Crochet and work, not all that interesting…

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I  realized it was about time to add another installment of my weird life in, so here I am.

Still haven’t hired anyone at work to take the place of the old guy. I saw him last week, he says he’s up and getting better, just didn’t think he needed to work anymore, too… He IS like 83, so good on him. he can go home and hang out.  Now I won’t have to regularly apologize for someone weekly, which is lovely.  Last week I worked Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, which wouldn’t normally be terrible, but I do prefer to work  Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  I’m  SUCH a creature of habit.  Really.  I’m also a pretty big introvert, so I also like to be able to count on my “alone time” or “home time” as being at a certain time, so I know when I can re-charge.  So having a pretty set schedule makes it easier.  This week I asked to have a day off in the middle of my work days, so I’m working Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. The Saturday off will be nice, AND Sunday we close at 3 pm, which is usually when everything starts to slow down for the day anyway.  I really don’t dislike my job, I just wish that people didn’t feel the need to tell me “they whys” of their lives. If you can’t pay your bill now, just say that. I don’t need to know why. Just ask for how long you’ve got to pay it, how much the bill will be by then, and we’ll end our discussion, you having NOT divulged too much info, and me not feeling like I know waaaay too much private shit about a perfect stranger.  If you need a storage unit, cool, let’s talk about the size, and you can tell me whether you want one or not, I DON’T want to know about how several people in your family have had illnesses and are in smaller places and have give you their furniture and now you’ve got to deal with it, and your kids and your husband and your sister’s cheating boyfriend… Seriously, I get to hear all this crap!  Sadly, because there is pertinent information in their stories, lost jobs, incomes, people in the families who are, say, unscrupulous, I have to pay attention,  and add stuff into their files so that everyone with account access has the same information… And some of our customers come with a new story each time they see/call us, all prepped and ready, like they’ve got  to unload it and we’re good enough.  One lady came in and asked where my co-worker was, she was having a bad day, and my co-worker always listened… I told her we’re down one person, so we’re split up, and kept typing. I was NOT going to be this lady’s therapist.  I asked her if there was any part of her account I could help her with, she said no.  I then told her that I was going to get back to the certified mail, so I could make sure it went out for the day, and that she should have a really nice day.  She looked a bit confused, but left. Huzzah!  When I work every other day, and then have 2 off, these expulsions of personal crap don’t seem to bother me as much, I get one day of too much info, and then one day to myself, it purges the system of all that nicely. I really can’t wait to go back to my regular schedule.

The upside of lots of days off together is time to stretch out chores, and I get to string together some creating time, which is cool.  I am currently working on a faerie for the lovely De’Anna.  She gave me some pictures she liked parts of, and told me she loved pink, and that’s all the constraints, yay! So here’s what I’ve got so far…

ImageImage

When I was creating her body, I was looking at faery pictures, but when I want to create what she is the faery of, I start looking for items, elements in nature.  The super pale pink her skin reminded me of those first flowers you see in trees at the end of winter, beginning of spring. The trees are bare, the wood is dark, everything is dead. But then, there’s this pink bud on the tree… then a few…  Then suddenly the tree is bursting with pink.  I decided she’s the First Bloom Faery.  She goes around, spreading her magic right about the time that winter is nearly done, making way for all the lovely first-blooms of spring.  The Redbud tree is one of the first trees to bloom each year, and I decided that would be her name.

Redbud Flowers redbud-blossoms-spring-13933851

I am completely enjoying making this spawn.  Her body type is a bit different than my usual work, and she’s not a monster, which is also fun.  I’m finding I even like pink some now…  After Redbud is finished, I have a quick zombie cat to make, and then I think I’m going to work on a few things that have been rattling around in my head for a bit…

Well now, that’s pretty much it… Nothing spectacular going on, though I do seem to have a burst of ideas scratching around I’d like to try to create…which means I’ll need to get back to creating. I’ve also begun thinking about some things I’m going to create for near easter, and international yarn-bomb day, June 7, 2014 will come quicker than I plan, I just know it.  So, well, that’s about that.

Keep it creepy fiends!!!

Hey Look! Another Post!

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Hello Lovelies!!!

So, the end of the year is here, we’re down to counting days or hours even before the end.  I’ve always liked New Year’s, endings, beginnings, old stuff is gone, we made it one more year!  I like to take stock of the year, so very much happens in one year’s time.

I never really like to think in terms of good year-bad year. Certainly some are better than others, some are smoother, uneventful, some are exciting, not always for the better…  But as I get older, I just like to look at what has happened, the good and the bad together. When you’re in the middle of the bad, it seems like forever, but looking back over the year…things are different.

This was a big year for me. I started this blog, got past, kind of, my hangups about not having anything to say that someone would read.  And look at me, some of you DO read what I write!  Kisses.  And I’ve tried to stay pseudo-regular with it, and will try to do so next year…YES, I will be continuing on next year!  I’m going to try to go back to a once a week posting, even if there’s “nothing” to post.  

I made a lot of bigger dolls this year too!  Medusa is 18″ long, Rachel is 12″ tall, and the Clay golem is 18″ tall.  There were a couple of 10″ Cthulhus, and Blue was more than 9″ tall, as well.

