45 degrees off

Seeing the same thing from a different angle.

Craftypodes has a new home!

A note for anyone who missed our Twitter and Facebook announcements (because I know not everyone follows me everywhere) – We now have Craftypodes.com for all things Craftypodes! This is something we’re both really excited about!

I can’t say exactly what the future of 45 degrees off is. I still want my space for talking about art, but there’s a lot of time and energy being poured into Craftypodes. I just don’t know how much I’ll have left for traveling down other artistic avenues. I’m sticking to my “blog in my own voice” promise over there, though. And if all you were ever here for was the yarn, it’s all crochet and knitting over there!


2013 – Blogging in My Own Voice

Christmas is behind us! I hope whatever you celebrate was very merry, even if all you aimed for was a relaxing Tuesday and the end of Christmas countdowns.

Oldest nephew got an Iron Bear (Iron Man bear) from me.


Youngest nephew was also on my list this year. He got a bear hat that he wanted no part of wearing, but he’s not quite two years old yet and his mama says he needs a hat.


Princess niece (and do NOT argue with her about that because she is not one of those wimpy, helpless princesses!) was on Mr. Knitter’s list. She has a new pair of ballerina house slippers. They immediately went on her feet!


My mother has been a huge source of encouragement, as well as having given Mr. Knitter a big boost in getting needles and other supplies when he started knitting. I hear from her that you’re never too old to enjoy your kids making something for you, so she was also on my list. I made a couple of pairs of wine glass flip-flops from The Crochet Dude’s pattern for her. They slip onto the bottom of a wine glass so that you keep your coaster with you.


And that’s it for our Christmas crafting for this year! Almost. I do have one other gift I still need to get sent out, but that one wasn’t expected by Christmas and is considered more of a “winter celebration” gift.  I’ve also got projects to get back to that were put on hold while I prepared for Christmas. I could happily clear all the other chores and responsibilities from my life and just crochet. Ahh… one can dream!

I’m not making a list for 2013 the way I made a list for 2012.  I have other lists. I share lists with Mr. Knitter. There’s a lot more “doing my part within the collaboration” that goes on these days, and I just can’t make the same kind of list for that. I am setting a goal to hold myself to, though.

I will blog more in 2013. I will blog in my own voice.

I’ve fallen into a rut where I’m not getting posts written as often as I’d like because it’s really taxing to do it. I just don’t have the energy and mental focus when I do have the time. Why not? Why does writing a post here take so much out of me when I am able to turn out posts now and then for another blog? Why does writing a post here drain me so much more than a few hours of online socialization? I asked myself these questions and kept coming back to one answer.

It’s exhausting to maintain an illusion of something that’s not really yourself.

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of an artist being themself with their art. Finding your own style, doing work that is meaningful to you, etc. I’ve tried really hard to avoid using my own voice on this blog, though. I’ve tried to sound more “professional” by making a forced attempt at writing in a way that my old English teachers would find acceptable for striking a balance of casual tone in “serious” writing. The last bell rang for those classes long ago. I’m not writing for them. Sometimes knowing the rules makes you qualified to break them.

I look at how Amanda Palmer writes her blog and think to myself, “Oh, honey… you are not Amanda Palmer!” Okay, that’s true. But if there’s a rule that says you have to wait until you’re a star before you can do anything a star does, that’s a stupid rule and needs to be broken. Stars are passionate people. In that way, I am exactly like Amanda Palmer!

I love the excitement I feel when I read posts by Steph Cortés on the nerd JERK blog.  Her passion for what she does really comes through! I’m pretty good at getting people excited about things I’m excited about, too. I don’t think I’ve done a good job of showing here just how much I love creating. I do that well when writing for blogs where I’m more relaxed about writing style, though.

I will be more relaxed about my writing in 2013, and that should allow me to write more. More writing means you get to see more of what’s going on before we get it finished. I will never be able to blog for Mr. Knitter, though. He and I have very different approaches to our crafts. Maybe I can squeeze in a post now and then about how jealous I am of his knitting skills and my confusion when I look at a box full of double pointed needles.

Being Thankful and Reviewing the 2012 “To Do” List

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for those of us who live in the United States. I’m not sure the history of the holiday ever really mattered to me. We were told stories of the pilgrims and native people celebrating together, and I know I really got into the crafts and plays. I just always saw Thanksgiving as two things… one was the holiday I was told everyone was celebrating, and the other was what was actually going on at our house. The latter was the real Thanksgiving for me.

It hasn’t been the real Thanksgiving for me since my grandmother died, which was about eight years ago by now. She wasn’t a big eater, but she cooked and loved to feed her loved ones. I guess it’s because she grew up in a family with a lot of kids during the Great Depression. It seemed to make her someone who showed she loved you by doing things like feeding you, or buying you a book you wanted. She didn’t shower us with gifts non-stop, but she did a lot to quietly “take care of us” maybe a little more than we really needed. Thanksgiving and Christmas were something of a month-long celebration in my mind, and she and my mom were the driving forces.

My grandmother died just a few days before Thanksgiving the year we lost my grandfather in the spring.

Things change with time. My sister has children now. I’ve divorced and remarried. Pets have gone out of our lives, and different pets have come in. We still celebrate Thanksgiving. Christmas is different, too, but it does feel like a real Christmas. I’m trying to accept the new Thanksgiving.

