Just another week… some work, some rant…

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Hello dear ones! 

Brainy by Kim's Sticks and Strings

Last week I was finishing Mikey the ninja turtle. He’s all done, and a few days in the mail already–He’s on his way to Ontario, Canada, so he takes a bit of time. Here he is if you hadn’t seen him.

mike the ninja turtle by kim's sticks and strings

I’ve started Zombie Lucille Ball and there will be a Zombie Ricky Ricardo.  I’ve been daydreaming about this order for a few weeks.  Jill is cool enough to give me lots of freedom in making them. She didn’t even tell me what age, or what they should wear… which, I might add, is amazing!  She’s tall, 9″ tall so far without hair and shoes… Did I tell you I’m going to make shoes? Not crochet shoes. she’s Lucille Ball!  I’m going to attempt polymer clay shoes…crazy, yes, I know.  It could go well, they could just fall apart…both have happened in my head already, so I’m prepared for either…

Have had a few new ideas for upcoming spawn. I can’t do anything about them for a couple months. which is probably good. Some of the ideas need some mulling around…  I really need to figure out a way to wake up and be  “ready to work.” I could totally use a few 10-12 hour creating sessions.  That’s not really something that I get too often, but it could be nice.

♥♥♥♥

This part of my blog has strong opinions, some swearing, and a naked zombie at the end. Not safe for work, whiny people who don’t like strong language, or for those Pattern-Please bitches…

So, I know I’ve written about this before, but I’ve seen it happen lately, and it still gets me all crazed.   It’s the Pattern-Please Princesses again… That’s their new name. And Princess isn’t a compliment…she’s a sort of useless, overentitled good-for-nothing.    For you who aren’t hookers, Pattern-Please Princesses are the ones whose comment on a picture of a lovely creation that has been crocheted, or knitted, is “Pattern please,” like that makes their harpy like shrieks better. I’d like to smack them.

You are a hooker, and you have designed something SOOOO wonderful. It’s truly exactly how you envisioned it.  You put up a picture of your creation, a piece of your soul.  And some idiot comes along with “Pattern please.”  Yes, they deserved to be slapped in the face.

I don’t create patterns, I don’t work from patterns (except for socks and gloves, but then they’re patterns where I choose the yarn and needles, make a gauge swatch, and measure the hands or feet–very personal items, made for a specific person).  I realize that’s not really the norm. I don’t like patterns for most things… to me, it’s like using someone else’s words to tell my story, someone else’s skills to create MY vision.  But some hookers, knitters too I imagine, see something lovely, cute, amazing, and then instead of FIRST complimenting the artist on how much work went into it, what a wonderful creation it is, just want the instructions for themselves…ugh, they annoy me so.

Last weekend I was looking at micro-crochet to share in a community I help admin, and I saw some very amazing little creatures.  I found them on flickr, and was looking through the pictures, when I saw them… the Pattern Please Princesses.  On one picture in particular, there were 3 of these shrews, not one of them told the artist anything about how lovely, how much work went into creating them, not one bit about how they were envious of her skill. Just pattern please, and when the artist said she didn’t create patterns, they harassed her. “Why not” “When will it be up?” “Can’t you just write down what you did really quick”  One bitch kept on, asking “Can’t you just go look at it and write down some numbers for me? It can’t be that hard to count.”  She, in particular,  deserves a double slap.  What. The. Hell.

If you are one of these princesses, my opinion of you is amazingly low.  You must not know what it takes to have an idea and create a thing from just your idea.  I’m not talking about the folks who use patterns for most everything they create, I’m talking about the jerks who think everything should be a pattern, given away for free, so that you can create  everything you want.  They kind of remind me of Gollum from Lord of the Rings… I imagine them hording patterns in some filing system, stroking their preciouses.

This is in red, for effect.  If you are a Pattern Please Princess, yes, I do want to slap you, you deserve it.  You CAN change.  IF YOU NEED A PATTERN, and I use need loosely, because well, that’s just a crock of shit, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL YOU FIND HOLY, COMPLIMENT THE ARTIST!!!!!!  Your creation is lovely/amazing/so very cute! I’ve not seen anything I like so much/It’s just the most wonderful _______/ You are so very talented/It must have taken you so much focus to create the great detail/The stitching is so lovely… You get the idea.  Compliment the work you like so much. It doesn’t cost you anything, and obviously you think the creation is wonderful, you want to make one. THEN, after a few sentences of praise, then, you may ask if there might be a pattern.  IF THERE IS NOT, OR WON’T BE, DROP IT. Keeping at it makes people embarassed for you, you look like some jerk who just won’t move on. Really.  I’ve deleted comments because I couldn’t look at the begging anymore.  It’s desperate. And shallow.  If there’s no pattern and there won’t be, say thank you and move along.