Image1037     Image1377     clay golem

Image697     Image2553

I stretched myself,  always trying to make things look more like the image in my head, or the image I’m working from.  Calvin and Hobbes made me work.  They’re so popular, they have a specific look, so they couldn’t just be a blonde boy in a red shirt with a tiger, they had to look “right.”  Samara, too, was a very intense doll to make. I sewed all her wee hairs in by hand, AND I really did want her to look as creepy and close to Samara Morgan as I could get her.

Calvin and Hobbes by Kim's Sticks and Strings     1SamaraMorgan

I learned to  do a thread joint on bear legs, and  have come up with my own skull pattern that I like to use, very good for sugar skulls.

AshCareBear,Kim's Sticks and Strings     skullgrinchcollage

There were some less than wonderful things. It took me half the year to find a job. I DO really like my job, so I’m pretty ok with it all now, but it did take forever, it seemed.  My husband did go to the hospital for about a week for depression and anxiety.  It seems like forever ago, but it was at the end of September. He’s taking his meds, and while they may not be perfect, they’re going pretty well for him right now.  I’m so very happy things weren’t worse for him, or that he didn’t really need to be gone for any longer, I was a bit of a wreck while he was gone. Onward.

I’m so very very glad for all the connections I’ve made over the last year. I have made some very wonderful, supportive friends, you know who you are, and I just adore knowing you! In a perfect world we could all get together somehow, but I appreciate you sharing your lives with me.  I have also become closer to some friends who I’d made before 2013, people who helped talk me through the bad times, and made me smile and laugh all year long. I feel so very lucky to know such wonderful people. You are my friends, my support, comic relief, my muses, the thoughtful people who know just what to say, people who make me think, and dream.  I thank you all.

So, what do I want for this year?   I’m still more than happy to help people realize their dreams, sometimes, very creepy, in yarn. I’m hoping to learn to build in some time to create some dolls I’ve been thinking about, and to make some more sugar skulls.

I’m hoping the job continues to be as cool and fun as it is now. I, and the husband, would like for him to have a job; he’s had some very promising interviews, so he’s just playing the waiting game.

I will work being more mindful, on self-acceptance, and remembering to cherish my loved ones every day, our time here is so fleeting.

I will get back to reading more regularly– I read every day I was off the last week, it was fantastic!  And there will be more contests this year with spawn for the prize! Maybe not story contests, I’d like to try to switch it up!!!  OH, and YARNBOMBING!!!  Yes, more of that!!!

So here’s a picture of the last spawn I will have finished for 2013.  I wanted to create something I’d not had an order for, just start making and see what happened. I started this faery… he was very therapeutic, and so much fun. More things like this will happen in the new year.  So here is Gorman, the Water Sprite, my last finished spawn for the year. He’s already got a  home, I’m so happy, and will be making his way there starting New Year’s Eve.

waterspritecollage

Keep it creepy, my lovelies!!!

Where I completely admit to being obsessed… or all the crazy little bits I put into creating a couple spawn

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Hello my lovelies!

It’s been 2 weeks since the last post, and while I sit here I wonder why it is that it’s been 2 weeks, why didn’t I just sit and do this last weekend?  I was sitting her trying to figure out what it is that kept me…ooooooh… I had my creation blinders on!  With most of my projects, I can put the doll down, and pick up something else, a different project, a different activity, and I’m fine.   I can switch gears and make something else, or do something else, and the project is safely tucked away in part of my brain, I make/take notes for myself about the current state of things, and what I’d like to do next time I pick it up.  But not my last order.  I was making a Pink-toe Tarantula and Samara Morgan from the movie The Ring, for Rick, a really cool artist and tattoo artist friend.  Rick is a creepy-crawly lover, so the spider was going to be life-sized, which is slightly harder than one thinks.  Most measurements are note exact, spiders don’t seem to love to be measured, PLUS, straight leg-length is hard to get on a spider since they’re bent, in life (straight leg measurements are usually post-mortem activities)  Well with all the knowledge a non-spider person can get (at least 2 hours searching and tarantula sites) I started on the PinkToe.  They’re actually quite lovely, with long, vibrant pink hairs all over their bodies, my thoughts turned to how to get those right.  This was not going to be a project where fun-fur could be used, that would NOT be ok.  I got very shiny, very fine, polyester thread, black and hot pink, and sewed them in by hand.  Crazy, obsessed? Maybe.  But my tarantula looks quite like a real tarantula rather than a crocheted spider, even though it’s slightly larger than life-sized.

Image1861 Image1862

 

When I was working on the spider, I was obsessed. Possibly because sewing in the hairs on the legs and body just took a long time, but I don’t think I could have done it any other way.  The spider needed to look big and hairy, like it did in my head  I really wanted to take some forced perspective pictures of her destroying Sacramento, but my next project was Samara Morgan, and I was more obsessed.

When I say obsessed, I really mean it.  I didn’t want to work on other projects, and even upcoming projects didn’t interest me, and I always am excited about what I’ll be working on coming up!!!  I didn’t want to read, and I never seem to get enough regular reading time,, certainly not daily, and almost not at all while working on her.  If I was going to sit down, I wanted to work on her.  OBSESSED!!!

