Saturday, August 30, 2014

Prototypes: They are a must!

A long long time ago, in what seems like another dozen lifetimes ago, a woman taught her eldest daughter how to crochet, and a few years later how to read a pattern.  Then after about a decade and a half, that now grown daughter began to freehand her patterns.

Yeap, I was probably around 6-8 years old when my mom took those first steps of introducing me to the world of crochet.

It was simple things at first.  Afghans and hats. Yes, actually afghans are incredibly easy and when they get to a certain size, you can curl up underneath of your work during the cooler months of the year.  I really really like making afghans and shawls.

In the last couple of years, I've stepping outside of the pattern books.  When I moved home with my parents for a time again, I was still struggling with being able to find a big enough comfort zone to be able to work a "normal" job again.  *shudder*

I had already been crocheting constantly at that point as it was an incredibly good coping mechanism for what I was going through. One day I got froggy, and decided that I was going to make a crocheted coat.
I had a large amount of yarn as well that I was trying to get used up, but this prototype was an incredibly important step in my creative endeavors.  I proved to myself that I could design something when I put myself into it.

Now I learned several lesson from this particular prototype:

1. Measure, measure, measure!  Especially the armholes.  The sleeves were massive on this thing.  Way too big for a lean critter like myself.

2.  Always double check my sleeve placements.  The sleeves on this piece were almost two inches, too far back.

3.  The neck was too small almost.  From this coat to the next one I made, the front pieces were made more narrow as I worked my way to the shoulders.  This allowed for the hood to fit better, and gave the next piece a very nice sculpted look.  I really wish I had taken a picture of it, but it was a late order that year and it needed to go out.

4. As you can see from the front of this, the bottom was almost too narrow.  It really doesn't sit well anywhere.  This lead to me making the bottom part a couple inches wider than the person's hips and once above the hips, taking it in just a couple of stitches.

5.  On the next coat, I learned the lesson of "Don't be afraid of an extra wide edging."

This summer I've ended up with three coat orders, and will be documenting their progress and if any new lessons are added to the ones above.  Two sized mediums and one size small.  I did the small one first, because that's my size and I can get better pictures of these coats now.

Without having done this prototype, I wouldn't have ever even considered making coats, nor would I be anywhere near where I am currently in my skills and the things I can offer as a crafter.

I have a large amount of scrap yarn ("Gee really?") that I use to test stitch styles before committing them to a project.  Color test swatches have also entered my toolbox so that I can get the colors right before I start work.

This prototype coat, I did in what's called a Shell Stitch and in Double Crochet stitches.  As you can see, it looks good... but not great. I wasn't pleased at all with how it wanted to droop because of how loose the fabric had ended up being.  It was too inclined towards stretching and didn't mold to a body properly.   These days, I use the very simple Half-Double Crochet stitch.

It creates an amazing look, gives the work a stiffer fabric and molds better.  Instead of drooping... it drapes. Almost all of my work that I present now via the shop, was preceded by a prototype. In some cases, several prototypes.

If you've not considered using prototypes in your work before (whatever your work might be), I would highly recommend trying the process out.  I do prototypes with even my cooking these days.  =)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

While lunch is cooking...

So while my next article for BCP is slowly simmering away on the stove, I'm figured I'd get today's post here done.  Only as usual, I'm sitting here scratching my head as to what to write while my stomach growls at not having start lunch sooner.

Perhaps, some online resources that I'm enjoying thoroughly?

Those would be online college classes.  There's three main ones that I've been digging through and two that I've completed courses from so far.  I must say, that being back in some kind of learning environment even though it's here at home has done wonders for my levels of creativity.  It's been good for me in another way too.  Two of the classes have been astronomy classes complete with equations like "L = f x 4 x pi x D^2" and T equals the sqrt(3)etc etc etc.   Now, I failed math in High School.  Never made it past pre-algebra and math when I was being home-schooled was the class my mother and I both dreaded because we always always fought during that class.  It was an inevitable fate when it was math time.

When I started trying to do the math, I did not in any way shape or form understand the math.  My fiance can vouch for how many times I would just the computer and almost being crying from frustration.  The first course, I didn't register in time and ended not getting most of the classwork done on time.  This second course... I'm not sure what changed outside of me going "I will at least understand and be able to work one of these equations".  Well, I can do at least a half a dozen of them.  With ease to intermediate difficulty, plus a great deal of help from my good friend Stephanie.  She's been a blessing with this, and I've been finding with each problem I get through and get right, a piece of that past pain gets erased.

