Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Tag: crafty

The craft room is finished! And the RESTLESS SPIRITS sequel is begun! Sort of.

Well, my friends, the cat room is a craft room once again.

I spent yesterday first sorting through my yarn and then emptying out the walk-in closet. The good news re: the yarn is that I had it stored in four different bags, only one of which got peed on, so the majority of my stash was just fine. The tee-shirt stash fared worse, but it still wasn’t as bad as I expected. Everything pee-scented went into the washer to soak overnight in vinegar and laundry soap (the yarn first went into pillow cases), and then this morning I ran that cycle, then ran it again with baking soda. After that, the shirts went in the dryer and the yarn went out on the back lawn to dry in the sun. The yarn is still drying outside, but the shirts passed the sniff-test, and are now folded and put away where those jerks sweet kitties can’t get to them.

As for the kitties, they’re much happier, and reluctant to leave the room, which is kind of nice. I fixed up the closet for them with their litter boxes and crates and plenty of places to hide and sleep and climb. Nibblet’s loving it, but so far Boudica prefers the top of what’s now the yarn and tee-shirt cabinet, a.k.a. my only work surface. I laid a fleece blanket up there for her to collect cat hair and protect the surface from her claws, and I can just move the blanket (and her) when I’m ready to get my craft on, so no big.

The only thing that’s missing in there is a good work surface. There’s a small table, but that’s wobbly, and the previously mentioned cabinet, but that’s not a large surface and it’s tall enough that I’ll have to stand. It’ll do for now, but some day I’d like to get a dedicated sewing table. A comfy chair for sitting and knitting would also be great. We’ve got an old rocking chair in there, but it’s not that comfortable, and I’d like to consign it to the back porch eventually.

I’m terrible about remembering to take pictures. If you want to see some, I’ll post some to my Instagram later.

I was hoping to be able to include a word count on the new novel in this post, but I’ve been kind of distracted all morning and couldn’t get my head in the right place for it. I guess I need to spend some time cleaning something else to give my brain a chance to develop the scene. Good thing I’m ready to straighten up the living room and bring out the fall decorations. Yes, I know it’s not technically fall yet, but the weather’s supposed to cool off later this week, and that’s good enough for me.

One thing I did do, though, writing-wise, is jotted down some notes on a proper sequel to Restless Spirits.  People have been bugging me (in the good way) about a sequel for years now, but I just haven’t been able to come up with the right story to justify one. But yesterday I streamed a few episodes of My Ghost Story while sorting through and detangling my yarn stash, and apparently these true haunting and paranormal investigator shows are my muse when it comes to this series (I guess it’s a series now), because something finally clicked. Now it’s going to be hard to make my brain focus on the Satanic Panic story instead of this. I wonder how insane I’d have to be to attempt writing two novels at once. We might be about to find out.

In Which Jean Can’t Put Down the Crochet Hook

One reason I wanted to move this blog to WordPress was so that I could have more segmentation, mainly so I could have a whole section devoted to crafts. But then I never got around to sharing any of the stuff I make. But after a badly needed weekend of rest spent mainly kicking back and crocheting while I caught up on all of my TV shows, it’s time to remedy that. So here’s what I made during my weekend of sloth.

Granny Slippers

I had made another pair of these back in October or November, a yellow/gray/pink pair that turned out too big, but still cute. But I wore those out before I got around to taking pictures, so here are my Granny Square Slippers, Take 2.

I was about to give Pinterest the credit for the pattern and inspiration, but I couldn’t find such a pin on my craft board, so I must have found them on Ravelry instead. Sure enough, here’s the pattern.

Ear-flap Hat

I didn’t use a pattern for the hat. I’ve made a few hats as gifts recently, so I had the basic hat pattern memorized, and I improvised the ear-flaps, cords and pom-poms, inspired by this pin. I had a left-over ball of this green and yellow wool yarn in my stash, but it wasn’t quite enough to make an adult-sized hat. I had made a hat and scarf set from this yarn years ago, but I wasn’t totally happy with how they turned out and they’ve been lingering in my closet ever since. So I frogged the other hat (which was rib knit) and used that yarn to add length to the hat, as well as the ear-flaps and cords. I think it turned out really cute. I’ve got plans to frog the scarf as well and re-knit it into a neck-warmer similar to this.

So that’s how I spent my weekend. How was yours?

Happy New Year!

It’s a new month and a whole new year, and my post-NaNoWriMo break is officially at an end. That means that I’ll dig in and start editing Dominion of the Damned this week, and it also means that my blog semi-hiatus is at an end, which means it’s about to get a lot more chatty around here.

Coming up, I’ll be sharing some publishing and sales stats, doing a walk-through of the editing and publishing process with Dominion, and posting more indie author spotlights and interviews, as well as some indie book reviews…although those will be few and far between at first, because finding time to read is a challenge, and my To Read queue is long, and I still haven’t yet gotten around to reading Dance with Dragons. Or Ghost Story. Yeah, I know. So much for all that reading I said I was going to be doing over my December break, but that’s what happens when the “day job” becomes insanely busy.

I’ll also hopefully be posting more on the crafting side of things. I’ve made a few things here and there, but I’m always too lazy to take pictures and post them, so I need to remedy that. After all, part of the whole point of moving from Livejournal to WordPress was so that I could have a category devoted to crafting. My crafting has slowed down along with the TV season (since I usually make stuff while I watch TV), but the former should start to pick back up along with the latter, and I’ve got a long list of things I want to make.

So that’s what’s ahead. Hopefully, 2012 will be a productive and creative year, full of glorious, amazing mistakes. And I hope it’s a good one for all of you, as well.

Hooking and Cheating

Crocheted pumpkin trivetI’ve been crocheting like a madwoman lately, and it feels a little like I’m having an illicit affair, stepping out on my first love, knitting. All the hallmarks are there–knitting takes more time and commitment, it’s more work and, after years together, the shine has worn off; yet I still love it and have no desire to call it quits. Crocheting, on the other hand, is exciting and new, it doesn’t really want much of a commitment and it provides me with loads of instant gratification.

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Marzipan Pie Shop Open for Business; Make Your Own Giant Eyeball

As I’ve been threatening to for a few weeks now, I spent the weekend setting up my “new” knitted and crocheted accessories shop on Etsy, Marzipan Pie. I used to run a similar shop under the name Vanilla Fizz, but that was so long ago that I actually thought it might be less confusing to tie the shop name into the blog.

I originally wanted to wait until we got our new camera so I could take better pictures, and now that the deed is done I kind of wish I stuck with that plan, because the pictures that our cheap-o point-and-shoot Vivitar take haven’t gotten any crisper. But my budding photographer husband is still shopping around and trying to decide which camera he wants, and I’ve got some Halloween related items to sell, and the window on that is closing soon, so I figured I’d better just make do with what we have and hope for the best.

One of those Halloween related items is a set of crocheted “eyeball” coasters. I also thought it would be cute to make a sleep mask out of a pair of them, as seen below (click to embiggen):

They’re simple to make: Just make a basic granny circle, single-crochet the first round in black for the pupil and the second round in whatever color you want the iris to be, then double-crochet two rounds in white. For the mask, simply make two circles and stitch them together slightly above the center. For the ties, you can knit two icords, or chain stitch two chains, or simply attach some ribbon or a strip of elastic. To make it a sleep mask, you’ll need to sew some soft fabric onto the back to block out the light (and prevent stitch indentations from covering your face when you wake up).

Or you could just buy the coasters here, and/or the sleep mask here.