The other part of my obsession is that when I’m making something that has a definite look, but more than that, an absolute look.  Frankenstein’s monster has a look, but he’s changed a bit here and there, due to artist interpretation. Samara Morgan has an absolute look, super creepy, pale blue-ish with deep black cracks and slimy grey-ish black gunk on her skin, a long dress that is blackened with slime at the hem and bottom of the sleeves, and long, hanging black hair…but it more than just hangs, it has some eerie, creepiness to it…  This was not going to be a doll that could have yarn hair, it had to be fine, and hang just the right way.  Crochet thread approached the right look, but wasn’t as shiny as I needed this to be (shiny thread makes her hair look a bit like it’s wet, like it does in the movies)

(When I start a new doll, I often give a cursory look out there at other artists’ dolls of the same characters, looking for inspiration, but rarely do I look at crochet versions, those aren’t what I want mine to look like.  Let me qualify that~ When I searched for Samara Morgan art dolls there were the plastic/vinyl/clay/porcelain versions, the ones that really tried to grasp the creepiness, really tried to get her look.  Crochet versions were pale in color, with some sort of dress, black hair, sometimes safety eyes, sometimes just a frowny face……many I wouldn’t have known they were Samara Morgan except that’s what I searched for.  I realize, I really do, that it’s MY craziness/vision/obsession.  I need my version to look as much like the thing as I can get it to.  Part of that is the details.  “Details, baby, details.”)

First off, she’s small,  Not my smallest doll yet, I think the zombie fairy I made for my friend Teeni is my smallest whole doll (I’ve made small zombie torsos, but Zombie fairy, Pipette, is small.

pipette

 

Anyway, Samara is just 6′ tall, and made thin. She’s also, at the suggestion of my friend Teeni, pale blue.  In the movie she always had a pale blue to her skin, and though the yarn I used  is paler than she is, it did the trick.  She also seemed to me to have a definite order, mostly for convenience, but I had to do her face first, I needed some creepiness.  I used black embroidery floss for some of the cracks in her face.  Her eyes were grey, with a line of red and tan threads under each eye, because her eyes are reddish underneath.  I also painted on, with acrylic paints, some of the black and greyish slime that covers her skin…she really is dirty from being down in the well.  While the hair, the very last thing I did was the most time-consuming, the dress is the thing that caused me the most freakouts, not big ones mind you, but ones that cause me to need another pair of eyes to tell me it’s ok…thanks T!  I don’t sew.  Ok, let me re-phrase that.  I don’t have a machine, or real sewing skills–since I’ve never had a machine of my own, I’ve never really practiced, and though I’m certain I could learn to follow fairly simple patterns, the fact remains that all my sewing is done by hand, and kind on-the-fly.   Like in most of my creations, I don’t really make patterns for the pieces I have to sew, I just do a quick sketch on the wrong side of the fabric and sew–which is a lot harder to do for the unskilled when the dress is for a 6″ doll!  UGH, TURNING THE DRESS RIGHT SIDE OUT SUCKED DONKEY BALLS!  (Disclaimer: I don’t REALLY know what that is like, but I’m sure it’s bad!  I coffee stained her dress. and used black acrylic paint to get the right color.  Then finally time to sew in her hair!  I used the same black polyester thread i did for the tarantula, it’s really shiny, and hangs just the right way.  I’d sew in 4-4 thicknesses of thread at a time, just to increase the coverage, but it still took quite awhile, since I used superfine thread.

I put her away for a day, I usually put dolls I spend a lot of time on away for a day. I need fresher eyes.  I get detail blind–I only focus on the small things…the dress probably came out a bit too dark and still smells a bit like coffee… her skin isn’t quite the right blue… her face could have been attended to a bit more…    There are always things that eat at me, sometimes way past the message that they’ve arrived and are currently being adored!  Yep, some of my dolls haunt me!   Usually once I get the message, I’m good…but there are a few of my spawn that I just…want to……leave just the way they are because they are loved, and that sheer fact amazes me every single time.  I am always so in awe that people come to me, and often tell me they’ve wanted something like this for awhile and trust me to help create their vision…  which is always always always, all in the details.

So here she is, I love her, I think she’s the creepiest doll I’ve made yet.  My creepy little dead girl

1SamaraMorgan

 

And here are the PinkToe and Samara leaving me Friday

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I’ve since started a new project, a witch similar to one I made a couple of years ago for a very lovely lady.  The witch is a lot of fun, being much more subjective, with just some color specificities.  I love the project, am not obsessed, and it feels easier, *sigh*.  Not that I don’t like creating specific characters, I SO do!  I love working on  really specific creations, they really make me work and push myself, but I do also like a break of other creations in between.  Also, I started trying to come up with a crochet skull pattern of my very own, one that will look good as just a skull, but also will be good for creating sugar skulls with! i want to yarn bomb with some, hopefully for Dia de los Muertos!  Oh, and I need to make some more mary-jane slippers, my toes are chilly in the morning, it’s almost fall here in northern-california!

So, I guess this was all the stuff that’s been in my head the last couple of weeks.  I was really too  “all about the spawn” to even sit down and write about how much they can take over my life.  Luckily I have a really understanding husband who doesn’t mind so much that he has to remind me to come up for air and get out of my head for a bit (his words are different, same sentiment…he’s not gonna read this).

It’s September now, which means it’s almost time for me to announce my contest.   Also have to get to making those prizes.  Stay tuned for occasional pictures of those, and for the halloween story contest, I’ll be reminding folks here and on my page, and will be posting all the entries here on my blog just like for the Easter Bunny stories.  OOOO, just for what’s going to happen in the future, I’M GOING TO BE MAKING A KRAMPUS THIS YEAR, WOOHOO!!!

Thanks for reading and commenting and putting up with the weirdness! and KEEP IT CREEPY!!!

