Hearts. Battles. Uncertainty. 

What would you do if you were sent off to fight a battle of over 300,000 men and you are left standing with maybe 300? I’m not talking about the movie 300, no, but am I referring to some epic biblical size battles we encounter daily and don’t even know that we are and that we find ourselves ill equipped to fight such horrors.

Here is your first how-to in a crafty sense that will not only help you create a beautiful handcrafted heartsy fartsy piece of beauty but it might, just might, give you an extra tool for fighting such monster sized battles.

Step 1: dig out your list of projects you need to finish because you promised yourself this year you were going to find and finish projects that were just laying around the house in bags, boxes, and in hidden corners. On that list search for the Valentines projects that you need to wrap-up. Find them? Is your list as long as mine?
We are going to start crossing off the items on that list but first we need to find the Pintetest picture that we will use for Pinspiration!

Step 2: Find your Valentine’s board and dig through the thousands of pictures for that cute little fabric heart banner that is strung along cream satin ribbon. Find it? Don’t print it. It’s better to take breaks and look for it again and again. Trust me. The creative juices flow easier during breaks. Besides its for looks not for copying.

Step 3: Rummage through your stashes of fabrics that you have guiltily hidden through out your house or simply go to where they are all laid out color coordinated on shelves because your fabric stash is clearly on display.

Step 4: Look through that stash or stashes and find the deepest perfect red velvet, the creamy light red cotton and a thick piece of cream upolstery reminant. Got them?

Step 5: now look through the bins of ribbon and lace you have put aside. Your later date to use them has just arrived. Oh look you found an extra piece of beautiful embroidered red silk! Perfect! Did you find a few good pieces or did you find one long piece that could be cut down the middle and cleverly disguised as pretty? Mine favorite is the latter piece of lace.

Step 6: dig through your zip lock bags of vintage buttons! Oh you know this is the best part! Looking for those gems that are just dying to have a good forever home ( preferably not on a shirt that will eventually get tossed out with the rags ) yes, they dream bigger than you think.

Step 7: Make sure you are alone for the entire day. You must sulk a little, think a lot, obsess, and become very familiar with your one true love. You know the one. The one you can’t let go of. The one that has you so bound up inside that any time some one dares to bring it up you go crazy in fear of someone changing that romantic version of perfection in your brain.

How you doing so far? Is the list ok? You finding everything alright?

Moving on …

Step 8: graph paper. Run to the craft store, business supply store if you need such things as a pile of graph paper because you can’t steal from your kids or you aren’t already sitting on some from years of collecting. You honestly only need one sheet so steal from the child. They really won’t mind.

Step 9: clean the kitchen. Do remember we are sulking and trying very hard to fight off the never ending battle of pain that runs deep in our human hearts, you know the battles that we fight that no one knows about but makes us stronger or who we are. Yeah, those battles. The ones we are ill equipped for but keep returning to in hopes of conquering.

Step 10: remember back to a time this last summer when you listened to Brene Brown talk about vulnerability and how the most creative people are hurting people. People that struggle with fear and so on. ( My editorialized version ).

Step 11: look at your Pinspiration and make your guideline marks on your graph paper at 5×7! Your light red cotton fabric heart will be the guide. Yeah, it’s the middle heart but you don’t care, no one will know that you chose to do this your way. No one will care how you figured this out, they will just see a pretty fabric heart when it’s all quilted together.

Step 12: draw the heart the way you think it should look. Long and slender is what I came up with but it is up to you. Then cut it out. Design a smaller heart for the velvet material, this will eventually be the middle heart. The outside cream colored heart will not get a template because, well, you don’t want to draw one. It will just be a half inch bigger than the lighter red heart.

Step 13: turn on the music. Something without words is the ticket here to maintaining a good sulk. You don’t want words to interfere with your own wallow. Remember you don’t want anything to change your idea of the perfect love. If you have to find words or if you have a mixed tape that supports you sulk than by all means pop that puppy in and sing away.

