Sunday, September 14, 2014

I've been living backwards

So I have a new schedule at work, were I am completely living backwards. In at midnight or 4 am out before ten, it just hard to be awake or really live a real life. So I have been doing a lot of sleeping, playing the sims medieval and most of the time just sitting on my butt watching YouTube videos.

Still unmediated, but that is almost completely fixed, in the form of medcaid. I just got of the information for it on Friday and getting ready to lay out everything on going on my life, and not sure how that is going to go down.

And School is happening, and I just don’t have energy. The sad fact that it has taken me almost three days to write this tiny amount of writing. Heck, I filmed a few things for my friend and I’s YouTube channel, but I still have nothing.

So yea, still around. Just lurking at the moment. More later.


Monday, September 1, 2014

A Stitch in Time

I decided to post one of my papers from last semester. I really enjoyed writing it, and thought that the craft people I know would enjoy it.

A Stitch in Time: A Look at the World of Cross Stitch and if it is a Cultural Universal


            There are some forms of arts that reflect a culture while still being part of daily life. These forms of art, called folk art, tend to be over looked as a whole. They aren’t seen as great works of art that add to the culture at a large. But there is something more to these small creations that just the ‘hobby’ that folk art lives in. By looking at Cross stitch, an embroidery style that has been around for several thousand years, we can see the connection between the culture that produces it and see if cross stitching can be called a cultural universal. By understanding the purpose that cross stitch has, we can see how it serves the culture that is a part of, regardless of location or the historical factors that are involved with said group. By looking at the color symbolize in the Caucasus, the examples of British stitching during the 1500-1700’s, and looking at the modern day stitching by the artist Steotch, we can see if there are possible connections between the three and if cross stitch itself acts as a type of universal that Steward had discussed based on White’s work.

            Before we can get deeper into the examples, we need to give a clear understanding on what cross stitch is, and what it is used for in culture. Many view the skill of cross stitching like this, something that is added on to one’s culture without really giving much back in return. Cross stitching is the oldest form of embroidery seen around the world, and through it we can see some of the social changes that have taken place in different cultures. The use of cross stitching in different cultures has three universals that appear to go with them. First, it has a relationship with either the nature that the culture has around them, second, a relationship with the religious ideas that the culture has; and finally, it acts as a way to teach the children, (In this case usually girls), learning the expectations or morals in the culture. Many times, such as the case with samples seen in Western Civilization, the relationships between these three ideas are blurred together. Almost all young girls in these cultures were taught the skill of cross stitching by making what was called the sampler, which usually contains either the alphabet or biblical quotations along with depictions of the natural world found in the region. This was usually flowers, but animals and people were also added around the lettering. This skill, seen as ‘Women’s work’, was also used as a way to show stitches that the girls were able to do, as it was a way to practice the stitches that were also used in sewing clothing. This has been lost to the modern stitchers of today in American, where they tend to make funny sayings in their samplers or ones that are frown upon within the culture as a way to rebel. It was also used to add to the material culture, such as dust rags and things of that nature, as a way to beatify to the things around them. When looking at other cultures, such as some of the Native American groups, who have their own patterns of icons used, with their own either religious or shorthand information that a member of the tribe would be able to understand the meaning. While most Native American groups didn’t have a written language, (The only being the Cherokee, and their written language was created after contact with Europeans.) they were still able to stitch figures that related to their religious ideas/folklore that were part of their culture. It was also done in groups of young women, creating a social context as well.

            The next thing we will look out is the different styles and factors to some of the cross stitches that are seen in the world before getting into what defines a cultural universal as Steward suggested. By doing this, we can see what links the different styles and designs that appear in the cross stitches that is related to each other.