It's an odd feeling being able to look at these trig and possibly calculus problems, and understand them!  I don't really have a way of describing it. There's definitely a sense of accomplishment though.

So here's the website I take my astronomy classes from:  eDx.org  

All of their classes are free.  They've new ones starting all the time and there are several self-paced ones that you can do at your own time frame. Next time I'll be talking about Hillsdale and Coursera. Enjoy my friends!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wear a Hat, to keep your ideas from escaping.

That was an old joke, I used to tell to my mother way back when I was a teenager.  I was always a baseball cap.  As in, I would pitch a fit come church days because I couldn't wear my hat.  (Looking back, I can honestly tell you that it was actually a means of hiding from people.)

However, it relates to something I'm dealing with now: Trying to keep from losing the dozens of ideas I get a week, either relating to crafting, magick or otherwise.  I've seriously wondered if I shouldn't start wearing that hat again.

I know better though.  It's not like I don't have this thing about collecting notebooks and journals and pens and sketchpads and drawing pencils and colored pencils.....(okay so actually I do, it's one of the stranger quirks that I don't have an explanation for right now.)

Recently I went down the rabbit hole of Irish Lace.  Great Danu, the ideas haven't stopped.

Now normally, when I'm doing a new design I just freehand it.  I don't have it written out (seriously the patterns I do have written down are a bit out of character for me, but a new habit that I need to keep working on).  I have a picture in my mind of the end product, and I start working from the basic stitches I know to get to that point.

However, I've been getting more and more ideas, to the point I have taken to rough sketching my ideas out.  I have to as I have too many ideas.

The same is happening with other lines of creative working I'm slowly trying to ease myself back into, like the writing.  I keep getting random ass ideas and am trying to get back into the habit of getting the bits and pieces written down.  I have this habit of getting four or five scenes of characters and a universe that are not in order. So I end up having to write them down and figure out the order they come in and what the blasted connecting story bits are.  

Anyways, with writing it out, sketching it out, the ideas are cementing themselves faster.  It's becoming easier to quickly design something in my head.  My sketches aren't pretty but they do the job and that's getting the basics of the idea out and on paper to where I can glance at them when I'm on dry for mojo.

So the ideas has slacked off in their escapes though I am concerned I will have points where I can't keep up with the number of ideas or won't be able to grab something to get out of my head in time while working on a larger project.  This tends to happen a lot.  Especially if I'm online doing class, every few weeks it seems my mind off goes like a shot in the opposite direction and every which way except where I need it to go.  Those are the days where three hours of classwork and lectures.... become six or eight.

Is okay though.  I don't mind, because now I've taken to doing online classes and giving my brain something to chew on besides just creative, I'm more creative.  I've been able to read more books. (Ack... I have more to read and review too!  Bad Evelyn.... Oye.)

Now, ideas in terms of this blog were a bit easier so here's the schedule I'm going to attempt.

Monday's will be a small article highlighting books with older skill sets or listings from Zibbit or just a quickie blurb of some kind.  Monday is when my weekly article for Blue Collar Prepping comes out, and it does seem that several of you come over and look here, so I want to give ya something on Mondays to peruse.

Then Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays will be whatever pops into my head.  I really don't have anything concrete right now that is a standard to talk about on here.  So I guess I should apologize for how random my blog is.  I have a very big range of things that I like and enjoy and hopefully there will be something for everyone.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shop updates!

So as I mentioned earlier I have a new shop home, over on Zibbit.  So here's a quick run down of my newest listings and links back to them.

 Granny on My Shoulder

Done with Granny Square stitch (well duh), this incredibly colorful and bright shawl is 31 inches from top to bottom and 55 inches from side to side.

Pre-washed, soft and ready to go!
 Purple Triangle Shawl

This particular shawl is a bit smaller than the previous or next one at 25 inches from top to bottom and 57 inches from side to side.

Excellent for a child or teen.

Pre-washed.
 Dusk and Blue Triangle Shawl.

(Yes that's me being goofy.)

This is a beast of a silky shawl at 34 and a half inches from top to bottom and 75.5 inches from side to side.  (That's a little over 6-7 feet I think.

Pre-washed.
Sandstone Bands Purse

This purse is 10.5 inches wide by 9.5 inches deep, with a strap of 24.5 inches.
Pre-washed, does not have a fabric lining due to how tight the stitching is.

Has the search concluded?

By the Lady of Avalon, that took a while to find a new home.

But I think I have found it.