This Week’s Stuff…(not a very imaginative title, I know…yarnbomb, work, crochet)

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Hello friends!  Look at me bein’ on schedule! (It’s why I moved em to Saturday…day off,  process the week and all)

Settling in nicely, the house doesn’t look like a war zone…you know what I’m talking about. When WE move, there are always a couple days where stuff is EVERYWHERE and there aren’t piles of things and boxes and bags, so much as walkways through and over the piles.  There ARE a few random small crates in the house, but, really and truly, that’s not unheard of here.

Also finally getting a bit of a crochet rhythm back, which is nice.  I have “habits” and rhythm, that while not extreme, have me feel, “normal,”  and one of them is trying to put yarn in hand daily.  Odd, but it’s just part of the routine.  While moving, I didn’t, and I was thrown off…staying up really late, not sleeping well, unfocused.  Put yarn back in my hand daily, and sleep comes more easily, I process my day while hooking, rather than while sitting on the internet looking at creepy pictures.   It’s still a bit hard to do at work, I need to get things and put them in small bags so there’s not yarn and bits everywhere, and that there aren’t too many things to move if I need to get up.  It’s easier to follow a pattern at work, I don’t have to focus too much.  I have my lamp post that needs to be yarn bombed, this weekend in fact. I’ve made some stars that will go round it.

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I know, not creepy at all, but I like em. I’ll take pictures of the yarnbomb for next week.

Work is going well. Monday I had my first taste of working mostly alone.  I work most days with my boss’s mum, Sandy.  She was visiting her dad last weekend, and wasn’t back til Monday night.  I typically open and  close, and answer the phones, take payments, start new accounts, etc… but I usually have a few questions, and there are always a few things I don’t know, she answers the phone when I’m on it with someone else, hangs out when I need to use the restroom instead of me locking the office…stuff like that.  My boss is pregnant, and I just know that at some point I’ll have to work by myself, so I welcome the practice.  It just cements that there are lots of things for me to learn before then!!! (I’m afraid that folks will be irate and want refunds and a boss will come, and…maybe an alien invasion will happen then.  I’m afraid my boss Tiffany won’t want to ignore the contractions so as to tell me how to process a refund. I need to learn that stuff!)

Ok, so something has been nagging at me in the crochet community for a bit, and I’d be remiss in not at least talking about it.  This is really about “pattern designing” and probably has the most to do with folks who create patterns and give them away or sell them, which I don’t currently do, but might dip into soon.

Let’s get right to it.  Many folks create patterns.  They have an idea, create the item, while making detailed notes about what they’re doing,  and then write this out so others can use the pattern.  Sometimes folks get testers, sometimes not. It’s quite a process, to me, one I’ll try soon, but still, quite daunting.  I’ll tell you some of my whys soon.

So, some folks give their patterns away for free, and some folks sell them.  When you read the patterns, sometimes there are “stipulations.”  Most ask for folks to give credit for their design, and ask that you not sell their pattern as your own. (I’ll address these all separately.”  Some say you CAN sell the finished products, just give the proper credit (” I found a wonderful pattern by T. Crocheter!”)  Some say “Do not mass produce.”    Many say you can sell the product, just not on the same site as the one I sell the pattern on. And some tell you the pattern is completely for personal use, and not to sell the finished product at all, which just isn’t the law. But I’ll get there, lovelies.  Folks talk about copyright infringement, and stealing, and changing a few stitches and calling it theirs…*sigh* it can be disheartening for a designer or to someone like me who might want to design.  Now, by far, I am no lawyer, but have some info.  You can feel free to respond, but make sure with facts.

So.  I’ve read things BY lawyers, and here’s what they say about copyrighting.  The copyright pertains only to the written word, and the lawyer’s example was to use a sewing pattern.  I can buy a Vogue pattern, the original fabric used by them, and say that I can make clothes according to the pattern but not call them Vogue clothing. I CAN sell them, just not misrepresent them, even if I change a few things, eg fabric, a few stitches here and there, maybe add something.  I cannot mass produce, if it says not to.  So, let’s look at the crochet pattern.  You can take a free pattern or one you’ve paid for, use exactly the same yarn and stitches, and you CAN sell that item, regardless of what it says.  (Many folks like to respect the designer’s wishes, they just go and use some other pattern or make one up.  It’s a bit sad some folks want to try to say “for personal use only,” it never works out that way.)  You SHOULD  give credit somehow to the original designer.  (Many people don’t care if you’re using an original design or someone else’s. That only matters really to the hooker and the designer.What matters to the customer is the outcome. But if another hooker asks, tell the truth! Why do I have to say that!?!)  You CANNOT,SHOULD NOT just change a bit here or there, or a percentage, and call it yours. That’s stealing and we know how I hate that AND WILL CALL FOLKS ON IT.  This is how it works in the U.S., for the most part. These are not worldwide rules.  Apparently, in many european countries, folks consider patterns not to be anyone’s intellectual property since the designer didn’t invent crochet.  Also MANY european “designers” are really just folks who translated a pattern, and decided to make the hair different…  I call bullshit.  That person isn’t a designer, that person is an interpreter.  Now, that’s not a bad idea to have; if I’m a designer, it behooves me to get my pattern translated into many languages, and sell it that way: the more folks that can use my pattern, the more $, if it’s a a pattern I’m selling.  Still, not a designer.  This is the kind of stuff that is evidence of the downfall of humanity.  I don’t care if you’re a nice little lady with a family and you’ve been crocheting for years.  Don’t just change a few stitches here and there and call it yours, you’re a thief and lack moral fortitude. And should be slapped. Hard. In front of people.