Step 14: start drawing out the hearts on the fabric. Clearly, you might want to know how many hearts you want to make, mine depended on how many buttons I found that matched. Upcycled these beauties from a jacket that I had sewn together for my sisters second attempt at getting remarried. We were to wear black. Fitting, since it was the second attempt at getting remarried. Did you get that? Good Gawd don’t make me repeat it.

Step 15: search your house for a pair of sharp scissors, if you have fabric only scissors then you are in luck. If you are the kind of person that knows exactly where they are located aren’t you glad I made you wait until now to locate them.

Step 16: ponder. Ponder what life could be like if … Take your time here, please don’t rush, you have 8  or 10 hours to fill.

Step 17: cut. Start cutting out the hearts. Start piling them on top of each other. You are still deeply lost in thought so be sure that you at least put one of each colored heart on a separate pile. Or you could focus long enough to put all the matching colors in three separate piles so that you can pick and choose later. A good sulking time will use both techniques and in no random order. Do what feels right for your somewhat depressed state of mind. Don’t worry this is your time. Do as you wish.

Step 18: start the laundry and cuss profusely because no one is home to take care of this for you ( even though you knew no one would be there to change it around )

How you holding up?

Treading water?

Barely surviving?

Moving on …

Step 19: get out your sewing machine. Do not! I repeat do not check the bobbin! You are allowed to see what color the thread is but do not! One more time, do not check how much thread is actually on it! This will be handy for a good cussing session later when you strategically run out in a very in opportune time. 🙂

Step 20: sew to your hearts content. Layer your hearts together, string your thoughts together, cry a little, humm a little longer. You are almost there.

The battle serges on.

You are not at all winning and you can feel it but hey, you are being creative and you are getting a project done by getting rid of part of your fabric stash.

There always has to be an upside.

Step 21: lay on the couch and hand stitch the faux flowers and buttons for the center of your hearts. Do not reach for the tv remote. You must not be transported from your sulk, do not let anything change your attitude. Sew your ribbons and scrap materials to look like a rosette. If need be watch any of the many tutorials on YouTube.

Step 22: finish. Finish your project by designing a swagg-o-lisious type ribbon banner or some sort of wall hanging. This will pay homage to that one love that you return to over and over again without complete understanding of why.

Great job! You did it! Celebrate your day of hard sulking, determination of getting a project whipped up and off the project list, and listlessly caring about little to nothing else. If I could reach through the screen I would hand you a blue ribbon for such great work accomplished!

Next day, wander around wondering what it is that drives you back to that love. Get to the point of being frustrated, get your self so angery that you decide you are tired of wondering, tired of thinking, tired of being trapped in the gerbel wheel of every time you fight this battle you end up thinking and wishing for that one perfected, covered-from-the-enemy love.

When you get the chance to be still and ask the question outloud … Listen. Listen for the answer. The answers always lie inside. Accept the answer as truth. Be happy with the answer. The answer will set you free.

My answer was uncertainty. Living with uncertainty always drives me back to my survival mode of the only thing I knew that was perfect unadulterous, never-been-tampered-with, never abused, love. That was the only time I had experienced a love that was beautiful, covered, and truly set apart from any other in my entire lifetime. So naturally I escape to that. To the point of really forgetting a whollata other important things.

So now what?

Fix my uncertainty!

Find a bigger, stronger tiller to sift myself and even yourself from the battle of fear of uncertainty. No one wants to live in fear, we all want solid answers we can count on, we want promises kept, we want love with out conditions.

We want peace in our hearts.

We want to win the battles.

Find your certains and list them. These you know you can control. The constants that you can manage and maintain will be your life resets, they will help you calm the storm, they will slow the spinning until you can reach out for the peace you need.

Also listening to music with words like this always reminds us of the bigger one in charge.

“You are the king of my heart. You are bigger than any battle I’m fighting you are faster than anything I’ve been chasing.”

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