Pamela Llano Zesty Mom
In honor of the generations of creative women who came before me~
It started with vintage fabric, trims and sewing supplies handed down and gifted to me from both my own and my partner’s mothers, grandmothers and even great-grandmothers.
Some of these materials had been waiting to be made into something since before I was born.
I was inspired to combine them with things I had in my studio, and see what I could bring to life.
It was a lot of fun playing and experimenting, and I learned a lot in the process.
Both sewing and patience are hard.
The women who came before me probably would not have considered themselves artists, or even creatives, but they most certainly were.
Their talent, skills and hard work turned fabric into clothing for people they loved. Since this was common and taught in the times they lived, they might not have even realized it was a gift.
Now, these are lost arts~
And I mentioned that sewing is harder than it looks, right?
Cheers to the gifted craftswomen of the past who knew how to make it work with what they had on hand~ and they managed to dress fabulously while doing it!
PS. My models ROCKED IT!
September is here! I was recently enlightened that this marks the official start of the “ber” months~ although I’m not feeling much in the way of “Brrrr” in my toasty triple-digit corner of Northern California.
But change is in the wind, whether I’m feeling it or not.
Truth be told, I haven’t been feeling much at all lately. Or, I have, but just a lot more bleak and blah than I’d like to be feeling.
Despite my myriad of blessings, I’ve been finding myself in quite a funk of late. I don’t particularly care for labels and I personally try to avoid seeking them in any and all healthcare settings (this is not a recommendation, just my tendency).
I have no doubt that I could get labeled if I were to seek such a thing, but the mere thought of it has my brow furrowed, eyes narrowed and jaw locked. It puts my whole body in a defensive stance ready to strike back with some sort of, “I don’t have problems~ YOU have problems!!” to anyone foolish enough to try to help with a diagnosis
Clearly, that’s a ridiculous response that lacks any sort of wit or intelligence, so I just avoid the situation.
But, if I were to give a label or two to what I’ve been feeling in the last few weeks, I might guess it would fall somewhere in the categories of depression and or anxiety.
Everything, ok maybe not every single thing, but so many things just seemed so. Freaking. Hard. Not only was the effort required exhausting, but a good deal of the time, it all felt somewhat pointless as well.
I tried hard to hang on to my smile and see the light, but truth be told, it was feeling pretty dang dark.
Whatever you call it, it really sucked and was kicking my arse for more than a couple of days.
I’m what some people would consider a woman of extreme moods, and I do feel things intensely~ whatever it is, joy or grief, I’m typically all in.
So, this wasn’t an entirely new experience for me, and I tried throwing all the things that I know might help at it~ time in nature, moving my body, vitamins, rest, laughter in the form of mindless comedy, talking with friends, etc.
One thing that came to me as semi-ironic, but in a sad way, is that we’re told that when we’re feeling really down, we should tell someone.
There’s been a big shift in focus to remove the stigma around mental health in recent years, which is great because if we’re being honest, we’re all at least a little crazy.
But the thing you need to be prepared for is that when you tell someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to feel any better.
You might even feel worse because our friends are probably not trained in how to deal with our wacko emotions. There might be an awkward silence or wide-eyed stares of what looks a bit like horror~ and it’s aimed at you.
If you just opened up some vulnerable part of yourself, you might feel awfully exposed and then think you need to start explaining to make it so you don’t look or sound like such a nut job. That might not make it better at all, but could feel like you’re digging a hole, which you’re at the bottom of, too weak to get out, while everyone who now knows can peer down at you in sadness.
You can’t fault anyone for not knowing what to do with you when you don’t even know what to do with yourself, and I agree it's better to tell someone than to hold it all in.
But, it’s also good to know that it might not be the quick fix you’re hoping for. We humans are more complex than that.
A few times, I looked up from my own wallowing, and saw friends dealing with waaaaaaaay heavier stuff than what I was juggling, much of which was quite frankly in my own head, although that didn’t make it feel any less sucky. This both put my own situation in perspective, as well as made me feel a bit more like a whiner~ good with the not so good, I guess.
Anywhoo, I’m very grateful for the friends who did hear my rambling “Whoa is me with my first world problems” and ate, drank and / or lamented life with me.
Now that I’m on the upside of the extreme funk, I’m also starting to more clearly see the things that actually were the most helpful in pointing me back towards the light. It’s more than I can pull together at the moment so I’ll be sharing them in a post later this month.
I know that extreme blues are something a lot of us deal with from time to time, so it's worth talking about.
For today though, I’ll be enjoying this Labor Day being grateful for paid holidays and floating in the pool while it still feels good, because eventually, it actually will be feeling too “Brrrr” around here for that, and I’ll be lamenting the lack of sun.
I'm turning my towards thoughts of autumn and harvest, which at this moment includes a whole lotta tomatoes growing in the raised garden beds I put over my suburban front lawn. Most of them were mystery volunteers that popped up from past plantings and have thankfully asked very little of me in return for their fruit. Harvesting blessings, indeed.
And when it’s too oppressive to be in the sun, I’ll be inside sewing like a madwoman to finish the details on my collection for the Redding Fashion Week Gala coming up this Friday.
I’m going with a Vintage inspired theme based on several generations of fabrics and trims I was gifted earlier this year.
Let me tell you~ sewing is hard! I have such an appreciation for how very hard fine tailoring techniques are ~ and so much gratitude that my pieces will be seen on a runway and not getting inspected up close under the seams.
There’s a whole lotta yikes in the finishing details of these garments, but I’m proud that I’m actually doing it and learning as I go. I know what the seams should look like, and I know that I haven’t quite achieved the skill level to make it happen, but I am pulling off a collection nonetheless.
If you’re in this part of NorCal, come see the show! Tickets are available here, and there’s a bunch of other events around town throughout the following week.
And Also Mark Your Calendar~ I’m hosting the last in my series of Moonlight Art Nights at California Street Labs in Redding on Saturday, September 14th! It’s a fun way to experiment with creativity and connection in a great venue. Tickets will be on sale soon!
That’s all for today~
I hope you’re all in a good place and seeing the light! If you’re able to spread the light, even better~ please love and support each other wherever you can.
I'd love to hear what helps you find the light when you're in a dark place, so please share in the comments below, or drop me a personal message.
Best wishes for a blessed harvest season!
Writer, Artist, Empowered Living Advocate, Wanna-be Organic Gardening Foodie, Travel Loving Life Explorer, FunSchooling Facilitator / Former Goat-Herding HeadMistress for our Mostly Happy Homeschool, Semi-Crazy Chicken Lady and Mamacita Extraordinaire to a couple of Cage Free Kids.