So much boils down to credit given for who came up with the idea.  It’s a lot of work. You get an idea, create it, while writing it down, translate it into “pattern format,” so other folks can read– some of my instructions to myself are “increase a few stitches to make cheeks look rounder,” but folks following a pattern want a bit more than that.  There is so much work that goes into that, and all the original designer wants is a bit of credit for that.  Not for some petty jerk to come along, “change a few stitches” and call it theirs.   If I buy all the ingredients to make Famous Amos cookies per the recipe, but add food coloring and sprinkles and call them Kim’s Cookies, it’s not MY recipe, I adapted an original recipe, but I can’t call it mine.

Something a lot of designers don’t do is a few minutes of homework.  Is there already a pattern out there for what you’ve “created?”  The only reason I say that is that when you go to google or bing a crochet image, there are so very many monkeys, bears, owls, angry birds items, bunnies… that are visibly just a few stitches off.  This bunny is the same as that bunny but the ears are 2″ longer.  Is that a “new pattern” or did one of them just not do any homework?  It’s really easy to do these days, with everyone on the interwebs.  Trust me, folks, when I started making my zombies, I did a few hours of research, no one’s zombies looked like mine. It was, and still is, important to me.

I completely understand why folks might want to ask others not to sell the product, it’s part of why I haven’t created patterns.  For a couple years now my friend Mackena has been wanting me to write a book…which feels absurd.  We’ve talked about it, and it might be ok, though I’ll never have time for it, but I also was worried.  If I write down  patterns so folks could create their own zombies, no one would want me to make them anymore.  No one would buy from me, the original designer.  OR, worse, the world would be populated by spawn that look mostly like mine, but weren’t mine . (Not sure if I can take over the world with monsters that aren’t all mine…)  Also though, since people like to, I’m concerned about someone “changing” a few things, and calling it theirs…I have to admit, if I ever “caught” someone doing it, I’d knock that person off their feet.  (MEOW! Crazy? maybe, but it’s taken me a long time to find my “niche,” to find my artistic groove, and I’d hate to have it feel ruined.)  I’m really mostly a creator, writing stuff down takes me out of my creating frame of mind. Plus, since I don’t write down patterns, it’s all off the cuff, it’s kind of all one of a kind, except when I made 2 grinches exactly alike. (My friend Lisa wanted one for herself and one for her daughter, in case they couldn’t spend christmas together, they COULD watch the Grinch, a tradition, and hug their ginch!)

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The bottom line is, folks CAN take a pattern, and make it, and sell it.  Say what you’d like, ask folks not to, but that just won’t be the case.  AND, folks may just decide to go find  a pattern that doesn’t have stipulations, which drives them away from the designer.

In a more perfect world, we’d all come clean.  It doesn’t hurt anyone not to design original patterns.  No one is a better person for creating patterns, or original designs, rather than using someone else’s.  I wish I could get the world’s hookers in a room and just tell them all this and there would be one “aha” moment, and then everyone would just be truthful.  Then we’d have a cup of tea, and giggle a bit, and hook for the rest of the afternoon… If only…

Ok, so I’m done with this for now…I’m sure I’ll revisit when some others bring up my ire.  I need to eat a bit, and get moving.  Need to do some grocery shopping and hopefully go get some hooks, I’ve lost  a couple, and that makes me sad, and needy.

Have a super RAD week, my lovelies, and don’t stress if your favorite pattern, recipe isn’t your own. Use it, make it to the best of your abilities, tell folks proudly whose idea it was. There’s no shame. (I love Ghirardeli brownies)

And Keep it Creepy!

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SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED!

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HELLO LOVELIES!!! 

It’s been 2 weeks, though it seems longer for me. My last blogpost was just a blurb…life has thrown so much at me since!  

So, I’d just gotten my new job, which I do still have.  Love it, too!  I go to work happily three days a week, and the day pretty much flies by. My bosses’ dogs are in the office, a 13 year old retriever named Shadow, and a 10 year old pit bull named Knuckles…they’re my work dogs.  It’s a pretty smooth day!

Our landlord, my father in law, had wanted to raise the rent.  We were paying a discounted rate, but he decided he wanted to get full price, and more. So we had to move.  AND FAST! (He wants it available for rent August 1)  And that meant we had to be out fast.  While I was working, the dear husband went around house hunting, and got help from the FIL, as we had some needs: a place with a yard for the dogs, a place where we can have dogs, and somewhere close to work for me.  I WAS driving 40+ minutes  one way, in the busy parts of the commute, with interchanges, and well, I was going to hurt someone.

*stands up* Hi, I’m Kim, and I get road rage…  I absolutely get so mad when people aren’t paying attention, are looking for stuff, are on the phone/texting,  are driving slow, are applying makeup… I just want to hit them all… I yell (quite often obscenities), shake my fist, throw them the bird…yep, that’s me.  Stop and go traffic makes me want to drive my car off the next bridge!  AND! It’s not nearly as bad here in Sacramento as in Southern California.  I haven’t always hated driving.  I had a single car crash a few years ago, and then was rear ended a year and a half later, and I started disliking driving.  I don’t mind so much if it’s to the yarn store, or grocery store, and it’s leisurely, but it’s still not a fun thing.  Ah, anxiety…

So after about 2 days of using the agency my FIL uses to rent his houses, the husband found a place, and we took it based on the yard, and my commute, which is now at most 25 minutes, from walking out the door to reaching down to pet work dogs, though on rainy days it could get a few minutes longer.   He didn’t actually see inside until the day he signed paperwork!  We got keys on Monday July 1.

