April 2, 2012 at 13:49 (Blogging, Crafting, The Damning Moths, Writing)
Tags: art, Blogging, books, distractions, editing, Harvest, The Damning Moths, Writing
Wow, okay. Another week of forgetting to blog. I’m sorry! I don’t mean to get so caught up in irresponsibility!
I have been hard at work, several types of work no less. I had to submit final edits on “Harvest”, which went rather well (at least, in my mind!). The only thing I have to show for much of my time spent (aside from, you know, a pay check and food in my fridge, that sort of thing) is a great new bio and a very, very slick header for The Damning Moths. The Husband took my concept work and made it AWESOME. Yes!
Clicky-click for full size!
So, this is used on the Facebook Page for The Damning Moths, found here: The Damning Moths | Facebook
And the official website, found here: The Damning Moths
The bio is also on the website, right there under “The Author”. Fancy.
Oh yeah. Did I mention at any point the books have an official website? Haha. See above. I’ve been gloriously lazy about getting the description finalised and put on the site, so you’ll have to forgive the lack of content.
Beside that, it’s all pretty slow going. Whenever I think I’m on a roll, I look at the overall progress and am hit with a “WHAAAAT?” moment. Because things like, I’ll have been editing for hours, and added over 2,000 words to the book, but only progressed through a third of the chapter I had intended on finishing. Don’t get me wrong, everything’s awesome, but the one thing I stuggle most with when editing is guaging progress.
There’s no definitive word count to judge yourself on. Editing isn’t all equal value. Working through a really tough scene might take twice as long as just whipping through a perfectly acceptable section of the manuscript. Man, final edits are trouble. Worth it, but trouble all the same.
March 2, 2012 at 10:00 (Crafting, Thoughts)
Tags: babies, birds, Crafting, random thoughts, sewing, upcycling
A much-loved second child has added to my friend’s family. As baby number two is born within two week of my godson’s birthday, I’ve been passing on baby clothes. Even for someone who isn’t a mother of any human children, I find baby clothes to be so sweet and, of course, remember how adorable my godson looked in so many of those suits! (The four-legged furry children don’t take kindly to being dressed in clothes.)
A while after my godson grew out of his first batch of baby clothes, I was speaking to his mother about how she had a certain attachment to some of the suits, particularly the special “coming home from the hospital” t-shirt and pants set we’d picked out. I made the suggestion, why not “upcycle” the clothes into something the baby can keep? For those not in the know, upcycling is the trendy term for a kind of recycling, crafting new things from existing materials.
We came to the conclusion that upcycling her favourite clothes into a stuffed toy for the baby would be awesome. At that age, my godson had a fascination with owls (not without a bit of influence from me, of course…), so I sketched out a pattern for a big stuffed owl and spent a couple of days cutting and sewing together panels of his old baby clothes into a toy.
These days, Owl-cush is misshapen and deflated from all the baby love-wrestles he receives.
The belly-panel with the puppy picture, and the pale blue eyes, tufts, beak, and feet are from my godson’s coming home suit. The other pieces were either deemed super cute, like the grey elephants and mint stars, or I picked them for the matching colours. All in all, I discovered baby clothes don’t have nearly enough fabric for crafting with – which is why there ended up being so many sections – and it’s rewarding to make a keepsake which the baby will love, and the parents will cherish for the meaningful inclusions. Plus, no one feels like they’re keeping too-small baby clothes solely for sentimental reasons!
And it gives me more excuses to make cute things.
February 28, 2012 at 11:49 (Crafting, Thoughts)
Tags: art, dirt, good day, outdoors, paint, random thoughts
I saw a friend after she’d come out of a meeting. I made the light-hearted comment, ‘Must have been a good meeting, you’ve got a smudge on your face.’ And I meant that in all honesty. From my years of being a painter, and being a bit of a grubby outdoorsy type, I often judge an action’s success based on how messy you come out the other side.
I always painted with intent. Specific strokes, painstaking detail, blending colours together with my fingertips on canvas. I love the act of mixing paints, getting the tone you want. Adding just a drop of some colour you wouldn’t expect, if you weren’t experienced with paint, and getting the exact result you were after. I have never been a wild painter, with splashes and swipes. If a picture has paint dribbling through the background, I made each rivulet cautiously.
Regardless of my care, I always ended up splattered with paint, myself. And I wasn’t the kind of person to wear painting clothes or aprons, either, so there are numerous shirts and pants with the addition of a great green splotch or other (acrylic doesn’t wash off fabric). I would get paint through my hair, on my elbow, a spot on the side of my nose or in my eyebrow. And that meant it was a good day. I had painted. All was well.