To look at the extreme cultural connections that we can have to cross stitched items, we shall look at the Caucasus, who before 1820, really did not have a written language for their native tongue, so their oral folklore wasn’t written down. Because of this, they were using cross stitching as a way to pass down some of their oral traditions involving their folklore. Because of this, they had created a system that allowed them to express ideas, through the colors that they are using. By using the mixtures of red, white, and black, they are able to commutate anything, such as people and ideas. Most other colors are not used and not really seen in the stores even. As researchers David Hunt and Robert Chauncer found:

In Caucasus folk literature the colours of white, black and red are also absolutely dominant. They are even used in combination to describe a beautiful woman: black hair and eyes, white face and bosom, red lips and cheeks (e.g. [5, p. 205]). Of the remaining colours, green only occurs rarely in Caucasus stories. In British stories green is “regarded with apprehension” [4], and mainly associated with a ‘civilised/ wild’ or ‘human/other’ contrasting pair: as, for example, the wicked witch or magician in the pantomime is often green. (2006: 460)

 By using cross stitch, the Caucasus were able to commutate their folklore effective and in a way that they could understand. If we look at this with a development of culture, we can see that they created a means in which their cultural information could be understood. They also used cross stitching as a way to decorate the items that are used daily, like many other groups use it for as well.

By looking across the way at British cross stitch from the 1580-1700’s, we are able to see that iconology at this point was every important to the subject matter at hand. Looking at the cross stitches from these times, one sees that history plays apart that comes to play a part. As figure one shows, it is a portrait of Charles the first, who was dethroned in 1649, done in cross stitch. This shows that cross stitch isn’t stuck in an instruction form, teaching young girls to stitch, but something that can relate to what current events that are going on in that time. As it was pointed out while looking at the gallery showing of these cross stitches, “terms of both iconography and the role of such embroidery in the education of young women. … in choosing biblical subjects to illustrate, … heroines such as Susannah, Esther, and Bathsheba. Each one was associated with particular moral qualities that were expected of women, ideals representing chastity, maternity, or marriage.” (2009:354)  Cross stitch here, as described, creates a clear cut reason for it existing outside of the need for practice of stitches for clothes mending or making. By added the religious element, it has a relationship outside of just the object that it is declorated; it adds a cultural expectation that is a norm expressed.  The figures that are chosen as a short hand of the stories from the bible that everyone who would view upon would know. This is similar to what is seen in the Caucasus with their color system. Because of this, they are able to make sure that they can share their culture more than just an oral mean, but something more permanent, that can be studied. By looking at what was stitched in different periods of time, it gives an insight to how events were being viewed by people.

Cross stitching has not been just limited to the past, but also coming use in moderns times, we will look at the American artist Steotch, who has created her own mini-culture with stitching community online. It isn’t just practicing stitches and learning sewing, but to create artwork for the home. Steotch distracts this is figure two, as she is using modern memes to make jokes in her stitching. By doing this, she furthers the cultural information, no matter how silly or strange that they may seem to someone on the outside. The samplers she makes has a relationship with the people who she is stitching to. She is using an old skill as a way to connect back into her current culture.  While it isn’t quotations of a biblical nature, she is taking ideas from culture to make pass the ideas on. She also reproduces the social aspect of stitching by created patterns for her and her followers to stitch at the same time.

            Why is it that these common threads are seen within these different cultures, within their cross stitching. It can be said that the themes that are seen between them, the religious attachment, the practical uses. With the Caucasus we see that they are using their stitch colors as a way to denote story elements in their folklore, in the late British work, we see that they are using cross stitch to not only practice stitches, but to capture the likeness of those of great important; who at the time, was a daring and controversy figure. Lastly, with the artist Steoch, we see that this form can still be used for cultural notations for the modern day. With this in mind, we have a good idea the function that this art has in culture. They all have common themes across the culture, such as the practice of stitches, the attachment of cultural ideas, and that has a clear difference between cultures. She captures the rebellious nature that is seen in a lot of American culture and their attitudes toward each other.