Now I work for a storage facility, and we have a truck, but it wasn’t available on Tuesday, not until Wednesday, which meant we had to load up our Kia hatchback, and move that way.1011418_681068965243987_1459262667_n

Moving house with my husband is… an experience you should all be glad you don’t have to have.  He’d like to go into each room, throw all the “small things” into a big cloth and tie it up into a pouch.  No, really.  He sees packing and moving like playing tetris. We don’t move in boxes.   We move in small crates and in bags and smallish pouches.  On Tuesday, we took 3 trips to the new place, and actually stayed there that night. We moved beds, couches, clothes, dishes, computers, a couple shelves, all Tuesday.

Wednesday, the husband had the moving truck from my work, though I was at work.  He moved BIG stuff that day. Laundry machines,  refrigerator, a portable air conditioning unit (our house is old), a small couch we had in my room I didn’t want inside but is now on our covered porch, at least until it rains, then probably the garage…not sure.  The truck has a ramp, and a dolly, so he could do all that pretty much himself, though he did have my FIL there to tell him what to do and how…oy!

Thursday we did one more big trip back to the old place, gathering last bits and drove them to the new place. Husband had forgotten if he’d closed the garage, so he rode his motorcycle back to check. It was fine, but had to do some last minute putting a few things we forgot in the garage–Wednesday night some jerks stole his lawnmower… yes, so very glad we’re out of there, tired of thieves.  While he was doing that, I unloaded the car and walked around exhausted.  Friday, I worked, he finished up, we went to a taqueria ( less formal mexican food restaurant, run by folks of mexican descent so that the food is authentic, and way yummy) and had tacos and a yummy plate of nachos. ( Nachos and taco salads are my favorite food, “almost” impossible to mess up, though there is a place in Portland Maine that makes terrible nachos–who makes nachos with no cheese??? No one good!!!)

I feel, at this time, remiss in telling you that the worst part of this move was not just that moving sucks, and the speed with which we had to do it, but that for 7 days, all of which we were packing, and organizing, and moving stuff into readiness and then into vehicles and into the new house, it was over 102 F/40 C EVERY DAY!!!   It does do that, though we don’t usually string 7 days together that warm so early in July. The culmination was July 4, it was 109.    Every day we were dehydrated in spite of drinking lots of water, exhausted, hot, and sore.  Thursday I have to add in heat exhaustion and  low blood sugar.  I’m hypoglycemic and I way overdid.

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This is our new place.  It was built in 1950.  To 1950 specifications.  We don’t have central air, there is an a/c unit in the wall in the kitchen and the one we have, there is an exhaust tube that has to go through the window.  And every room has a ceiling fan.  There is central heating, yay.  The kitchen has one big sink, no dishwasher. So I will be handwashing the dishes–before you get crazy, my dear husband is the cook.  The first time he cooked for me he told me he’d cook if I did dishes, that was almost 12 years ago. Our deal still stands.  And our bathroom door opens out (it’s too small to open in), but if you want to get into the back bedroom, you have to make sure the bathroom door is closed at least part way.

BUT the neighborhood is GREAT!  We have a fig tree, orange and lemon tree, and 2 apple trees, as well as our own peach and avocado.  The house has character. AND did I mention close to my work?  Also close to our dr, the part of town I love, GREAT YARNBOMBING PARKS, good parks to take the dogs,  and our favorite places to eat. (Our favorite mexican restaurant is called Vallejo’s, and we had an apartment literally a 5 minute walk away.  There was a $10 super nachos that could feed the husband, a friend and I and there were STILL leftovers. We went there almost weekly.)

OH WAIT!!! DID I MENTION YARNBOMBING??? 

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This is my lamppost right on the edge of the property.  They’re actually all over the neighborhood, but I’ve pretty much decided this is mine, and will be yarnbombed.  It may take some time, but I will put something on that post!!!  I might just ask for help.

My yarn, and Brainy and all her friends have been packed away, I felt kind of sad. My friend Denise sent me a wee package, she made a minion in a Mad Crochet Lab (http://madcrochetlab.com/) experiment, and I said I loved it. Denise makes sweet stuffies and yarnbombs parks and libraries and occasionally Home Depots with them for people to find.  Brainy was so excited to meet her new friend, Sally Minion. I love CraftDee Creations (https://www.facebook.com/CraftDeeCreations?fref=ts)  The pink bunny was an easter gifty from Denise as well. Brainy loves Dee Bunny.

minion

It is Saturday, and I should be doing stuff. But the husband is sleeping late, and he’s done the lion’s share of  moving this week.  And made sure I ate something.  And I just feel like being lazy since it’s been well over a week since I have been, AND it’s finally cooled off so it was a bit cool this am…and it’s Saturday!!!  I hope to unpack a bit, organize, move some yarn out to my work area (next time I’ll show you my yarn closet), and maybe watch a horror movie and maybe touch yarn some.  We do have to go shopping for some stuff for the new place, but I’d like to remember the wonders of sitting in front of a horror flick crocheting.    I’ll have lots of cool things on hooks soon…a special (s)carebear, a dog, some zombies, another Cthulhu, a spider,  Samara Morgan, Calvin and Hobbs, some monster mashups… oh and a creepy garden for myself.  So many plans!!!

