Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Hello! I have been MIA from the blog because of Spring break. I had the boys for  whole week and a half! I have a love/hate relationship with Spring break. On one hand I love it because it helps me focus on the boys as I spend time with them and take them out. I also see the progress they have made both socially and academically. The difficult part of Spring break is more about Dan's behavior. He is a non-stop destruction machine and if he does not have structure, he is bound to break something in his manic frenzy. Yes, this is what happened this spring break. He tore magazines and books while I was looking the other way. He's sneaky like that. His cuteness sometimes allows him to get away with it. 

Nevertheless, this time around, I decided to document Spring break. I figured it would get my oldest involved as he constantly reminded me to take a picture, it would add some structure to our day, and also keep me organized as I planned events. 

So here they are, a visual document of our Spring Break. descriptions correspond to pictures row by row. 


1. Monday was a beautiful day so we went to the park. My caption on my intsagram (nelescdesigns) read "a gated park is an autism mom's best friend"

2. The boys and I in the park


3. I worked at my museum job and the kids stayed home with Dad. This is a shot of one of the artworks by Deborah Grant, The Birth of a Genius in the Midnight Sun, 2012. It rained that day so I didn't feel bad that they stayed in.


4. We went to my sister's house. My sister has a way with Dan. So glad she and her girls love and accept him.


5. We went to the Fire Safety Zone, with another family who also has a son on the spectrum. Check out Miz Kp's blog,  Sailing Autistic Seas. It does have a sea of information and insight into living with a child on the autism spectrum. 

It's always difficult to go out with Dan but he did surprisingly well. 


6. We stayed home because I had a lot of work to do for my Art for Autism fundraiser. I felt a little guilty but I stepped out to get the mail and it was cold!!! So I didn't feel so bad. Notice, the weather always dissuades my guilt! lol. 


7. Art for Autism fundraiser. my oldest and our cousin dropped by. It was a great day and will blog about it separately.


8. We went to the movies and saw Rio 2. It was wonderful! Micah really enjoyed it but Dan fell asleep. I wasn't complaining.  The photo was of Micah and I walking to the train afterward. Dan did not want any part of the pic.


9. Hubby took Micah out and I took a walk to the library with Dan. Sometimes we have to separate them and give them individual attention. 

So there you have it,  our Spring break  in 9 pictures. It was fun but I am sure glad they are back in school. 

How was your Spring Break? 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday Tutorial: Sting T-Shirt Refashion

I had so much fun redesigning this Sting t-shirt from his 1993 World Tour, Ten Summoner's Tales. I absolutely LOVE Sting and his, was the first concert I had ever been to.

That night, I made it through the crowds and long line, to get this shirt. This is the front and back of similar shirt. I didn't take before pics of the the one I reconstructed.

This is the first time I reconstructed the shirt 10 years ago. I recently tried it on and felt it needed another revamp. It looked boring. I decided to give it a shawl-like collar

This is the shape I used, sorry it's so wrinkly

Then I folded it in half

I separated the front and back of the shirt at shoulder seams, pinned, and then sewed the ends of the folded shawl piece to the underarm part of the shirt.

On the back, I cut the collar off, giving it a straight line. I then sewed the back of the piece to this section.

Voila! a cute little shawl collar!

 Here's the back

Front and back
I love this revamp and will be wearing it a lot this summer as the shirt continues to mean so much to me. Like I said before, this was the first time I have ever been to a "secular" music concert. I might have mentioned it before, but I grew up in a very religious, pentecostal, Spanish-speaking, fundamentalist-like, church where there were clear demarcations between secular and sacred. We weren't even allowed to listen to secular music, although we broke this rule all the time. My sisters and I were constantly bopping to every 80s music star from Lisa Lisa to the Police, thus my love for Sting. 

In the early 1990's, the lyrics to Sting's song If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, pretty much summed up how I was feeling. I was losing my faith in the church, but still trying, desperately, not to lose a hold of God in my life. 

You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do

When I heard that Sting would be performing in Madison Square Garden in 1993, I called my friend and asked if she would go with me and I high-tailed it downtown to Madison Square Garden and got the tickets. By then I was an adult going to a different church and knew in my heart that God loved Sting too.

The day of the concert I felt so empowered, happy and joyful to be in the presence of such great artistic talent (even if he did look like a little ant to me, we were pretty far back.) It didn't feel at all like I had entered into the "devil's playground" as some of my former church members might have called it. It was a wonderful night. Hearing, "If I Ever Lose My Faith, live, well, there was just nothing like it. I will treasure that memory forever. 

...and that's the power of clothes, people. Every time I look at this Sting t-shirt, it reminds me of that great night and the lovely memory I will forever share with my friend Maxine. I dedicate this post to you Max, and hope we can pick up where we left off someday. I haven't lost faith in our friendship.