A site called Zibbet.

It took a while to get to going as I was going through the other sites.  I had been listing a test product on each of the sites, and the results on a couple of them were dismal to say the least.

However Zibbet... oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Pros:

  1.  Does NOT take a portion of your sales.  NOPE, NONE, ZILCH! 
  2. No listing fees.
  3. Print receipts and export your transactions to offline sites.
  4. You can make gift certificates specific to your store.
  5. They can import your Etsy's listings over to Zibbet, and it's free to do so.
Cons:
  1. The system they use is PayPal.  At this point though, I'm willing to forgive for that.
They around four different packages.

The Free Package has:
  • No listing fees
  • No transaction fees
  • Sell up to ten items
  • 1 picture per item
  • Marketplace exposure.
Four dollars a month gets you the above plus:
  • Up to 50 items
  • 4 images per item
  • More exposure on the marketplace
  • Basic shop stats
  • And a badge.  (I guess they're the same as like widgets or hot links???)
Then the Eight dollars a month gets the last two packages PLUS:
  • Unlimited Items
  • 8 images per item
  • The most marketplace exposure
  • Advanced shop stats
  • Create coupons, gift certificates
  • Discount feature
They have four main categories:
  1. Handmade
  2. Fine Arts
  3. Vintage (20 years min)
  4. Craft Supplies.

You can down or upgrade your shop package at any time.  Cancel, no-questions asked.

Has Jade Rose Zen made the move over to Zibbet?  Not fully yet.  December 14th of ths year will be my last day on Etsy.  After that, it'll be Zibbit, along with Storenvy and either I'll get it figured out how to do a storefront on Blogger or will be building a new website.

Storenvy update:
Now I mentioned in the last article that Storenvy had an option to integrate with your facebook page so that folks could go through Facebook and buy from you (no fee for using the facebook app).  HOWEVER, you have to pay five dollars a month to Storenvy for the subdomain through them...and THEN on top of that, pay whatever domain hoster you want to use for the domain name.    That was a major let down.

aftcra update:
One of the reasons I was having problems with their site was because they were updating to a brand site, with improved security, etc.  I do not have any more updates about them as of yet.






Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Search for a New shop home continues....

So today I'm looking over the site known as Storenvy.

Now I had gone and checked out StorEnvy before, but it was as a passing thing, as I was still enjoying decent sales on Etsy. (PTUI!)

So joining all of these sites is free... it's just when you start wanting to list stuff that the details get... hinky.  So here we go into Storenvy!

Right off the bat with Storenvy, one of the first things you see is that there is a notice basically telling you can mark your shop open or closed.  (Hello editing listings just made easier!)

Pros:
  1. You can export your orders from your shop to an offline source.
  2. Creating a sale listing - choosing a category is much easier than on Etsy. You can tag a listing as on-sale or as a pre-order. On the tags though, you only get 55 characters. 
  3. Uploading images: The limit is 5 here, and the size limit is 3 MB.  Instead that annoying this many pixels by this many pixels.
  4. There's even a coming soon feature under listing creation.
  5. You can customize your shops look more easily instead of the blanket everyone looks the same look of Etsy.
  6. You link back to up to six other sites that you own or work off of under the Store Profile Tab.  (Probably best not to link back to Etsy, eh?)
  7. Shipping rates are calculated for you!  (Whew, no more guess work!!)
  8. You get a facebook app... and it's FREE!
Cons:
  1. Their only payment system seems to be PayPal, and no news cropped up of considering other ways of paying.
  2. If you want your own domain via them, it's 5 bucks a month.
  3. You can't import your listings via any files. (And if there is... I haven't found it yet.)
When it comes to fees, there aren't really any that I've been able to find.  Outside of fees from Paypal, Storenvy is much cheaper than most alternatives that Etsy.

And that is Storenvy. There's a bit more customization, which means however complicated it gets is entirely up to you and it doesn't feel like you're pulling your own teeth when setting things up.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Damnit Etsy....

Every time, I hear someone say the economy is getting better my teeth and jaw start to hurt from clenching my jaw.  

Getting better my ass.

Here this week, was what we will call a metaphoric 2' x 4' from the universe.  We had been hardcore about getting the fuck out of California (Fuck this state and its policies.  Next person to tell me it's a great place to live will be told to fucking pony up and come live here for a year.  When you say no, you will be unequivocally told to Shut The Fuck Up.) but after basically getting our car stolen... I have zero willingness to even come back and visit!

They need to wipe the slate here.  Seriously.