I will always wonder about the real lives of Pattern Please Princesses. Are they so very annoying in the real world? How did they get to be that way?  Why didn’t someone just tear into them just once?  How were they never set straight by someone in their lives, a family member, a “friend,” a boss? How did they just not get told “not everything is for you.”  I probably seem a bit sensitive about it, but after coming across about a dozen creations where the Princesses just hounded the artist without properly praising first, I began to just feel so ashamed of those other hookers.  So much so I had to go looking at other art, just to find a picture of something that the comments didn’t say “tell me how you made that exactly.”

I actually don’t belong to many crochet groups, communities, because I can’t stand the Princesses, and they are in every group, looking for patterns, wanting to know why some won’t share.  One Princess told me that in order to join their community I had to share a pattern of my own creation, for free.  My exact words were “Fuck your community.”   A bit harsh, maybe.  But I’m not a Princess, and couldn’t possibly hang out with them. I just wanted her to know I don’t belong with them.  I am so. much. more than that.

So…that’s been my week. Finishing Mikey,  starting Zombie Lucy, being inspired to create some new things, being annoyed by Princesses.  Just another week…  Hopefully I’ll be able to show you  more of Lucy next time, right now she’s just a faceless zombie with underpants.

Zombie Lucy and my grinch by Kim's Sticks and Strings Zombie Lucy's pink undies, by Kim's Sticks and Strings

Have a good week, Keep it creepy!!!

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My First Rant of the Year… You had to know there would be one…

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Hello dear ones!!! Trying to stay on schedule, write once a week…ish.  It’s THAT time again…time for a rant!!!

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My friend T and I were talking and she mentioned that she’d been thinking about unfollowing some folks on Twitter; she followed them because they were crochet accounts, and suddenly one person is tweeting about being sick, how her head is all stopped up, and then talked about her mucus.  Another one is about how her kid is feeling.  Does anyone else find a few faults?  *looks at crowd to see some hands raised* Good, some of you get it off the bat, I’m glad of that.

Let me start off by saying if your business is that you have no arms and you knit with your feet even though you have arthritis and have to wash your feet and keep them soft so you can knit, and you’ve got 2 kids to keep up with, and you sell your creations, then all of that can go in your posts, on Facebook or Twitter.  That’s who you are.   Own it. If you say you’re an artist, but then all your posts stop being about your art, then the folks who followed you for your art your art could stop following you…you’re not holding up your end.

I know  folks get sick.  I understand that there are many people who are very sick, and many with long term illnesses.  I get, also, that folks like to share something about themselves, you know, give their business a  personal touch. That’s cool.   I tweet about loving coffee, horror flicks, warm weather, my husband and dogs…and if I’m feeling under the weather, I may tweet about it, though nothing too specific.  If I’ve followed you on Twitter because of your art (music, paintings, sculptures, drawing, you’re a writer), unless your next piece of art is about or uses your boogers, DON’T TWEET ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!  Unless we’re friends somehow other than Twitter, that’s more than I want to know about you. I feel my life has been cheapened by reading tweets about your boogers.  I don’t even really want to hear about my husband’s mucus, much less that of a perfect stranger, who I followed because of their cool art, which is now not all that cool, because you burdened me with knowledge of a bodily secretions.  Thank you.

Even in a small, mostly online business, one must have a certain amount of professionalism.  On Facebook, lots of people, myself included, have a personal profile, and one for business.  That’s partly so that we can control who has access to our personal information.  I am a bit different on my personal page, than I am on my business page.  *whispered* I swear on my personal page, but try to conduct myself a bit more professionally on my business page.  I’m  more reserved on the yarny page.  I don’t act at my day job, as I do at home (I swear A LOT MORE at home). Would you want to walk into a store only to hear the shopkeepers talk about being sick, and going into detail about it?  Would you stay? Would you ask for the manager? Would you want to hear about their sickness daily?  Wouldn’t you feel like you know waaaaaaaay too much information about someone you just wanted to buy something from?

