Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday's Table

Tomorrow is the first day of November.

Tomorrow, the insanity begins.

It's NaNo time!

November is National Novel Writing Month--where ambitious (read: crazy) authors try to write 50,000 words in one month.  

This is something that I've attempted every November since 2005--and have succeeded at doing every November since 2008.  In fact, last year I wrote over 100,000 words...  Because I'm just that insane.  

And, apparently, that verbose.

Now, when I work on stories, I usually (but not always) write in a notebook first.  I love writing longhand...  I actually find it helps me be more creative, and more focused--if for no other reason than the lack of Internet.  Eventually, I then transfer my writing onto the computer--fleshing out the scene and filling it in as I go.

That is why, in preparation for the upcoming insanity, I have made a NaNo Notebook.

So pretty!  ...And on the left you can see my NaNo travel mug,
proudly proclaiming "Author."

The notebook again, front on.

Honestly, it's really nothing too elaborate...  it's just a simple one subject notebook (a Five Star Notebook, because I'm rather particular), covered sporadically with Fairy Tale themed cardstock.

Tools of the trade: the cardstock, the notebook, the paper-cutter, and
a gluestick.

This cardstock is awesome...  I got it on sale at JoAnn's.  This stack is
usually $20.00; I got it for considerably less than that.

Basically, I just cut out pictures...

And then glued them in, every ten pages or so.

Nothing more elaborate that that.  

Still, I think it's just perfect for what I have in mind...  especially since, by the time November is over, it's definitely not going to be perfect.  Knowing me, there will be tea stains and entire pages crossed out.  After all, writing can be messy--especially if you're doing it right.

Here is a peak inside (well, of the covered pages--the blank pages are rather run-of-the-mill):

The inside cover.

A treasure map.
A far-off castle.

A dancing mermaid.

The Landus Fantasticus--
the Land that is Far Far Away.

The High Mountains are filled with dragons.

This is the inside of the back cover...  And a reminder of where my
story will be headed.

Other than making this notebook, I haven't done much planning for NaNo.  My hope is to write more on Landus Fantasticus (oh, how wonderful it would be to finish it!)...  but I guess we'll see where I end up.

In any case, it will be written in a happy, snazzy Fairy Tale NaNo Notebook.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I am Grateful...

I am grateful that my friends and family on the East Coast all seem to be doing well, despite the weather.

I am grateful that November is coming... and, with it, National Novel Writing Month.

I am grateful knowing that my husband loves me.

I am grateful for painted fingernails and fuzzy socks, finished projects and warm apple cider.

I am grateful knowing that I have a cozy apartment home.

...And I am grateful that, even when the skies are gloomy and grey, my life is blessed and beautiful.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Just wanted to share...

After I posted last night, I went and cleaned a little in my craft room... and I made progress!

Ta-da!  Clean desk!

I still have more to do, obviously.  

I am pleased, nonetheless.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Night Ramblings...

 Just a few things that have been going through my head this evening...  

Coupled with pictures taken by my phone.  Why?  Because it's fun.

Musing the First
In the past three weeks, I have had two colds.  

Of course, now that I'm starting to feel just a little better, my husband is getting sick.  Together, we have gone through a gallon of orange juice in approximately 3 and a half hours. 

We are also both watching the clock, excitedly anticipating our next dose of Dayquil.

This is our second bottle of Dayquil, pictured here
with some of our soup.  Yum... soup...


Musing the Second
I don't know if this happens to other people, but I'm now at that stage of recovery where I'm feeling just a bit better, and so I think that I'm invincible...  the stage that has me wanting to assemble furniture and rearrange my bedroom.

In fact, it's taking all of my restraint to make myself sit still, and remember that I can't breathe through my nose.  

Why can't I have these urges when I'm feeling well?

Ah well.  

The bookshelf will still be there, waiting for me, when I'm better.  

The bookshelf is in that box...  waiting...


Musing the Third
This evening, I realized that I haven't been doing a lot of beading recently.

Now, part of that is because I'm so excited with my newfound knitting and crochet skills (i-cords and ruffle scarves and yay!)

