Moving On

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Support Your Local Roller Derby

I mentioned recently that I’ve taken up a new hobby. Flat Track Roller Derby happens to be the fastest growing sport for women in the Nation. And there are teams nearly everywhere these days. Wherever you are, look up your local derby team and support them! Buy a shirt, go to their bouts, volunteer to help them out any way you can. Strap on a pair of skates and get yourself out there. You won’t regret it.

And, if you happen to be local to me, there are two big events coming up in the next month!

First, next weekend is the Clash in the Coalfields. It’s a multi-team scrimmage taking place on August 27 in Madison, WV. There are skaters representing at least 8 different teams! (maybe. I can’t find where I read that so maybe I made it up) It’s going to be crazy. Don’t miss it. Tickets are available here.  20% of the door goes to the medical fund of a local boy diagnosed with leukemia and concessions sales will benefit Rev-Up Madison!

Then, on September 10 is the Chucktown Shutdown! It’s a double-header event featuring Sandusky Rollergirls vs Ohio Valley Rollergirls first. Then the main feature, Chemical Valley Rollergirls vs Blackwater Rollers! This is Chemical Valley’s first home bout so be there to support them! Tickets are available here. 10% of the proceeds from this event go to the Children’s Therapy Clinic in Charleston.

 My team, the Jewel City Rollergirls will be having our very first bout this fall! More details on that when they become finalized. West Virginia has some exciting derby events coming up! Don’t miss out!

Birthday Demon Squirrel

I love vintage embroidery patterns. I love their kitschy goodness. Vegetables dancing the tango or an elephant washing dishes.  That’s the great thing about these patterns. Typically the subject matter makes little sense. Why would anthropomorphic vegetables be dancing? Why not!

But the thing about this older patterns, in order to save on ink, they typically are very basic outlines. It’s up to the stitcher to fill in all the things that need to be filled in. This sometimes leads to images looking a little…off. So when I showed my friend this vintage squirrel pattern, she was immediately creeped out. And then asked me to stitch it for her on a bag. And to make the eyes red so the true demon inside the squirrel could come out.

Tuesday was my friend’s birthday and the day she finally received her demon squirrel.

Creepy, eh? Demon squirrel will eat your soul.

The eyes are satin stitch with red satin thread. I don’t care to ever work with that again. No matter what I did, the thread snagged and knotted with nearly every stitch. The majority of the outline stitching is chain stitch.

My favorite bit, other than the demon eyes, are the sweet little french knot flowers. I adore making french knots. I think I feel a french knot project coming on.

So Happy Birthday Nadine! Enjoy your Demon Squirrel Bag. But don’t turn your back on it.

Welcome Back

I’ve spent the past month or so thinking about this space and what I want to do with it. Once I reached the 5 month mark of not returning, I assumed I would eventually wander in here and delete the whole deal. This journal is from a different part of my life. A part that sadly no longer exists and I didn’t know how to come back. Lucky for you folks, I’m incredibly lazy and never bothered to follow through.

 When I left in February, my life was in total upheaval and it still is to some degree. Things have finally come to a place where life should be settling down into a rhythm once again. And although it is a completely new-to-me rhythm, and not one I ever expected to be learning, I find myself looking forward to it. So when I got this tweet from Jan, it got me thinking again about the sweet old bloggy. I realized I’m not quite ready to give it up yet. So here we are again (after all these years. I never could resist a Paul Simon reference).

A lot has changed in the past few months. It’s just Izzy and me now, doing our own thing.

I’ve taken up a new hobby that really, really takes up all my time and energy. Especially my energy. And I can tell you one thing for sure, I never expected myself to be involved in this but I am so happy I am.

The friends I’ve made over the past few months make all the bruises, the soreness, the sweat, the tears, and the lingering knee injury worth it (note: that is not exactly my injury but the closest information I could find. My kneecap is not actually broken but does have some small fissures/cracks in it).

Of course, I still knit and stitch and fuss around making stuff. But it really has taken a bit of a back burner to the rest of my life.

Given all that’s changed, I’m not sure what direction this blog is going to go in. I still want to focus mainly on the crafting but that doesn’t happen nearly as much as it used to. Posting may happen once a week or maybe once every other week. Heck, maybe I’ll go crazy and be spurred by the blog to take up my breakneck speed again.

I know one thing for sure. I’m definitely not deleting the blog. The idea of finding a place to move all the tutorials that are still being used (judging from the page view stats) is pretty horrifying. I’d rather stay here and talk to you folks rather than do all that extra work. For now, we’re together again and that’s what matters.

(Didn’t you miss my abuse of parenthetical asides?!)

Hiatus

As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged since New Year’s. I had all these plans and ideas for here and for the shop and not a single thing has been done. There’s a reason of course.

Some very serious changes are happening in my life and I’ve put everything on hold to deal with the situation. Life as I knew it has changed completely and it feels as though the world has been turned upside down. I haven’t had the time and/or the energy to deal with the issues going on and continue to bring content here at the same time. Some things have had to be cut.