As is such, I started digging into my Etsy store to try and see what all was going on with these damn keyword processes... and stumbled across something that made me sick to my stomach and explained why so many of my sellers and I were struggling on Etsy.

"How Etsy Changed the Rules..."

Now here's the thing, when they first announced this policy change last year, it didn't seem to make a difference right away.  It wasn't until this summer, that many crafters from all over the world on Etsy started really noticing.  Don't believe me?

Just go to Etsy, right now, and type in something in the search.  The first two dozen pages on average and store ads from "outside manufacturers".  If you want to find an actual shop, keep digging.  Some times it takes until page 36 to start finding the actual handmade stuff.

Then one of my good friends on Facebook has this article pop up on her feed:  Alternatives to Etsy .
(THANK YOU GODS!)  So I start digging into this alternatives.

First one I'm examining is Bonanza.  (And no, not the old TV show.)

First thing that struck me was they have an annual package... there is no free option for a store listing.

The most expensive is Titan Plan.  (Titan... really???) Breakdown of it is as follows:

  1. $166.00 a year.  
  2. 50,000 shop items spots.  (50k items?!)
  3. Your items listed on Comparison Shopping Engines with 20 million + monthly shoppers.
  4. Advertise to targeted Bonanza buyers during checkout
  5. Account specialists review and optimize your booth
  6. Live 1-on-1 tech support
  7. Increases advertising page views and sales by around 3x, on 25 days per month
  8. Exclude items from Ebay import by price or category; buyers can type personalized text into the item view; Your items can be promoted in site search results; Sell downloadable files like music or ebooks with unlimited listings.
  9. "Magically" Item Image backgrounds 1k times a month.
  10. Google Analytics: Track Visitor Behavior .....(Yeah, you just read that right.)
I could go on but I think you get the point.  Now their cheapest annual plan is of course the Gold Plan.

  1. 17 dollars a year with a 30 day free trial.
  2. 25,000 items per booth. (25k?! Who the hell has that kind of inventory that's a homemade crafter?  A family of 12?)
  3. Everything else is identical to Etsy just about.
Now if you're a buyer, Bonanza looks great.  For sellers... best to have a decent income coming in already from a loyal customer base before becoming a seller on this site.

So which one is next?

Well let's look at aftcra.  American based crafters.  You can sell to the whole world, but if you're a crafter, you to live in the United States to sell on their site.  It's free to list, free to join, there's no annual or monthly fees.  However, they do take 7% commission out of each sale and your only option for money transactions is PayPal.  (oye)

It's an American run company, right out of Minnesota.  However, I am currently not going to say much more about them.  I got two listings to upload with no problem... then the create listing page just went down the toilet.  To save myself time, I tend to type of up item descriptions and measurements in Notepad whenever I complete a project and then upload listings twice a month, copy and pasting.  So either their site doesn't like copy and pasting or they have a create listing limit, which is not discussed at any point in any of their FAQs. I did fire off any email, so next round of seller site reviews I should have an update about them.

That's all the ones I'm talking about today.  I have at least two more that I'm going to be digging into.

So, back to what I was talking about at the beginning of this.

For a long time, Etsy for many folks like myself was our only source of making ends meet and many folks even managed to pay the rent.  Now that we're dealing with this, with Google search pulling shit with the keywords... well, this year has been a bad year.  For many, it's turned surviving to... well... not.

Why would Etsy do something like this?  To please their shareholders, who in their eyes, are not the 1 million shops on their site, that are paying .20 cents for each listing and renewal and 3.5% commission. 

Is it time for the Evelyn to the throw in the towel on Etsy?

Not yet.  I'll keep it maintained, but you bet your beer (or cider or wine) that I'll be either getting a new site somewhere else, or finally building my own website.  

Now pass one's of those beers... I need it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

My fascination with Shawls.

This is one article that is going to earn a weird look from some folks.  I dearly love shawls.  There are few other articles of clothing that can be functional, elegant and unique like the shawl.  And yes, I realize that one of those things pictured is actually in fact a shemaugh.  Well, on me it's big enough to be a shawl.  In fact I've used it as such on chilly mornings.

Shawls have intrigued me in that they are used for so many damn things.  I'm sure everyone at this point has encountered a Prayer shawl ministry or a recipient of such a ministry (which by the way, this Witch thinks are awesome ideas!)

History of Shawls:

Now this part is a bit muddled.  Some of the first citations of a shawl, are within Jewish history as prayer shawls, while as many dances done today by the First Nation remnants are "Fancy shawl" or "Shawl praying."  (Dancing is praying in many of the Tribes.)