The other part of that, however, is because my craft room is an absolute disaster area.  

How embarrassed I am to share this picture with the world!
Maybe the shame alone will inspire me to clean.  Phnergle.

I have two tables in my crafting area, and they are both covered in projects.  All sorts of projects--beads and paint and paper and fabric and polymer clay and puzzle pieces.  My creative energy has me jumping from project to project to project--and I have the horrible habit of not always cleaning up after myself.

So, memo to me: when I'm feeling better, I need to clean.

Seen here: Protoss pylon reference pictures, pylons made out of
polymer clay, fabric for a skirt, paper from a notebook project,
a pair of wayward hairsticks, and a collar necklace that wants a better home.
Among other things.


Musing the Fourth (and final)
I know that I have too many projects going on all at once.  

I know that I need to focus my efforts on cleaning, and finding places to put things, and finishing the projects that I have already started.  And perhaps making a few new pairs of hairsticks for my store.

Then why, oh why, do I keep getting drawn to this pile of yarn?

...Want... to... knit... pretty... things...

Does anyone else have trouble with wanting to do multiple projects, or is that just me?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday's Table

These past few weeks, I have been trying to combine my love for knitting and my love for making jewelry.

I hadn't had much success.

And then, this week, I discovered what an i-cord is.

Tools of the trade: yarn (or crochet thread), and
a pair of double-pointed knitting needles.

Granted, my first thought was that it was the charging cable for an Apple product: the iCord.  But, no, the i-cord is in fact a knitted tube, usually created using double-sided knitted needles.  

The technique is actually fairly simple--I was able to figure it out immediately after looking at a tutorial.

With that knowledge, I was able to create this:

A simple necklace--elegant and lightweight--
made with size 11 needles, and ribbon yarn.

Here's a close-up!  ...Just because.  :)

I really, really like the look of that necklace--it looks quite classy when worn.  And with such a simple design, I'm sure that other specialty yarns would work quite nicely as well...  I am excited to try more!

But, you know me.  I didn't stop there.  

Since the i-cord is essentially a tube, I thought: "Why not put something inside the tube?"  That led to the creation of these two necklaces:

Made with: size 3 crochet thread, size 8 needles, and 12mm beads.

Made with: size 10 crochet thread, size 6 needles,
and 10mm beads.

Close-up!  You can tell that the purple necklace is smaller than the
black-and-white one...  I can't decide which style I like better.

My biggest problem right now is making professional-looking closures for this type of necklace.  For these, I simply tied the ends to toggle clasps...  It works, it's functional, but isn't exactly invisible.  Maybe it just adds to the charm?  In any case, it's something I am going to work on a little bit more--maybe I can tweak it.

The heart-shaped toggle clasp is visible on
the purple necklace--a whimsical touch.

Once I had made those beaded necklaces, I made one last iteration of the i-cord necklace.  For this one, I simply used it as the cord for a pendant.

I am very happy with the results.

Made with: size 3 crochet thread, size 8 needles,
and gold-plated paraphernalia.

Another view--showing off the cord...
and those golden discs don't move around at all.

Pendant close-up.

So, yeah.  I am really, really happy with this necklace, tied-on toggle clasp and all.  When worn, it provides an interesting juxtaposition: it is both bold (the pendant is large, and the cord is thick) and delicate (because of the filigree and the texture of the cord).  

I look forward to having the opportunity to wear it--and maybe even make one to sell, if I ever figure out how to do the closures!

And so, those are the three versions of i-cord necklaces that I've done so far.  There are so, so many more options.  I will probably keep playing around...  Who knows?  I might come up with something else cool!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Today, I laughed harder than I have in a very long time.

The hard-to-breathe-because-of-laughing-too-hard type of laugh...  the echo-through-the-whole-craft-store type of laugh.

And, better yet, I had someone to share that laugh with; my best friend was with me in the Michaels.

Looking back, the situation really was that funny (it involved peacock feathers)...  And it felt so, so good to be silly.

Laughing is a such happy, happy thing.

The peacock wants to know why its feathers were considered funny...
Bwahahahahaha!  ;)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fun with Treasuries...