I feel as though I am on the downside of the siutation now. The worst of it has been weathered and healing can hopefully begin. I am not, however, quite ready to return to this place. You’ll be the first to know when I am.

Until then, you can still find me loitering around the internet.

Pinterest

Ravelry

See ya around folks.

Looking Forward

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2011!

In addition to my crafting resolutions and my reading resolution, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish personally in 2011. Typically in the past, I’ve been a shunner of the resolution tradition. It seemed like everybody made the same resolutions every year and never stuck to them. “I’m going to get in shape!” “I’m going to stop smoking!” “I’m going to learn a new language!” And, reliably, in about 2 months time, the resolutions were forgotten and people returned to their status quo.

As I get older, I don’t think the problem lies in the idea of resolutions really. I think the problem lies in the way we go about them. America is the land of bigger, better, faster. Bigger cars. Bigger trucks. Bigger meals. Bigger malls. Bigger homes. Bigger tvs. Etc. Etc. It’s not surprising this is how we go about everything. It’s almost as if we are a nation (and generation) of hyperbole. You’re going to lose 5 pounds next year? I’m going to lose 100! You’re going to stop smoking? I’m going to stop smoking and run the New York Marathon!!!! Unrealistic.

We set ourselves up for these unrealistic goals that honestly couldn’t be achieved if we really tried. Then we feel 11 months of guilt when we don’t do them. And start the self-perpetuating cycle all over again next December 31. Where’s the logic in this?! It makes no sense at all.

I’m just as guilty of these hyperbolic resolutions as the rest of the country.  Last year, I read 45 books. Next year I’m going to read a million!! So this time, I’m looking at doing something I can really accomplish. Some things I know I (the hard to get started, lazy, sometimes overachieving person that I am) can actually do.

In 2011, I want to eat breakfast. I never do and consequently I’m starving at lunch and eat bunches of unhealthy things in my hypoglycemic rampage through the fast food district. Then I feel even worse because I’m bloated from hamburgers and 2 liter servings of pop. Awful. I didn’t eat breakfast today and I just had a healthy lunch. Guess what? I’m still hungry. Note: I do not actually have hypoglycemia. That’s more of that hyperbole I was talking about earlier. 

In 2011, I want to get outside more. Walks. Hikes. Sitting in the sun on my freaking deck. Vitamin D is good for us.

In 2011, I want to get rid of stuff and not bring in extra stuff. Do I need eleventy hundred necklaces? Honestly, my gut reaction is YES ABSOLUTELY. But not really. Those pants that haven’t fit since college? Gone. How about 3 rooms FULL of books? Not necessary. We have too much stuff. That $1 aisle at the front of Target? It was made for me. I get sucked in every. single. time. I don’t need it.

These are three of my resolutions I’m sharing here. Simple things that can be approached and changed on a daily basis but will have a huge impact on my life. That’s the way to do resolutions.

I hope. We’ll see if I’m eating my words in 12 months….

Books in 2010

Like my crafting resolution post yesterday, I have one today for reading. At the end of 2009, I summed up my year in reading and talked a little about what I read that year. Today I plan to do pretty much that same thing again.

I only had 1 reading resolution last year (and the same one for next year). To read more books than I did the previous year. And I did. In 2009, I read 45 books. In 2010, I read 47. Not very many more than 2009 but I did it.

I had a hard time at the beginning of the year coming up with titles to try. Until I found Flashlight Worthy Books. I scoured every one of their lists for books to read and they contributed greatly to my list of read books for the year.

Best book I read in 2010?
I read a lot of great books this year and it’s hard for me to pick from them. Push by Sapphire was probably my favorite. I cried through the entire book. Mrs. Bridge by Evan Connell was also a great read. It relies heavily on subtlety. If you’re not paying attention to what the satire is about, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day humdrums of this woman’s life. Well written satire at its best. Other great books of the year, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Collector by John Fowles, and Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris.

Worst book in 2010?
There wasn’t really a book this year that made me curl my nose and question why I read it. Or one that made me wish I had the hours I’d wasted on it back. The Boy With the Cuckoo Clock Heart wasn’t amazing. It tried hard to be a good fairy tale but it felt like it fell short in the end. Build up, build up, let down. Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time was one that I didn’t particularly enjoy but could see its worth. It just wasn’t a book for me. I was on a big serial killer kick this year and read everything I could get my hands on. However, they weren’t all enjoyable. Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell? Eh. It was ok but nothing special. The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson was probably the only book of the year I had to force myself to finish. And Perfume: The Story of a Murderer was not as exciting as the plot synopsis lead me to believe. 

Overall it was a good year for books. And considering my “to read” list of titles is well into the 100s, I have a good start for 2011.

Wondering where I get all these books I read? It’s a combination of my public library, discount book stores (books-a-million, Half Price books, etc), and Paperback Swap.