             But what do these examples of stitching really tie back into the idea of culture having a universal nature to it? Does all societies have to create cross stitch as part of their cultural path or is there something more to it than that?  As Julian Steward stated in his article, Cultural Causality and  Law, that “It is more important that comparative cultural studies should interest themselves in recurrent phenomena as well as in unique phenomena,” (1949:2) While cross stitch is not something that is seen as something large or unique in culture, but has developed in different cultures at different periods of time. While there are some stitches that were developed in some cultures but not in others. There are also motifs that are seen in some cultures but not in others.  But this isn’t that Steward believes that there is a pattern, as so called step ladder that is seen with culture, but something that has regularities to the nature of the cross stitch. His first rule for a cultural universal is that “There must be a typology of cultures, patterns, and institutions.”(1949:3)  In Cross stitch, there is a pattern seen with unformed stitching, the importance of symbols, though their meaning across cultures may be different.  The cross shape, a small x, is first stitch, while others build upon it. Cross stitch can also be part of an institution as seen with the Caucasus, as they used it to relate folklore stories that would pass on moral lessons to the viewer. It acts as a short hand for those looking upon it. This can also be seen with the British stitchers that contain the biblical figures. The cultural patterns are enacted in these pieces of material culture as it shows what is important to these people.

 The second thing that must be taken into account according to Steward is, “Causal interrelationship of types must be established in sequential or synchronic terms, or both.” (1949:3) Cross stitch, viewed across the board, is a way to view information about the creator themselves. Cross stitch, as in the case with samplers, shows the stitcher’s skills in how well they can stitch, as well as what information that is important to the culture that they do know. This can be seen with the use of biblical quotes and the lettering practicing seen within samplers as well. This can be seen in the discussions of these different works by looking at the portrait of Charles the First, as it make sure that a historical figure was captured at the time within this form of folk art. In the Caucasus it acts as a way to tell stories and keep the stories in order.

Third, we need to understand how “The formulation of the independent recurrence of synchronic and/or sequential interrelationships of cultural phenomena is a scientific statement of cause and eject, regularities, or laws.” (1949:3) With cross stitching, it started off as part of a need. Lacking clothing, humans in areas with changing weather had to stitch clothing together. As this tended to be done by women, they learned as young girls, they passed down the knowledge of each stitch and built upon it. Understanding different types of stitches, and the ability to know when to use what stitch, has to come with practice. Over time the styles of flowers were developed and the building blocks of cross stitch began. It worked moral systems, as seen with the samplers and the use of color in the Caucasus for their folklore stories.

Cross stitch also has interlaced itself with other bits of culture, as stated with the use of samplers and how it passes on cultural information. Steward viewed things such as cross stitching as something that would appear in a cultures period of time he coined as the formative era. He stated that this period is where “the patterns of community culture took form at this time. It was an era of population growth, area expansion of cultures and peoples, comparative peace, and wide diffusion of culture between centers of civilization.” (1949: 11) While there isn’t a clear evolutionary path on which culture would have taken place to grow, it is clear that it does come from a period that there is more idle time than a community that is working harder to create food production. When looking at the break downs of goods used by people, it is clear that, “These technologies soon came to be used for two kinds of goods: first, objects that served the simple, domestic-that is, essentially biological-needs of the common folk; second, highly elaborate, stylized goods that served the socially derived needs as well as the more basic needs of the theocratic class.” (1949:11) This can be sight when looking back at figure one verses figure two. Figure one, the portrait of Charles the first has been made on silk with much finer thread, and clearly has had much more time spent on it, than the sampler that has been made by the artist Steotch, which is done on Adia cloth, something worth much less than silk. It can be thought that the person who made the portrait would have been someone of a higher class in their period of time because of the materials that are being used. Another thing that connects cross stitch to the universal idea of culture is the relationship that is seen in a lot of western cultures with the sampler and biblical quotation. Steward addressed religion as something that, in later periods of a cultures development, “evidence of religious domination of society, for example, ceremonial centers, such as mounds and temples, and a large number of religious objects.”(1949:11) The samplers comes off as something that connects both religion and the instruction of young girls.