I have found something else I might be addicted to: Etsy Treasuries.

So.  Much.  Fun.

Here are the three that I've made so far... I am really, really happy with how they have turned out!

Shades of Purple
(Found here)

Leather and Lace
(Found here)

Link to the Past
(Found here)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Things to Be Happy About...

What, today, has made me smile?

1. Enjoying pretty Autumn leaves

2. Spending time with my awesome husband

3. Making ruffle scarves

4. Going to a craft store with my best friend

5. Smelling coffee in the morning

6. Listening to special pieces of music: Jupiter by Gustav Holtz, Cristofori's Dream by David Lanz, the Inner Light Theme (from the Star Trek: Next Generation episode of the same name)

7.  Having a clean kitchen


...What are you happy about today?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ruffle Scarves!

So, I may or may not be addicted to making ruffle scarves.

Eh, who am I kidding?  I am very addicted.

Pretty and ruffly and in all sorts of color combinations!  :D

I first encountered ruffle scarves while on vacation.  At one of the shops I visited, someone was selling two lovely, frilly scarves.  One of them was a beautiful dark blue; the other was the colors of autumn.

I was in love.

However, I had also just spent most of my vacation money on vintage gloves and estate jewelry, so I had no money to spend on pretty ruffle-y scarves.  Sadly, I parted from them--determined that I would one day learn how to make them.

In case you thought I was kidding... Here are some of the things
that I bought instead of those ruffly scarves:
three pairs of gloves, a doily to re-purpose, and an estate necklace.

Forward ahead a week, when I had returned from vacation.  I was in a craft store, and recognized the yarn that had been used in both of the scarves.  I bought the skeins, more determined than ever to make my own ruffle scarves.

That was when I went online, and discovered that ruffle scarves are currently a phenomenon.  Seriously, ruffle scarves are apparently everywhere.

At first, I was reticent to jump on the ruffle scarf bandwagon.  Why work on something that everyone else is doing?

Of course, that lasted a whole three seconds.  Why?  Simply because ruffle scarves are pretty and feminine and make me happy.

Gratuitous ruffle scarf picture!

So, I started making ruffle scarves.

...And kept making ruffle scarves.

So far, I have made three types of them.  The first is the knitted variety.  I am fairly certain that this is the type of scarf that I saw while I was on vacation.  The directions for these are simple to find--most ruffle yarns have a pattern printed directly on the skein sleeve.  

Colors of Autumn...
Just like that first beautiful scarf that I found.

Dark Night-Sky Blue...
Just like the other scarf that I saw on vacation.

The second is the crocheted variety.  Again, the directions are fairly easy to find--since ruffle scarves have become so popular.  This is the lightest of the versions--which can be worn long, or doubled over to make it a little bit thicker (much like the knitted variety).

Here is one of the crocheted scarves.

Here is the same crocheted scarf,
doubled over to make it thicker.

…And the last is also a crocheted version--but using a pattern that I made up.  (I have just learned how to do single crochet, so I am already experimenting with it.  Heh.)  This is a much thicker scarf, using two skeins instead of one…  And it is much warmer as a result.  In fact, it could possibly function as a winter scarf (something that I plan to test once the weather gets colder).

This scarf is so long and thick that it's actually more like a boa...
And I love it!

I realize that the difference between these three is rather difficult to see in these separate photos...  So, here's a comparison picture between all three:

On the Left: the thick boa scarf
In the Middle: the knitted scarf
On the Right: the simple crocheted scarf

So, yeah.


Already, I have made many, many more of these scarves than I could possibly wear.  That is why I have--just today--posted some of these lovelies to my store...  With matching hairsticks, no less.  (Interested?  Look here!)

For someone who just recently learned to crochet, I think I am doing quite well.  And what fun to add new accessories to my store--with just the right touch of wonder and whimsy.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I have another 20 ruffle scarves to make.*


*  Okay, so maybe not 20.  Although I certainly wouldn't complain if that were the case.  Heh.

...Just out of curiosity, what color ruffle scarf would you like to see?