One of the more interesting references in the Bible, to me at least, is the story of Ruth and Boaz.  Her shawl plays a small role in this story in revealing to Boaz that she was indeed true to her word, a daughter of Naomi and would be a daughter of Israel.

One of the earliest modern references to the shawls appears out of India and seems to link to a wide scarf that was (and I think still is) popular with Hindi women.

This is an example of the Pineapple Shawls I personally make.
If you'd like one click the picture, it'll take you
to my Etsy store listing.
Do shawls appear among other cultures?  Yes, it does seem that shawls were a simple enough concept of clothing that they do seem to appear in records and stories with the advent of fiber weaving.

Types of Shawls:

They can be squares, triangles and long rectangles. Circular or Half circle.

Shawls can be made from just about anything.

They can be simple triangles of fabric for covering your head from a dusty day or your face on a cold one.

They can be something elegant covering your shoulders and accenting a luxurious evening dress.

They can be a heartfelt gift to a grieving loved one.

For my christian friends, if you'd like to check this out further there is the Shawl Ministry.

For my pagan friends (was that small squee I just heard?), I have the Stitch `n' Witch  .  Those lovely folks work with Christopher Penczak (Macha forever bless and shield brother!) and I've had the privilege of donating shawls to them in the past, though I haven't been able to yet this year. (That will be changing.)

"Evelyn, that's pretty cool and all but why are you fascinated with them again?"

They are most likely one of the oldest pieces of clothing that is still in use to day all over the world.  Yet, it's one of the simplest things.  They intrigue me, because the bold variety of forms they've taken over the years.  From Irish lace shawls of yesteryear to today's simple Granny Stitch shawls, they are an example of the tenacity a good concept can wield.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Catharsis: It's there.

I seriously think that there are times when the rituals that were once to help engage in that process, were deliberately discouraged and banned.  Not because they were a competing religion but because such rites make it harder to control a human.  Because that human wasn't distracted by emotional constraints and they had dealt with their shit to an extent that allowed to take of care of themselves and those around them that they cared about.

Rituals and catharsis... they go hand in hand.  With so much lost of the Old Knowledge, such rites to deal with grief, lose, etc are much more spontaneous, less structured and more personal.  It's a blessing curse, because what works for one person... will not work entirely for another person.

Here a few weeks ago, I had another miscarriage.  It'd been... four or five years since the last one, and it was until halfway through bleeding like a stuck pig that I realized it what that was going on.  Kinda hard to mistake to that ache honestly.

One of the things I love making is toys.  It's been almost impossible to crochet for any decent length of time since the miscarriage, but I am managing. I wasn't expecting to end up with these three let alone more than one, but it would seem that this had been my catharsis.  I don't dare do anything that would ensure a full term baby yet, because we need out of California first.  Give it a few months in Phoenix, and then... well, we'll see what the universe holds us, won't we?





Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hmphagrump

I have no idea what to write.
I have no idea what to write.
I have no idea what to write....!

Here I am sitting, staring at a computer screen and trying to figure out what in Avalon I want to write...

I have no idea what to write about....
I have no idea what to write about...

I have books I want to read and throw reviews up here on...
I have things that need crocheted and knit...
I have classwork that needs done....

I have a damn schedule that I need to iron for classwork...
For blogging...

I'm trying to get myself to write at least twice a week on here....
Am I successful... well, ya'll can see that for yourself...

I've been biting my lip since a certain celebrities death a lot.  I honestly didn't need those old questions drumming their way through my head again. I honestly didn't. For 16 years I worked, fought and almost lost several times over my fight with depression.  Several times over several hours after attempt of looking around going "well... that time didn't work."

Robin taking his life is a mixed bag.  He's inadvertently brought an incredibly large amount of attention to mental illness.  He's also unintentionally told only the Gods know how many people, that giving up and killing yourself is okay.  I'll lay afghans to dolls that the suicide rates and attempted suicide rates will spike for a short time.

There's this out lash at people who are calling suicide selfish.  That's because it is.  You're turning everyone, whose ever known you into a victim.  When you kill yourself, you take a small part of everyone whose ever been your family and friend with you. You've now actually made them suffer.

Suicide is permanent.  And it doesn't fix anything. Just removes you from the equation and now you'll never know what it was that was causing your depression.  Trying to say suicide is okay is... vile.  Cruel.  Evil.