Going outside and scrambling around often has similar results. Gotten twigs and leaves through my hair, mud over my pants, a scrap or two on my hands? A good day. If I’m all sticky from climbing trees, how could I not associate the mess with the excitement I experienced? Even now, you’ll probably find pen marks on me (how often I catch myself with the pen, or drop it, and get an errant line across my skin or clothes!), and I will feel certain that means I had a good day.
I tend to think some people would take it all wrong, though. Like I was making fun of them if I declare their mess a positive attribute. But truly, if you’ve been doing something that leaves you grubby, or your hair in a tangle, you’re probably doing it right. I like that. We should go run around the beach and get all sandy, or make pottery and get drenched in clay (two of my other favourite pastimes, no less).
We’ll end up dirty. That means we had a good day.
December 15, 2011 at 20:26 (Crafting, Thoughts, Writing)
Tags: busy, Christmas, editing, projects, random thoughts, schedule, Writing
It’s one of those words, isn’t it? Responsibility? Even we who are well into adulthood and are already used to taking care of things tend to baulk at life’s requirements every now and then. Not least when we have conflicting responsibilities!
I’m probably going to miss my self-imposed deadline for finishing TDM by the end of the year. The sheer amount of things I have left to do in preparation for Christmas is certainly enough to keep me busy, and then there are always other obligations and vital activities to attend. Yesterday, I helped a relative move house. Today, I finished a number of Christmas gifts. Tomorrow, I need to do more. When will I fit in writing, or editing? When will my mind slow down enough to let me dedicate my thought to the deep processes necessary for critical editing?
I like Christmastime, but man, is it busy.
I’ve considered a daily schedule of sorts, to try and fit in all my projects, but I know how I am. If I’m on a roll, or making something specific, I prefer to finish what I’m doing before moving on, not just stop at a designated time and come back to it later. This is the same for all my work. I’m not very good at schedules, regardless of how flexible I make them.
Writing is usually relegated to the “lesser responsibility” pile, unfortunately. Grocery shopping is more important, cooking meals is more important, sleep is sometimes more important. Finishing Christmas gifts is getting more important, as I need to send a number of them overseas ASAP, then going to the post office to wait in line for half an hour will proceed to become more important than my editing time. And while I might be able to write snippets while standing in line, or in the car (as I’m always the passenger), I most certainly cannot edit in those garnered moments.
If nothing else, I will try and put aside an hour every day, whether it be first thing in the morning, or last thing at night, or any other time I can be reasonably assured of few interruptions, and actually stick to editing a little each day. I know how much progress you can truly make as long as you keep chipping at something daily. I’ve used that technique to great success before! So it’s just a matter of being responsible to myself and my passion, as well as everything else I’ve taken on. My story is definitely that important.
November 10, 2011 at 19:11 (Crafting)
Tags: art, babies, blankets, crochet, editing, gifts, inspiration, yarn
Crochet to the right! I’ve been a busy little stitcher! And finally, a collection of projects has been completed, so now I can share photos of the crocheting that has kept me sane in between the madness of editing. Go ahead and click any of the images for a larger view!
First, is a really super snuggly knee rug or baby blanket. The green yarn is very soft, bulky and fuzzy. This was made with a v-stitch, then just single crochet for the border in a lovely variegated blue yarn.
The next knee rug or baby blanket is made from pale and dark blue bamboo/cotton blended yarn, with a segment of grey yarn for contrast. It is SO soft and has a really nice weight to it. This is just a standard granny square pattern, repeated until I was out of the bamboo yarn.
Carrot baby set! This baby beanie was requested by a friend, made with cute little curly carrot leaves. I whipped up the little carroty shaped bib to go with it, because the idea was just too cute!
And lastly, for now, is the most ridiculously adorable thing I’ve ever made: a flopsie-eared bunny beanie. The pink yarn is very soft, with little glittery bits through it. I really love the brown and cream yarn. Honestly, brown is such a great colour for baby things, especially as it goes really well with bright, rainbow colours.
With these four pieces finished, I still have a whole pile of other crocheting to get through. Good thing it’s a great activity to keep my hands busy while I’m trying to puzzle through my writing – any time I get a bit stuck at the moment, I just pick up the crochet and work on it until I’ve thought through my problem. Awesome!
October 26, 2011 at 11:36 (Crafting, Other Writers)
Tags: art, babies, crochet, Halloween, Katy-Rose Hötker, random thoughts
My lovely friend, Katy-Rose recently welcomed her firstborn son into this wild and magical world. He’s a gorgeous little man, and I had the decided pleasure of crocheting a baby beanie for him!
Katy-Rose requested a Halloweeny pumpkin design, which I was so super excited to make. Not that I wouldn’t wear a pumpkin beanie myself, but I haven’t really had a reason to crochet any of the awesomely cute baby things, except my personal favourites: baby blankies.