I do follow people who have kids. I don’t follow anyone BECAUSE OF their kids.  If your Twitter account is “Fiona’s Fancy Crochet,” chances are I’m following you because I want to know about your damn fancy crochet. I don’t want to know that your kid is sick or can’t sleep or is teething.  I’m not saying an occasional tweet about how you’re not sleeping because your child is having trouble or is sick or something, BUT if I follow fancy crochet, I want to know about fancy crochet.  If I follow Henry’s Horror Art, I want to see horror art, I don’t really want to know about your kid’s impetigo, colic,  or eating habits. Again, a post now and again, something not too personal, is ok.  Remember, someone could favorite a tweet daily, but chances are you’re still strangers, except you both like Cthulhu art or cooking, or sci-fi/fanstasy books.

This can all be solved by having a personal account  and a separate business account on Twitter.  You can say whatever you want on your own account, talk about your boogers and  your kid’s weird skin patch, and having to pick up hairballs in the night from your cat.  On your business page, you should tweet about things being rough last night so you didn’t get sleep, hopefully it will be a good day.  If you decide to keep just one account, less is more when it comes to talking about  your personal life.  Think about it this way:  When I see someone has followed me on Twitter, I immediately go to their page, I read their description and their most recent tweets, and that’s how I decide to follow or not.  If your description says you’re an artist, and your last week’s tweets are about your foot fungus, I won’t follow you. If you’re a writer, and you’ve got blinding migraines, that’s different, what’s going on with you affects your creative process. A hooker (crocheter), with arthritis, likewise, can tweet some about the pain. Don’t make the bulk of your posts about your illness though.  It can appear that you want people to follow you because of your illness.

I need to say, too, that the same goes for Facebook.  It doesn’t cost you anything to have a business page, fanpage, etc. Do not make perfect strangers who want to purchase jewelry from you wade through the posts about your ear wax, your kid’s homework, and why you had to shave the dog.  And again, you can lightly pepper your posts with bits about yourself.  On my facebook posts I talk about my dogs, occasionally about the husband, my love of horror flicks, my health, my job… But it’s gently sprinkled in.  People don’t ask me to make them a spawn because I have 2 dogs and like horror movies.  I will  admit to having unliked/unfollowed businesses whose posts began to always talk about their families… your business page should be for mostly business-related content.  Otherwise people have to start deciding whether, or when, following you is worth having to sift through the personal stuff… and sometimes, it’s not.

I am not in any way saying that it’s not ok to be a mom who works at home and talks about being a mom and about the business. I’m not saying that you can’t be someone with a long-term illness who creates wonderful art, and talks a lot about your illness.  I AM saying that there are people who won’t want to wade through THOSE posts to get to your art.  I’m not a parent, and am really not all that interested in the children of strangers, so I’d have to decide whether or not your art was cool enough to have to put up with posts about when your kid came home from preschool the other day… maybe, but maybe not.

And by the way… Let me preface this by saying that I am not one of those people who takes pictures of their food. I just don’t get it.  I may post about having a yummy meal, but not all that often.  The husband loves to take pictures of his food and post pictures, but he also likes to cook…I do not.  There are a lot of folks who do this, celebrities, chefs, foodies, average people… If you’re a chef, a baker, food critic… this is cool, and relevant.  You just went out for a sandwich and salad and want me to see it? WHY??? I don’t care.  I don’t care what celebrities, actors, directors, famous writers, politicians, bands, or presidents eat… not really.  And if you’re a business, NOT related to food in any way, I really don’t care much.  Yes, I do occasionally tweet or post about eating or drinking something particularly yummy, but it’s not the bulk of my content. I tweet about needing more coffee, something most artists mention… we like caffeine boosts, coffee, tea, soda… what have you.  But my business is not food related, so there’s not a really good reason for me to post about food. (If I found a frog in my salad though, I’d tweet the hell out of that with pictures…BECAUSE IT’S CREEPY!)

I check out which posts get more attention, what content people “like.”  It’s easier to check on your insights on Facebook than on Twitter and Google+, but I still do check on things.  I wonder how often people check on things like that, how often do you look at your posts and think “hmmm, I posted a picture of my art, and 49 people liked/favorited it, but I posted that my kid is sick and I’m tired of finding boogers on my pants, and only 2 people liked/favorited it, and I was unfollowed by 4 people.”  That would resonate with me.  If you have a business account, and there are posts which no one likes… maybe you should ask yourself what it is about that post that NO ONE LIKES,  and then don’t do that again.