As it can be seen, cross stitching can be seen as something that is a cultural universal for the cultures that make their own clothing. While it has more importance with different ethnic groups, as seen with the Caucasus, and not with the Americans, it still has a place within these cultures that it appears. It fits all the ideas of cultural universals, and we can see that areas that have more idle time for longer periods of time, has much more stitches and styles that are used. But in the end, cross stitch is used for the same thing, which is to express the culture in which the creator is living, and what the creator wants to reflex from that culture, be it natural or biblical to express them.













Works Cited

Hunt, David. Chenciner, Robert. 2006. Colour symbolism in the folk literature and textile tradition of the Caucasus.Optics & Laser Technology, 38. No  4-6:458-465.


Reiss, Julie. 2009. English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580-1700: Twixt Art and Nature. Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture. 7, no. 3: 350

Steward, Julian. 1949. Cultural Causality and Law: A trail Formulation of the Development of Early Civilizations. American Anthropologist. 52, no. 1:1-27


Photographs from:

Figure 1- Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture.

Figure 2-


Monday, August 11, 2014

It's Been Awhile

Things haven’t been a little crazy or anything, I just haven’t had the desire to update really. I don’t really have anything going on of note, just trying to get into the swing of things.

Had a little hiccup with my degrees so now I have to finish out the six units I missed. Let that be a lesson children, remember that you always check what people tell you. Because they lie.

July was filled with working and house sitting, which is why I didn’t really have anything to post about.

Now August is here and it is nothing but birthdays and family visits and school starting.

I have been thinking about adding things to this blog like book reviews, game reviews and random shit I like because, well, one, it’s my blog and I do what I want. And two, because my life is pretty boarding lately and I don’t want to be looking at all the shit in it every time I want to blog. Sometimes, I just want to blog about stuff. You know? Maybe throw up some creepypastas or something since I have been listening to a lot of them lately.

Just getting myself back out there.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Honesty will fuck you ever time

So my new job lasted a grand total of two days. I can’t really get into what happened with the whole thing, because I honestly don’t know what happened. What I do know is that there was legal shit going on and I don’t have to be apart of it. So that is fine by me.

So the job hunt is back on, but because I changed my schedule for my other job, I have pretty much all next week off. Which is fine I guess, but I’m not sure what to do.

The other big problem is, well, I’m still waiting on my Medicaid card so I can get my meds. I’m almost down to a two week supply, and then I have nothing. Nothing to keep my brain straight and I really don’t want to ask my parents for money. I want to an adult, and not cry to my parents when I need stuff.

Things have been crazy, but I’m not really sure how to put them into words. There is something that is in the back of my mind.

I had an ex-friend contact me to find out how I was doing. And I realize how angry I still am at them.  I feel like that it wasn’t a reaching out to see how I was doing, but more of, a water testing to see how I’m doing so he could weasel back in. You don’t ever tell anyone that you can be friends with them when they are health. Not with a disorder like this, because of one simple fact- I will never stop being bipolar, which means I will never be “health” per se. I’m sick, and it is chronic. That shit just doesn’t disappear. I don’t think my reaction was what he was expecting, I think he honestly thought that I was going to be excite to hear from him, or that I was still the mess that I was when he knew me.

Honestly, you can’t abandon someone in their hour of need and think that you can just come back into in later like nothing happened. No apologize no nothing. Just like you didn’t make a shitty choice and cut that person deep.

Now I am not really sure how to put into words everything that happened, but to make a long story short (Too late),  I got triggered and shit went down, epically. And I took responsibility for my actions, because I did over react. I was the only person to do so. I was the one who was really sick, raw, and animalistic. And I would be the first person to admit that. I never hid that fact, but people in the situation acted like I did.

So there I was, the fresh from the hospital and a suicide attempt, losing my best friends. It was a shit situation, and I honestly will admit it still hurts. But I know that they can’t make it back in, as it will only blow up the same way. And that is really a shame.

