claim to be tailored to adolescents very rarely really capture the charm and, um, determination of real middle and high school kids).  Here are all of the sets below. Hope you find time for some weekend therapy this weekend!