So, what now?  You’ve read this, and gone back and looked at some of your posts, and realized that you’ve got lots of posts no one likes? No one likes  the ones about your kids? People don’t favorite tweets about the bedsores on your bum, even though you’re a bedridden artist? Change it… or don’t, up to you.  Just know that your content is how people judge whether they’re going to follow you.  I might just follow someone who’s an artist and a parent, and some tweets are about the kid, trying to keep up with a running kid and not being able to work as much as liked, with some posts about the art generously thrown in.  I would not follow an artist whose entire last page of tweets was about a child being sick.  That’s for your personal profile.  I’m no guru,  I have no specific idea what content is best for you.  I know what posts get the most attention for my page, and I am always trying new things to see what effect they have on the number of views… Your posts are the advertisement for your business if you don’t pay to promote them… Make them count FOR you, not AGAINST you.

So, go to your pages, your favorite artists, business people…look at their content, the posts that lots of people like.., and also, look at what has no likes, no favorites… think about why, it’s good to check out what’s doing well, and what’s not.  Remember that all this is just stuff that floats around in my brain, so maybe don’t take it deadly serious… But it probably couldn’t hurt to look at what you’re posting on behalf of your business… if it is too personal or not really business appropriate, you could be driving people, customers, away.

Keep it creepy!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Creations Make The World Die A Bit??? Now I’m Mad With Power!!!

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Hello lovelies!  Hope all is well with you, and that you’re ready for another installment of the crazy-ness that lives in my brains…just a reminder, NOT SAFE FOR WORK OR KIDS!

This week I’ve felt a bit like I was running around  screaming  EEEEEEEEE in a really high pitched voice.  Work has been a bit frantic.  My boss is pregnant, due in about 2 weeks, but, well, who knows… it’s her first baby.  AND we’re having an auction at work next week~if folks don’t pay their storage unit rent on time, they can accrue fees, and if they keep not paying we let them get to 2 months usually, and then they go to auction, after all the appropriate notices have been sent.  It’s  a stressful time, folks keep calling trying to get their stuff back for cheap, and they like to yell. OH, and if my boss goes into labor early, I will have to work alone and be at the auction…EEEEEEE!

I’m also kicking it into high gear with the spawn! Making a tarantula, life sized, and Samara Morgan from The Ring

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…and a bear and a dog, and so many other things, AND NOW, suddenly, I’ve got this need to start working on a skull pattern of my own.  I’ve been using Lion’s skull pattern http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70464A.html , but I really want to make my own.  I’d like it to be about softball/grapefruit sized, with light worsted weight, so that it’s smaller with thread.  I’m currently waiting more impatiently for stores to put up Halloween items, so I can find a nice model.  Yes, totally busy, and now my brain won’t let me rest…I’ve got several different ideas for Frankenstein’s monsters, this skull, and a list… I’m not complaining, either, just helping you understand the EEEEEEEE!

I’ve also been noticing more the shortcuts we take, which I think in part is due to social media.  some stuff which is banal, and some stuff that just makes me feel like we’re unbecoming humans.

Some of the lighter stuff  is thread jacking, of which I am a complete GUILTY!  I will comment on someone’s  thread, and then start a conversation with someone, not the person who the thread belongs to, and just take off…I really should create a new conversation, or talk in a chat box, but I don’t.  It’s probably the equivalent of jumping into someone’s conversation and changing it without asking.  I do it lots, sorry if it’s happened to you.   I DO know folks who dislike it very much, and while I try not to…I also don’t frequent the thread of those people. I like organic conversations, I like to see where they go.  Sometimes that’s not always appropriate, but…I did say sorry.

There are people who’ve just completely lost all their social niceties.  Maybe they didn’t have any to begin with, maybe they’re rude as hell in real life, and I’m lucky enough not to have to see it.  I know I mentioned in on Facebook, but it could do with some expansion…  I’ve seen, and had a few, negative commenters lately, and I wanna know  WHAT THE HELL!?!  People come right out and say “I don’t like that,” “The colors are off,” “You need photography lessons,”  “That would be better in blue,” “Why don’t you make those hats you made last year,” “When are you going back to making things like you used to?” and I saw someone say “Hey, I can make those, I can have a shop and make things and sell them too!” I got a pm the other day, “You know you’re not a real artist, don’t you?” to which I responded “You know you’re not a decent person, don’t you?.” right before blocking them.  And then someone did send me a message that said “When people are no longer interested in ugly or creepy things, they will realize you aren’t talented at all. Your “work” isn’t beautiful or thoughtful. A bit of the world dies each time one of your dolls goes out.”  A BIT OF THE WORLD DIES?!? REALLY?!?  REALLY REALLY???

I totally had no idea my creations had so much power…MUAAAAAAAAAAAH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH AAAAAAAAAH!