Now I don’t think he, R, understand what he did. I think he think he does, which is why I believe me reaction of shutting him out was surprising. But he forgot one fact about me:

When I say something, I fucking mean it. I told him he didn’t get to come back, when he abandon me. That he took my word of, we aren’t friends any more, when I was spinning and all kind of fucked up, because his friend, E, pressed every button, including tell me that I wasn’t worth investing in, and that everything that had happened to me as a child was shit I should just get over, because bad things happen, while in the same breath saying that because he loved my (ex) Friend, S, and she need to be protected from me. Someone who deals with the same issues as me, was allowed to use that as an excuse to keep me out.
To E, with love. Well, with Hate I guess. But yea, fuck you if you are reading this.

Did I mention that this was over a D&D game that I wanted to leave and his wife cornered me for 4 fours, in the early morning, to talk to me about why a decision was made, when it didn’t matter, I had left? Because of a game were one rolls dice, I lost two friends. My best friends. Because, I can only guess, S was scared of me, because it was hard for her to deal with the idea that her ‘Strong’ Friend was falling apart. And that seeing how deep things were going for me, that she need to avoid me. S, well, like R, seemed to use my attempt as a way for themselves to play the victim. I don’t think they set out to do this, but it is more of a product to protect themselves. S, saw how bad my anger could get when I told her not to come and get involved because I knew she would run off, began to avoid me. Everyone made excuses for her, but the fact is that she was avoiding me. And what made it more fucked up, is she was going around saying how much she missed me, and she would ignore my calls. The sad truth is I think she keep me out of the game for her own selfish reason. She was important in this role play, and in the one we played together, I was. I was because C, who was running it, said you become important if you play the character. That he rewarded your role playing. And I role played, she didn’t. And I guess she had a problem with it. And I played bratty and bitchy characters, and she took that out of the game, so in a sense, I was punished because I played fucking characters. Which is a big whatever to me at this point.

So, this is to R, if he reads this. I would have been more willing to hear you out if you have the balls, to, in short, be a fucking adult and take responsibility. I would have spoken with you if you had done that, if you had taken ownership of your actions. I would have been more willing to look at healing our relationship. But the fact of the matter is you didn’t. You pretended you didn’t block me, which the joke is on you, I know you did. You blocked me after our last conversation.  I didn’t block you other account. I honestly don’t know why, but I expect you wouldn’t be the last one to contact me from my past. If you want to have an adult conversation about everything, I’m a little more open to that, but no promises.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Well, this is a thing

This week has been all over the place emotional. My aunt B tried to kill herself.  It’s six days before my anniversary of the attempt. I got a new job that I will be started soon, once my back ground check is done. I’m growing up and out. But there are some things I want to talk about.

Everyone says that suicide is a selfish act. The fact is, I don’t believe it is. I think that ignoring the signs are the selfish act itself. It is easy for us to say things like that when love ones attempt or to think it when we hear about it. But here is the fact of the matter, suicide is so much deeper than what is on the surface. We aren’t talking about people with healthy brains. We aren’t talking about health people when these things happen. My aunt B is a lot like me. She has been fighting depression all her life. And as I have said before, depression isn’t like what people think it is. It isn’t just being sad. It is something almost unexplainable, but will try.

Imagine that you are on a battlefield, not a modern one, but an ancient one, sword in hand, fighting a never ending battle between enemies. They just keep coming, and they are relentless in their attacks, breaking you down.  Now think about their faces, they are one that you know well. You know every ridge of their face, it is all burned into your mind. It’s your own face. You are fighting yourself. And you just keep coming. And you know your weakness, how to strike yourself down as perfectly as you can. And you can’t stop it. It just keeps coming. So you fall, because there is only so much a person can take. It just keeps coming.

I’m still depressed. I fight it everyday. And it has been almost three years. Three years of fighting. Last year, as I was nearing my second year, I couldn’t see the worth in fighting it any more. And since I build this blog on honestly, I spend most days looking for a reason to still fight. The truth it, I don’t know if it is worth it. I know we humans like to think we have a wonderful and privileged place in the universe, but the truth is we are like every other animal on this planet. We all have the same three drives, food, water, and breeding. That is what we do. Is there really a purpose too it all? I don’t know. I would like to think there is, but the truth is that I don’t know. I feel we spend our lives filling it up with things, and are really just passing time around.

