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Into felt donuts!

And tea sets!

And and cakes!!

The cute, it burns! It burns!!!!

(and I started the El-p-fant. Cause I have buttercream and raspberry yarn and I'm going to make it look like the one from the Island of Misfit toys. Though eventually two children will require two of each critter. I'm trying to figure out how to knit cables onto the chicken. And maybe do the other El-P-fant in lavendar - like Lumpy the Heffalump)
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So I went out shopping on my lunch hour. I actually had a number of things on my list. Colored pencils, sketch book - too $$$ at Staples, not the sort I was looking for at Target. Fabric for aprons - these are a gift. I have something specific in mind - and couldn't find fabric that meets my mental image. Cheap fabric for dress-up clothes for Anneliese's class - nothing that didn't look like a bugger to sew. Fabric for fall dresses for the girls - again, nothing that fit the mental image. Found a few things I wasn't looking for - pure linen on clearance sale - red, peach, violet, green. Some shiny brocade in wheat, mauve, blue, and sage that had a very 14th century feel.

And I came home with.... nothin'.

The linen is tempting. I should probably go back and at least get the red and some of the green for John. But I'm so un-motivated to sew SCA stuff at the moment.

My brain is stuck on "idle" - unmotivated.
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The strange thing about having the weight of the world lifted off of your shoulders is that (once you put down the margarita) you tend to stop, look around, and wonder where you go from here. Now, by no means are our problems over. But at least we don't have to worry about keeping the plates spinning with such zeal anymore.

So, having a bit of income to dispose of at Fiber Fest, I've been surfing all my favorite blogs and sites that relate to crafty goodness. In part, because the annual Pennsic lull has coincided with this, and caused my attention to drift. And wonder what I want out of life. I've had my head down, working at keeping us on the right track for so long, now that I have a chance to look up, the entire landscape of my life has changed.

Time to decide what I want. Aside from the $102 million dollar super lotto jackpot (and I'm not really sure I'd even want that). That, like a job for John, and normalcy for Anneliese are things largely beyond my control. I'm musing on what I want that I can do something about, however minor.

I do not want to own my own practice. I don't mind what I do for a living, but I don't love it, either. It pays the bills. It keeps my brain engaged. That's about it. Now, once John gets himself some gainful employment, I can cut back my hours, and spend more of my time doing what I want.

But what do I want?

There are a number of possibilities from where I sit.

1. I can continue as I am. Work, tend children, do SCA stuff with the occasional crafty moment thrown in. Wherein most of my creative output is historical/pre-1600 in nature and scope.

Or, I can decide I might have a goal past that, and at least begin to work toward it. Do I have the desire/ability to make a start? I think I'm too Craft ADD to ever be a "knitting" designer or a "quilt" designer. But I'm sort of twitching toward building a portfolio to eventually put out a book of designs for a lot of things. This is only a workable idea if I build some sort of name and reputation first.

It comes down to this - I'm a little bit burnt on the SCA lately. Possibly just tired. Possibly too much silly politics. It may be a temporary burn-out. There are still a lot of projects on my list. More that I will likely ever have the free time to indulge in under any circumstance.

Or do I re-channel some of my time, energy, and resources into building a brand as a designer. Meaning, start a new blog and be reasonably faithful about updating it. Develop patterns for items to post both there and to submit to other venues t obuild visibility. Create a name and logo under which to market such things. Generally spend time positioning myself for that eventual book - knowing that time and trends may pass me by, and that by the time I have enough material together and the wherewithal to market it - there may be no market. Quilting is less trendy than it once was. Knitting is starting to slide a bit. The whole "vintage" thing may loose it's sparkle. And these are the types of things I find appealing. I will still do SCA stuff - but likely at a lower, looser level.

Thoughts? Encouragements? Cold water?

Idle hands

Jul. 28th, 2009 02:13 pm
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ANd now here I sit, with no wheels, empty hands, a little time.... and not enough stuff to really start or work on a project. I have fabric, but didn't bring POF4 to tear a new shirt for the Hubs. I don't have a sheet of vellum and my reticella book to start a whitework coif. I don't have anything of Rori or Anneliese's to approximate size for a shift or kirtle. I don't have any yarn. Or needles.

I hate to sit still.

Please shoot me now.


Jul. 24th, 2009 02:32 pm
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So, after many trials and tribulations, we got our new phone line and internet connection up and running yesterday. I'll spare the details that involve a wasted day waiting for a technician - who didn't show up as we were scheduled for a remote install. And my husband actually managing to rewire the phone jack. (Making me wonder why the electrical outlet in the bathroom has him so completely flummoxed).

We had another chicken break, resulting in husbandly panic. In which he learned 2 things - I am not a Harem Girl - never clap to summon me. And chickens don't go for long explores at night. They just want to roost up high. None of them was more than a foot from their pen. *eye roll*

Working on my costumer's AT cards. I have come to grips with the fact that my minimal skills as an illuminator were not going to serve, as my current costuming bent is 16th century. And that would just not work well. So I've gone with decoupaging on some bits of my favorite inspiring portraits and then embellishing them with various tidbits. So far, so good. Altered cards, as it were.