Depression is not a choice.  The causes for depression are almost infinite as are the other illnesses that depression is a symptom of or that go hand in hand with it.

Suicide is a choice. Giving up is a choice and there is no excusing making that choice.

Hell for all anyone knows, maybe this whole "it's not selfish!" that I keep seeing from otherwise rational people, might be leftist vileprog "tolerance and acceptance" bullshit that's leaking from wherever folks have to repress that kind of propaganda too.  

People are making excuses for Williams that otherwise, when 22 veterans a day are committing suicide, don't give a flying fuck.

There's that whole bullshit cropping from the "let's medicate everything!" crowd.  Just not going to go there because I'd like to not have hurting jaw muscles tonight when I go to bed.

People are trying to say "He died from depression."

No, he didn't.

So what did Tempest Smith die from?
So what did these folks and these folks die from?

Robin, should have kept fighting on... he didn't.  I don't agree with his choice to kill himself.
HOWEVER, it's lit quiet the fire underneath of people's asses.  It's been dropped in front of hundreds of millions of people and it can't ignored or forgotten easily.

It's a wake-up call that shouldn't have happened nor should it have shaken as many people as what it did...
Humans aren't widgets.  We all respond to exact same things in patently different ways, it changes from individual to individual.

Pretty certain that there are folks, whose only purpose in this lifetime was just be themselves, go as long as they could then die.  Their death was what they were here to do.  Because from death, comes life.  From death, comes re-birth.

What all kind of other fall out will this create?

Neither you or I know.



  


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Combining Passions

It's actually incredibly hard for me to write.  No seriously it is.  It gets incredibly frustrating when I can't describe what I want to relate to another person. Doesn't really matter what the topic is. It could be the prepping. It could be me relating new insights into what works for dealing with my PTSD.  It could be talking about Witchcraft or crocheting...

It just doesn't happen as easily as what I would like.

I have found though that if I'm doing two things I enjoy at once like listening to music while crocheting or watching college lectures while knitting, its much easier for me to get through my days...but writer's block tends to happen more frequently than I'd like.

I have one story at over 30k words total and the sequel is starting to form itself into a semblance of outline.  I have one trilogy of stories that are starting to online themselves in my head, I haven't been able to write those down yet.  I have a one outline began to what promises to be a massive novel. (Think Deathly Hollows massive.)  The past few weeks though... I go to pick up the pen and my mind blanks.  I set it down and the worlds that have become a reality of sort in my brain come dancing right back.

Okay, so I won't force myself to work on those.  I'm not a deadline, I don't have a contract to fulfill (though ya never know) and I don't need to stress myself out over it.

So my friend G, gets me interested enough in something called Pinterest... oh boy... I should have plugged my ears.  Don't get me wrong, that site is a wonderful resource but geez is it a rabbit hole. So many wonderful ideas and pieces of inspiration...

Which reminded me of a prior attempt to combine my passions.  Ever since I started practicing Witchcraft, not just studying (there was a good three years there before I felt I knew enough to even to a daily affirmation properly. ...it's a long story.) I wanted to combine my Craft with my craft.  I wanted to figure out and design crocheted and knit things that were beautiful.  That were elegant. That a fellow Witch would go "OH! That is the perfect altar cloth for (Lammas, Mabon etc)".

Take a wild guess as how well that's going....

I would, as they say "Head desk" however I don't have a desk.

Is it because I just don't have enough motivation?
Nah.  You should see some of my sketchbooks.

 I have the ideas, I have the skills to put the ideas together... I just don't know how to present them to other Witches and pagans and Asatrau and Wiccans as something they'd enjoy.  So I let the ideas keep simmering.  I have made rune bags and tarot card bags.  Those turn out just lovely every time too!

So... back I bounce to my writing.  Many times (when the muses aren't in what would appear to be a damn cat fight) I can sit and have the story out in front of me and be letting my mind wander over the scene that's open while I'm crocheting away.  Here in the past month or so... that's not been happening.  I start messing up big time with my stitches or nothing comes to mind, and I end putting the writing away.

I've even been struggling to maintain a pace with my yarn working, I can get about two hours in right now... when normally it's 6-9 hours.  I know it'll spring back to normal, it's just when and what it's going to take to blow out this block I'm having.  FEH I say my good person!

Oh and then's there's awesomeness like this...



"WHOA... what?"

She broke her arm.  Not being able to be crafty, was driving her nuts so... she'd figured out a way around it.  Hell if she can do that, I can certainly find ways to improve my passions.