Those are the thoughts I have. A lot. And with that kind of thinking, it becomes a why get better.

As some of you know, I post these on my facebook, for those I know to read. I have gotten messages I haven’t put here that sometimes burn into my mind. I don’t want to go into what has been said to me, but I know there are a lot of people out there that have these feelings, and I wonder who on my friendlist haven’t  spoken up.  There are also things that have been things said, not on facebook, but over the course of my life that makes me wonder if people truly understand what goes on in the mind of depressed people. It isn’t that I don’t want to be happy.  I would love to be happy. I was once told I was middle class and white, so what problems do I really have. Maybe I don’t have problems like some people do, maybe it can be seen that I’m just doing this for attention, but the fact of the matter is this is my life. This is something I have to live with. My life is a war and sometimes I don’t see if it is work living, and sometimes not even the love from the people around me seems worth it.  I also get driven nuts by the people who don’t, and have never experiences depression try to give advice. Really, these people need to shut the fuck up. You aren’t helping by belittling my disorder. I understand that you aren’t trying to do this, but by saying things like, oh, you know when I get really sad, I just eat a bowl of ice cream and feel better. Really, if you think that it would work for me, that I wouldn’t have to deal with that. Seriously, this is a huge slap in the face. Oh you got sad when your dog died? Well, I haven’t  showered in six days because I have a big, why the fuck bother, since I didn’t do it the day before. I’m sorry if this comes off a bit angry, but you need to understand that your sadness has a reason, my fucking doesn’t often.  So they are nowhere near the same.

I know this is a rant, and I can’t really end it, but I’m done at the moment, and feel this is a good spot to end.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Well, it's been a while

Well, let’s start from the top I guess. I’m 26, and sometimes I wonder if I have really come that far in my recovery. I don’t know that I have come far or at all. There is some times were there is nothing in my head, or things I can’t control that drive me mad with worry. There is not much that I can do. It is just playing with meds and playing with meds. Going to therapy. My life has fallen into a pattern and I just can’t that I can’t control what they are doing.  I’m not sure if I’m getting better or not because I really have no way to measure if I am or not. But it is what it is I guess.
It is in my head the closer I get to my anniversary date as well. I would like to say those thoughts have completely left me, but I don't want to lie to you all. I can't lie. Some days I wish that I had been successful, and I wish that those days were becoming few and farer between, but the truth is that it is about the same. Hopefully it will get better.

I had an interview this morning and I’m starting a new job come Monday. I really don’t know how my life is going to go now, but I suppose it is a start.

I just feel tired all the time tell the truth. But I will try to be more interesting.

Some things are just what they are.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Well, Now what?

So, I’m done with school. Eight years and two degrees now, and I have no clue what to do with myself.

Part of me thought this day would never come, but here it is. And its pretty interesting to be at this point in my life. I should be working on a resume and job hunting but here I am updated my blog. What a trooper I am.

I had an interview the other day, but I’m not sure that I got the job at all.

So I think I’m going to try and list out a few goals for myself:

-Get a full time job.

-Make a budget- My spending is a little bit out of control and I need to reel it back in. Otherwise I’m never going to pay it down.

-Remember to enjoy life.

-Get freaking insurance- My insurance is up come Monday. I turn 26 and am kicked off. The good news, because I don’t make that much at the moment, I am able to go on medical. And my doctor was cool enough to make sure I’m covered for the month that gives me time to look for it.

I’m getting ready to get on a plane and heading out to St. Louis. I need this trip, and I can’t wait to see what adventures that I can get in. It will be nice to see family and I’m going to work on the job hunt as well, just because it is something I need to do. I need out of my silly kid job. I like the people I work with, but there are moments were you need to move on. I’m at that point. I will probably hang on to it for a bit until I can pay down some of my debt, which will give me a better set up for when I go to move out.
I feel like my life is about to began. I'm excited. Wish me luck!