Now. to just put all those people together into one group, and just respond to them en masse:

DEAR BITCHES… What the hell?  As creators, ARTISTS, makers of wonderful things, we don’t care if YOU don’t like it.  If it wasn’t made for YOU, you can kindly shut it, because you’re not only making yourself look like a tactless dolt, but it really is just plain rude.  Folks don’t like it when people question their mamas but here goes nothing:  Didn’t your mama teach you if you don’t have something nice to say, then SHUT THE HELL UP YOU IGNORANT ASS!  The world, and all it’s kabillions (actual term, means lots and lots) of people are NOT here to please YOU!  If you don’t like the art,creation, picture, comment, don’t click the like button!!! Wow so simple!  Actually going out of your way to tell an artist you don’t like their work is rude/stupid/shitty/mean/hurtful/pathetic/means something more about the person who left the comment.    It means I wouldn’t like to know you as a person.  There are many pieces I’m not into, and pass up without clicking like.  I don’t always click the like button for yarn crafts, so you know.  I’m not a mum, so chances are I won’t click like for anything baby, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.  I click the like button for friends, their works, especially ones that they’ve really been working at, for the effort, and, well, a bunch of other reasons, as well as that I like it.  I click like for some cute  stuff, depending on whose work it is, if I really like it, or if  it inspires me to think about a creepy version (sometimes I see your cute work and I want to make the monster/zombie/creepy version, that’s inspiration too!)  But if I don’t like it, I just don’t click like.  That’s all.  IF someone is asking for critiques, just so you know, “I don’t like it” really doesn’t cut it.  I’m sure, after being shocked by your straightforwardness, the artist doesn’t care about your opinion again.   If I walk into a store, and let’s face it, our facebook pages are our “virtual stores (and hangouts),” I wouldn’t look at something and tell the proprietor “I don’t like this.”  It’s rude, inappropriate, and chances are that person will SAY something like “Well, take a look around, maybe we’ve got something else you like better,” but WHAT THEY WANT TO SAY IS “Turn the hell around and march your happy ass out of my store you rude bitch, there is nothing here I will sell you!”  Now, when you buy from an online store, that is really a facebook page, things are a bit less formal.  You are greeted by a cover photo, maybe some info from the artist, there are usually photo albums to look at, and you have the options to click the like button and leave comments, if you like stuff, or, if you don’t like it, YOU SHOULD JUST LEAVE THE PAGE! If you don’t like something, leave.  Don’t go back to that page!  Try to act more mature than a gradeschooler!

When it comes down to it, leaving a negative comment says more about you than you know.   It says you’re rude, that you think you’re owed something in life.  You “think” your opinion matters, should matter, to most, because “it’s a good one.” Leaving negative comments says you’ve got sour grapes about something in your life…you could have made this, you wish you had time/the ability/felt a creative spark.  It says you’re narrow-minded and controlling…did I mention I don’t want to know you?  Did I mention if I ever happened to know someone who wanted to tell an artist they didn’t like something or to change the color or some kind of shit I’d kick them straight in their bung hole as they walked away!!!  I’d do it!

*sigh* There are some days that all the political blaming and crappy negative on my facebook newsfeed drive me to only look at the art posts. most of which I’ve got on a list, so that I go to that list, and only see those posts.  But when idiots leave rude comments I want to hug the creator, and kick the offender.

ARTISTS OF ALL GENRES: It is completely ok to hide the comment, and block that person. There is no need to subject yourself to that. All negative comments are immediately hidden, I often leave a pearl of wisdom, and then I block that person.  I don’t need them in my virtual if I wouldn’t have them in my real life!

Really, people don’t re-read what they’re posting, I swear.  I sometimes type out things, and when I re-read, I may not like how it comes off…so I don’t post it…hell, you CAN delete it too.  I think I’d like to know that folks consider what they’re releasing out into the world before they do it.  I’ve gone back later and not liked something and deleted it.  We’ve got the ability to constantly re-evaluate ourselves, and make things better, make things “right” or even to change them.  I know there are people who already think they are amazing, and don’t need to change a thing… I don’t want to know those folks.

So, I told you I was going to let you in on the crazies, didn’t I?  It may not be much of anything, the stuff I blog, but the pressure release valve is back to “normalish” again.  A semi-peaceful state has been returned to the Kimdom, and all will live creepily after!  Seriously, blogging helps sort my head, the creatures scratching around upstairs feel less stressed, and…crazily enough to me, some of you read this and comment!!! I love you!!!  Ok, have to go, things to do, parts of the world to kill with my creations!

KEEP IT CREEPY!!