Well, looks like we’re caught up enough. There will be more to tell you next time.

KEEP IT CREEPY!!!

International Yarnbombing Day, Jill’s Tree, and Rachel and the Golem

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Hello Lovelies! So glad you’re back! This was a busy week! They’ve all been that way for a bit… more changes and craziness to come, I’m sure!

So LAST weekend was International Yarnbombing/Knitting(hooking) in Public day.  And it totally caught me off guard… even though I had written about it,  the Treblemaking Hookers had posted and planned on it… and my work on the Golem totally had me so wrapped up that I didn’t take any time for making things for yarnbombing.  I ended up with  4 3D  monster hearts and 7 green fuzzy 2D  hearts with “stitches” sewn on, not what I had wanted, but I also realized I wasn’t as into these for yarnbombs as I had been for the skulls.  I’m wondering if maybe for yarnbombing I don’t need to simplify, follow a pattern, already created, make something a bit easier, something I can go on autopilot for… THEN, to add insult to injury, my sad old phone that I used to take pictures lost some of the photos, and some went corrupt, and I can’t retrieve them… Plagued from the get-go, I must change things for the next time!

BUT, some of my friends DID do lots of yarnbombing, and I”m going to share their pictures, because I love them all so much! Here goes:

fatimacollage

Fatima lives by the sea, and so created an ocean-based animal yarnbomb.  All the critters got sweet tags with her website and a note saying please give me a home! Wonderful!!!!!!

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Denise yarnbombs regularly! She’s always taking cute wee critters to libraries and parks and out when she goes and does her errands, I love this woman!!!  This yarnbomb day happened to coincide with her 30th wedding anniversary, so she made one critter for each year, and took them to the park! LOVE!!!

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My friend the Mad Crochet Scientist made the CUTEST wee safety cones, hollow like the real ones, and put them all over the playground, with notes telling kids to have a safe summer. DAMN CUTE!  I used to work with preschool aged kids, I know those cones are going to be well loved and played with!

liz

Liz left wee bookmarks in places where they’d for sure be found, and hopfully taken quickly. I like small, swee yarnbombs like these.  I always feel like someone finds them, and maybe instantly, their load gets a just a bit lighter.

wanda

Wanda made eyes for these hats and then put them on the fence of local Community Garden. She got the granddaughter to help out. I love those hats! AND there’s a good possibility that I”ll make some around mid-fall and yarnbomb with them.

Vania

Vania, and some ladies from her knitting group each made a flower and decorated the lions! LOVELY! And I do enjoy a group project!

linny

Linny left these very lovely butterfly hairpins in a bag, to keep them nice in the weather, and a note.  She said they were taken when she came out of the restaurant after having breakfast! LOVE!!!

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Amanda left something completely lovely for her mail carrier! I’d LOVE to have been a fly on the mailbox to have seen the face of the mailcarrier!  They need love too!

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Stephanie turned her stop sign into a flower, and even though the wind caused the petals not to cooperate as well as she’d liked, I love this so very very much!

This week I spent working on Jill’s tree, and stump, for her stop motion video.  It had to be wool, because it had to be felted, there will be wool characters in the movie. This project was amazing to me. I had no idea why I had not made a posable tree before!!!  Of all the movies and cartoons and books where there were creepy trees that could reach up and grab folks, why had I not made one yet???  I’ve started looking at trees, looking at bark colors, and branches, and the way the trees lean, and thinking about where eyes might go…trees may not always have a mouth, or a big visible one, but they always have eyes.    Don’t get me wrong, some trees will have mouths, big, gaping ones, small menacing ones, strange smirking ones.  But some will just have eyes.  I’ve already got my next tree on the hook.  I’ve already made the weight pouch for it–I’m kind of in love with using BBs, they’re small, and have lots of nice weight for the size.  The only other thing I might use would be fishing weights. because I can get fairly small ones, that are heavy. I eliminated, for this tree, the floral tape, and this tree won’t be made out of wool.  I’m hoping to get the branches to taper a bit more.

treecollage

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The eyes don’t have pupils. Those are just for the pictures.  These guys are going to be in a movie, so the eyes have to be able to move.  I plied the 3 ply yarn down, and crocheted wee chains and used them for tree bark, seemed important, even if I couldn’t get a good enough picture of it.

So the tree has taken hold of me. I honestly can’t tell you why so much, except every time I look at the tree I think of all those cartoons I watched as a kid, and Saturday morning shows… even the Ents in LOTR.  So now I’ve started one already.     It’s already got a bit narrower trunk, but it’s a side thing, I’ve got a Cthulhu on hooks next for someone.  And I start my new job on Tuesday. So there will be a bit less hooking 3 days  a week…a bit.

golem&Rachel

Remember these two? They’ve done their job. They’re with John F.D. Taff and his “now” fiance Debbie in New Orleans at the World Horror Convention.  In a very elaborate coup, the Golem, armed with sexiness and  a wee note in his mouth, proposed marriage to Debbie for John. She said YES!!! It was the creatures, they pushed it over the edge, I just know it!!!