I'm thinking I might look for yarn at Fiber Fest for Rori. I think I'll use Susan Anderson's hat pattern as a base. And try to knit some fairy wings to stick on amongst the flowers. I'm thinking of some seasonal variations, so we'll have to see what colors I find.

I'm in a shopping mood and I have no money, so it's a link shopping day:

This speaks to me as a quilt for Anneliese, what with the mermaids.

And this for Rori, though I might go with a single colorway. Love the princess and the pea one. The unicorn tapestry isn't bad, either.

This is just cute. It doesn't need a reason.

I have no idea what I would make with this, but it feels like deep summer.

More mermaids, different colorway.

More summer fabric. Just pretty.

I'm also going to troll the Fest for some Spud and Chloe yarn. The sweater weight. For the Ror-ster.

I might pick out something as a reward if the weight loss project continues apace. The scale at the gym says 7# - which is probably at least 2-3# of water from the pred dosage. But still. I've moved up my sets on the weights and added more weight on, as well. Yea, me.
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I need my Space-Time Continuum Modulator again.

Especially since it's early afternoon - which, being just past lunch, is sleepy-time in my world. *yawn* Too bad I have all those annoying appointments coming up to prevent it. *sigh*
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My attempt at finding the fabric I want locally has, so far, been a total wash. *sigh* The quilting stores in the area have been dwindling, and those still around are rather small. Nor have any of them expressed the slightest interest in what I'm looking for when I ask. "Nope. Don't have it. Never heard of it." Wish I'd had the magazine with me yesterday that I found a full page ad in. Grrrr.

Which led me to maunder on the topic of hip handiwork. Crafts tend to run in cycles. Anybody remember macrame? Around 15 years ago, Quilting was BIG. The quilting book section at Barnes and Noble covered 5 or 6 shelves. There was a quilting shop on every corner. PBS had umpteen shows. But it's star is fading. Which isn't to say that nobody quilts anymore. Just that it's contracted back to it's core audience. Mostly, ladies of a Certain Age. It's no longer in.

What is? Ah, knitting! Go to your bookstore. How many new books are there since the last time you looked? And cute, cozy knitting stores are all the rage. Wood floors, tables to sit at, "sit and knit" nights scheduled. There are at least 2 knitting TV shows that I know of. I suspect THIS trend is reaching it's zenith. The book market is nearly saturated. And, after all, how many people will continue to indulge, once it's not "hip" anymore? Though it's ascendency seems to be helped by the addition of crochet and felting - combining all three techniques to keep something hundreds ofyears old "fresh and new!"

What's next? It would seem to be sewing. With some very simple embroidery thrown in. Anything easy to master and "cute" or "kitshcy" or "vintage."

Now, understand that I have no problem with trendy crafts. (All right, I don't quite understand the mega-success of scrapbooking. Mostly because I SO do not have that kind of time.) And there is a whole generation of women out there whose mothers didn't teach them this stuff. Granted, most of them will learn the bare basics, if that. But it's better than nothing. And they buzz happily from one trend to the next. It just frustrates me that the materials come and go. It also aggravates me to hear "buy from your local store, not online, or we'll go out of business!" from stores that can't be bothered to put in an iota of customer service. Nor express any interest in what their customers want. I'd think that if someone walked into your store looking for something specific, you'd make a note of it. And if you got another person looking for the same thing, you'd think "Aha! This may be a trend!" With sufficient interest, consider stocking it. But I guess it's easier to page through the catalogs your sales reps bring and pick out what YOU like. Then whine that everybody just buys online and that's why you went out of business.

Granted, I'm a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, myself. However, I think there is a quantitative difference between the Hippity-Hoppity craft addict and someone who's proficient at many things because they use them. I can bake. And more than just a Semi-homemade add to a cake mix sort of baking ability. I can knit - lace, entrelac, socks, cables, fair isle. Embroidery? Gotch covered. Quilting - yep. Though I'm pretty much too lazy to actually handquilt something. Mostly because I need that quilt on a bed or in a crib somewhere. I can sew - have been able to since I was around 8.

I just wish I had a way sometimes to steer the trends around to things I like - just so I can find the materials more easily. ;-) However, I have yet to determine how to manipulate the moddish mob. *sigh*
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...and there's that strange hissing noise that I'm sure isn't giggling from my nearest and dearest.

Blame this book.

But now I'm in the mood to make a quilt. Since I don't have a bed cover on MY bed anyway.

I'm not sure what I want to do, though. Do I want to go to Mom's someday on her day off so she can chase my chillins and do the top all in one session? Something like this?
Or a 40's style Victory Quilt?
Or spread it out over the year with a Block of the Month project, like this one using the Marie Antoinette fabrics?

Or am I just plain insane? Somebody crack me in the head and tell me to get back to my costumes, painting my basement, period embroidery projects, and not start something new.

*head desk*
Look, a bunny!
*head desk*
Hey, a sparkly!
*head desk*

ETA:Actually, if I could find a store carrying this collection, I think the decision would be made for me.

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