So as a treat for my interested readers, who have been asking for photos of things since I started talking about my projects, here’s the hat I made!
All I really needed to do was look up online the best way to make the lines for the pumpkin body, and that turned out to be very simple! It was a flat rectangle, and you just crochet into the back loop for every row. Non-stitchers will probably think I’m speaking another language, and that’s okay. Trust me when I say this was a very, very easy thing to do (much simpler than many other things I’ve crocheted).
The leaf and curly-q designs were just invented as I went, crocheting whatever worked to make it look right. The curly-q is just a chain with single crochets all along, and it curls naturally. Making the pumpkin shaped leaf was fairly basic, since I just kept adding stitches until it matched the photos I was working from of actual pumpkin leaves!
I’ll hopefully get some other pieces finished soon, and take photos to share!
October 23, 2011 at 21:14 (Crafting, Thoughts, Writing)
Tags: art, books, crochet, distractions, projects, random thoughts, Writing
What a funny little phrase that is. Might as well. Shortened down from, “I had might as well-”, which would then include an action. Used when we see something that ought to be done, and we should just do it now and get it sorted out. Of course, it’s not always a negative context, nor is it necessarily something we want to avoid, but the choice to do it there and then is dependent on another contextual aspect.
This weekend was dedicated as a solid attempt at finishing a whole lot of projects all at once. This, of course, was a very ambitious plan and nothing was completed, but a lot of pieces got plenty of progress. Amazing what happens when you stay off the internet for a while, eh?
Tonight had a lot of ‘might as well’s included in my efforts to complete that work. When you’re crocheting, it comes up a lot, actually. See, there’s only a small amount left in the ball of yarn, so might as well keep going until it’s run out. Oh, there’s not much left of this row, might as well just finish it. That went so quickly, I’d might as well just do another row.
Maybe it’s just me that this happens to so frequently, but the more I consider it, the more I see how often I really do add to my tasks with a ‘might as well’. Made a batch of sushi? Might as well bake some cookies while I’m in the kitchen. Writing a blog post and think of another subject to talk about? Might as well jot down the outline while it’s in my mind. Out grocery shopping? Might as well stop in and get that other thing I need. Driving by Nanna’s place? Might as well drop in and see her while we’re out that way. Writing a novella? Might as well write eight. Okay, that one is an exaggeration, but only barely.
I think it has something to do with perceived efficiency. If you’re in the position to take care of something when you’re already there and not otherwise busy, it saves you from having to organise that trip, action, or effort at a later date, or makes sure you don’t forget something. In other cases, it can be one of those really sly, clever procrastination techniques. The ones that are perfectly legitimate, and you’re being productive in one area, but you’re simultaneously putting off work on something else.
As for tonight, and indeed this whole weekend, it was just me trying really hard to get a bunch of unfinished things finally completed. Right now, I’m eyeing off my notebook, honestly thinking, “Might as well write a little bit while I’m not doing anything else.”
October 4, 2011 at 19:15 (Crafting)
Tags: art, blankets, Crafting, crochet, random thoughts, rugs, wool, yarn
I’ve definitely been obsessed with yarns lately. I blame the local major craft store for having delicious, delicious sales. Now that we’re moving into summer, the popularity of knitting and such will probably dwindle, plus, we’ll be getting in all the new season stock from the Northern Hemisphere eventually. Whatever the case, I saw all those wonderful, super soft colours and fluffy yarns and had to get them!
Speaking of obsessions, I am of the absolute firm belief that you can never have to many blankets. Bedspreads, knee blankets or snuggly rugs; if it is warm and soft, you should probably have it, or gift it to someone else. Indeed, since I carry rugs in my car (just in case!), I’ve even given one to a homeless man.
Of course, put these two things together, and I am crocheting a whole lot of blankets. A couple of smaller ones for family with babies, and a couple of larger ones to give as Christmas gifts, even though giving a rug as a present in the middle of summer would likely strike someone as especially odd.
The first of the larger blankets is made from “random” coloured squares sewn together. As much as I am loving the results already, this is pretty complicated and takes a lot of attention. I wrote out the pattern to follow (random is never as random as you think), and have to tick each segment off as I’m done. It’s going to look super awesome when it’s finished, but I will also be kind of relieved when I don’t have to think so hard about it.
The second larger blanket will just be a standard repeating pattern in the squares, though I am actually intending on rectangles. We’ll see how that goes. In general, stitching the same pattern for each segment will make that one a lot simpler to work on. I’m also looking forward to that one in a ridiculous way; I have some gorgeous fawn and rainbow coloured yarns to use, and cannot WAIT to see the result!
And yes, I’m crocheting more than I’m writing, but you can be assured that I’m getting words out every day! It might not quite qualify as my marathon just yet, but I’m pleased with the progress nevertheless.