So that’s my week, friends! Hope yours was wonderful, and that this coming one will be freaky, fangtastic, and as always,  A BIT CREEPY!!!

WHAT A WEEK!!!

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Hello Friends!!! Lovely to see you! What a full week it’s been!

Last Saturday I mailed away the Clay Golem to John, and he’s already gotten him! AND!  He really likes him!clay golem   clay golem face

It still amazes me every time someone really loves their spawn!  There’s a wee voice in the back of my mind that says someone is going to look at what they have, and not like it like they hoped.  It’s never happened, that I know of, but it’s still there. I feel pretty lucky to always make folks happy, and for John, 2 different dolls!  The big coolness should be happening  this next week… I”m so excited! And will share pictures and everything I”m allowed to, as soon as I can.

Tuesday I interviewed at a job, that’s always a good sign, for me.  If I can get an interview, I almost surely almost have the job…I”m pretty charming.  Completely different kind of job. I’d be an office person at one of the those self-storage units.  I’ve done office work before, and it would be easy, give my mind a bit of free time to dream about spawn, and just be something I’d most assuredly not have to take a stress test for.  I met with the manager and her mum, and hit it off straight away.  She’d asked if I minded if the dogs came out to meet me, and of course I said no problem.  They have an 11 year old pit bull and a 13 year old labrador.  The manager asked if I minded watching the dogs sometimes–she’s pregnant, due in August, and her dog likes to be at the office. Of course  I tell em I love dogs, and that’s a plus in my favor.  A few more questions and it was clear they liked me.  A couple more questions and she told me that she was sad she set 3 more interviews, but that she wanted to hire me. She gave me her card and told me she’d call me by the end of the week.  She called me Wednesday morning at 10 am to offer me the job.  I will start on the 19th, yay me!.. I wonder if anyone will ever try to leave a body in one like in Silence of the Lambs…that would be frightening…and maybe a bit cool…

In the meantime I’ve started 2 new projects.  For Emma, I”m making 10 skulls on split rings for her daughter’s birthday party, which I totally love!  She asked for “candy punk colors” especially pink, orange and purple.  Do you know I went to the candy store and looked at candy colors for a few minutes, and then ran out because I was salivating, and then went to buy thread.  And this time I do mean thread!  My base color is a pink, maybe  Starburst pink, definitely jelly bean pink.  Then I decided that I wanted really vibrant colors, and I wanted them to be different slightly, so I bought some embroidery floss to add in with the thread.  Each skull has 3 colors, there will be 9 for guests,and then a 10th with a flower, for the birthday girl, Hattie.  Here’s what’ I’ve got done so far. I’ll send them away on Monday.

skull keyrings

I”m in love with how changing one of 3 colors gives such different results.  Having the base as pink draws them all together, but changing threads makes a big difference. The second skull from the left is a light purple and orange with the pink, and the one on the end is a darker purple and the same orange…changing just one color makes a huge difference,  for those of you who don’t use more than one color at a time, adding a bit of depth is easy, just by adding a second fiber.

I”ve also been working on a wool tree for Jill.  She’s making a stop-motion movie, and needed a tree. I jumped at this! I’ve wanted to make a posable tree for awhile. My brain is fueled by every creepy movie/cartoon/book with creepy trees that moved or walked or had faces or grabbed for people.  My only restrictions?  Felted wool, and 10″ tall.  The height is the hardest thing to keep to, but then I realized that since the branches are wired they don’t have to straight up, they can be bent and hang. So, back to perfection.  The base of the trunk is weighted with a pouch of BBs and has wire that the wires in the branches will get wrapped around.

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I started with a sketch from Jill, and then took off!  This project is so much fun!  I had a “halloween tree” which was a branch I”d cut off my tree, and painted black, and I  hung my Beetlejuice figures, spiders, and other monsters from it.  I gave it to a friend, she loved it so… THIS project makes me want to make a creepy tree forest!  I want to make them with weird faces, and branches that look like arms, and they will all be posable… I’m a bit obsessed!  I just started the third branch last night, there will probably be a fourth, then I’ll sew it together.  The bottom picture was the one I took Thursday night before nearly quitting for the day,  all my tools for the project, including my 3.25 mm hook, and the floral tape I wrapped wire with to get the right thickness for the branches, and a branch I”m ready to work on.  I”ll have it through some of next week, so next post will have pictures of the tree in different poses, all the branches have wire in them, as well as the stump I make, which WAS a former lover of the tree, but was cut down to make a bathroom… I am so very very excited about this movie!

It’s International Yarnbombing Day/Weekend this weekend, and it totally snuck up on me!  I’ve been so focused on the golem, then mailed that away, and started the tree, and and so hooked on it… So now I’m underprepared for the weekend. I”ve got 4 monster hearts, meant to have bunches, but things got away…

monstercollage

But on Friday, and on Saturday, I”m going to make some more 2D monster hearts…maybe a mixture of 2D and 3D monster hearts, and a trip out early Sunday morning. I’m going to put up pictures from my group in the next blog from this weekend, just like last time, so make sure you check back next week, there will be so much happening… once these 2 projects are done there will be a Cthulhu on my hooks…the 3rd this year!

This week has just been so full of good stuff.  It’s what I have to remember, when things get a bit low…they don’t always stay that way, and that sometimes I just have to hang around through the low periods, and remember they don’t last.

Have a wonderful week! Keep it creepy!!!