Category Archives: Life

This. So much this.

The Obligatory Post About Money.

Funny that I was just telling the husband last week that I knew that with things uncertain right now, I needed to stop buying lunch at work, but that it was hard because being able to just grab lunch like that made me feel like a person.

This whole piece just resonated so much with me. We’re in a much different situation than the author, but the truth of the way that having been poor affects your life is something my family experiences every day.

I love #4…

on this list. It is the honest truth and I’m terrible about remembering it!

Not much crafting this week in the crazy heat. I have one little bag to photograph and show you, but it’s waiting for me to summon the energy. We’re in the fourth day of a heat wave and no relief in sight.

I really miss central air.

Our 4th of July was lovely. We got to the fireworks far too early again…the town said “sometime after dusk” and that turned out to be about 10:15, a good half-hour after the kids started whining. I was enjoying being out in the fresher, cooler air, myself, but I’m a mom so I don’t know anything. :-) The show was spectacular once it got going, and well worth the wait. It always surprises me what great fireworks we have in such a little town.

A few errands to run today, and then I have plans to sit around and try to keep cool!

A bit of design news

I was waiting for word on a submission, and I got it: I’m going to be self-publishing, which is my thing anyhow. No disappointment, because the design still gets to reach the world! It’ll probably take me a couple of weeks to get 2 samples finished along with a few decent images, because things are Just That Busy (are you as tired of hearing that as I am of saying it?) But I’m really looking forward to getting this one out there for you! :-)

More soon.

Chains.cc

Have you ever heard of this site? I found out about it through the most excellent UfYH (strong language warning for that site, folks), and I’m trying to use it a bit to get myself back into habits that I’m sorry I fell out of. Like crocheting or knitting at least a little every day, or posting on my blogs, or household chores here and there.

Just a little in love with both sites (and completely *ahem* obsessed with UfYH).

Another ode to the granny square:

I’d love to put this in poetic for, because it’s fun. And a proper ode needs a proper form, yes? But alas, tonight is not the night.

I suppose this is more of a thank-heavens-for-the-granny-square, which always comes to my rescue when I’m too scattered or stressed to work on something more complicated, which can soothe me just by moving my hands through those familiar motions, which can make me fall in love with crochet again and again and again, and which can be stitched together into some of the loveliest afghans ever conceived.

Thank you, my very best yarny friend. Thank you, indeed.

Correction of Errors

Last Saturday I had to take a trip into the Walmart Supercenter that’s just down the road from my house. This is the one that they remodeled a couple of years ago, eliminating the fabric counter and at least half the yarn in the process. I used to work in that store, and after the fabric was gone I don’t think I made it through a day without suggesting to at least one shopper that they call corporate customer service and tell them how unhappy the lack of proper crafty offerings was making them.

I suspect some of them did. And if you figure even one customer a week per Walmart that had its fabric removed calling to complain over the last two years, apparently it adds up to this:

I was heading down toward sporting goods when I saw something out of the corner of my eye that stopped me in my tracks. It was a bolt of fabric. And along with it? More bolts of fabric. And when I peered around the end of the aisle, I discovered something I never expected to see in a Walmart store again: a fabric counter. And they were busy, too. Ten o’clock in the morning and there was an associate cutting fabric and a couple of people waiting in line.

So just for fun I headed down a couple of aisles to take a peek at the yarn. I’m not sure it’s quite as large a section as they once had, since it’s arranged so differently that it’s hard to tell. But the footage that they have now is about double what they had immediately after the remodel. I was going to walk down and see what exactly they had, but the aisle was blocked by people shopping.

I’m shocked and oddly pleased that Walmart has responded to the unhappiness with the changes it made by actually changing it back. No matter how you feel about Walmart, I think this is a good thing.

The Tyranny of Ritual

A big reason that I don’t get more done crafting-wise (and life-wise, too, tbh) is something that I’m coming to think of as “the tyranny of ritual”: that is, there are too many damned preconditions to doing anything to get anything done.

This is sort of upside-down from how I expect things to work. Ritual is supposed to be good for creativity, right? How many times have you been told that to (for example) write well it is helpful to write at the same time every day or at the same desk or to always brush your teeth first or some other variation on the theme that if you arrange your body properly your mind will follow? Half a hundred, I’d guess. Possibly half a hundred this month alone, if you hang out with the right folks.

There is no denying that you really can affect your creative mood this way, or that you can help yourself through small rituals to slip into the flow just as you can help yourself drift off to sleep with some of the same tactics. You also run the risk, however, of not being able to work without the creative equivalent of your favorite teddy bear. This is the problem that I’m having right now.

If this and that and the other thing have to be right before you can start, and you have a full-time job and three kids and relationship issues and money problems and all of the other things that most of us deal with in one combination or another, those required conditions can be paralyzing even if your required ritual is something as simple as brushing your teeth.

So I’m trying something new. I’m trying to learn to just jump in.

This post is an excellent example. The idea was at the top of my mind, and I wanted to write about it. Usually before I work on anything I feel like I have to have my morning ducks in a row; I’ve showered, had breakfast, checked around the internet for anything really exciting (OMG R. Lee Ermey with knitting in his hands!) and because feeling like I’ve caught up clears my own mental state up a bit for some reason. (I’ve been reading blogs in the morning for ten years or so now. It’s a terribly ingrained habit. Sort of like the overuse of parenthesis.) I used to have a cigarette or three. By the time I’m done with all of that, it’s either time to rush to work or time to hang out with the kids, and I don’t ever get to the important part: the work I’m doing, the work I love and feel like I never have time for. By the point where I feel I can really settle in and get something done, the launch window has closed.

So this morning I got up and took a shower and instead of making breakfast I came right in here and wrote about what was on my mind. And you know what? It felt good. Sure, I’m a bit hungry, but what’s a brief delay in breakfast versus spending a little time doing something you truly enjoy doing?

I think I’m going to spend a little more time breaking the tyranny of my rituals. I have the feeling I’m going to surprise myself.