In some ways, it’s not really a new Thanksgiving. It was always about family for me, right? My family may have changed some, but this is still a family holiday. And it is still a time to think about all the things I’m thankful for. I try to do that a little each day, but Thanksgiving reminds me to sit down and look at the bigger picture.

I’m thankful for my family. I am especially thankful for my sister’s kids. They are all still very young, but I am not exaggerating to say they are some of my favorite people.

I’m thankful for friends, even if they do tend to live way too far away. The Internet keeps us connected and makes being close while far apart possible in a way other generations would have been very thankful for. I have to remember not to take that for granted.

I’m thankful for the friends and family members who have supported my husband and me in getting  Craftypodes  started. It’s been difficult for me to make the change in my work, but I do believe it was the right decision.

I’m thankful for finally having a doctor who took my complaints about pain seriously, did the tests, diagnosed the arthritis, and is treating me. I still have more bad days than I want, but not as many as I was having… and not as bad! We’ve made some adjustments at home, and I don’t feel as knocked out by this as I did earlier in the year.

When life gets really frustrating and unhappy for me, I try to think of one thing I’m thankful for to balance one thing I’m aggravated about. I can’t erase all the pain in my life, but I choose not to let it dominate my life. I can at least look at it, acknowledge that it exists, and say, “But good still exists, too.”

Boris the Turkey

It is also time to look at my “To Do” list for this year. I’ll be writing next year’s list next month, and it’s late enough in 2012 that my remaining projects for the year are already in progress. If it’s on the list and hasn’t been done by now, it’s just not happening this year.

Do a fabric design on Spoonflower.

I did this! In fact, I did two designs. There is a feathery fabric and floral fabric Both are black and white fabric designs.
Find out more about how Storybird works.

I did this and found out it wasn’t really for me. I still think it looks like a great idea… just not for what I had in mind at the time.

Make my Zazzle stores connect to each other better visually. There are many good things about not having everything in one store, but I’d really like it to be easier for people who want to see all my stores.

The exact way I wanted to do this wasn’t possible, but I did link all the front pages to each other, as well as getting the designs categorized better by adding Positive Space.

Make progress on a fairly long-term collaborative project that was recently proposed to me.

I’m still not revealing yet what this collaboration is, but progress was made! When I said “fairly long-term”, that means “a couple of years”.

Finish any three things on my Ideas and Inspiration list.

This did not happen. I’m not unhappy about it, though. Making the switch from drawing to crochet as my work meant making a lot of other changes, too. The Ideas and Inspiration list has been going through some revisions. I’ll talk about that more when I write the 2013 “To Do” list.

Put together a calender in time for 2013.

This is the only thing on the list that did not happen and I’m not okay with it. Even with all the other changes this year, I still wanted to do this. While I’ve been able to make adjustments to keep crocheting even when I’m in mild pain, I couldn’t make similar adjustments to my workspace and tools for drawing. It’s very frustrating to feel the arthritis took this away from me. With the treatment I’m getting, though, I’m not giving up on this. I will be carrying it over to my list for next year.

Not everything on the list worked out the way I wanted it to, but I can look at it now and see that I accomplished more of my goals for the year than I thought! I’m glad I made the list. I’m thankful for being able to share it with all of you to keep myself accountable. I’m thankful for your support  through this year.

Skulls, Zombies, Witches, and Monsters!

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”

— H.P. Lovecraft

It’s almost time for Halloween! Some folks enjoy playing dress-up. Others enjoy the wild feel of Halloween night. Some people just love to decorate their house, going from haunted graveyards at Halloween to the biggest light show on the block at Christmas.

Some part of us still recognizes that this is when the year truly ends… not when the calender runs out, but when the Earth settles down for a long nap. Unless, of course, you live in a climate where winter never really comes or the seasons run the other way.

Collectively, this is when we drag our fears out of the shadows, give them form and name the demons, band together against what might be a creaky board or might be an angry ghost, and try to banish as many of them as we can for another year.

I admit to asserting dominance over my fears by taking all the “scary” out of them once I’ve given them form. Cuddly monsters can’t do much harm.

Pretty Little Monster, by Craftypodes

Pretty Little Monster is part whatever Brobee from “Yo Gabba Gabba” is, and part Little Miss and Mr. Men from the books for children. She’s currently available from the Craftypodes shop.

Knitted Kitties

Also available in the shop – Have you seen the knitted kitties Mr. Knitter is making? They are adorable! I’ve made my fair share of dolls, and even I get excited when he finishes one of these. I’m trying to talk him into kitting a full battalion of them once Christmas projects are finished. The orange and black cats are sold separately in the shop, but they do look fantastic together. They’re stuffed with soft stuffing, but the bottoms are weighted a bit so you can set them on a desk or shelf and they won’t fall over.

While I have been focused on getting Craftypodes going for a good chunk of this year, I have not taken any of my other work down. Pieces that were available in the past are still available for purchase.
Zombie Portrait Poster / Print

The portrait of Annabelle the Zombie is available on a variety of products from my Everyday Myth store.

Witches Stitches MugWitches Stitches H.A.G. Mug
Everyday Myth is also where you’ll find the Witches Stitches goodies. They are available on a variety of products, and there are two designs to choose from. One advertises the services of the fictional Witches Stitches – poppets, curse-stitching, and quilt binding. The other proudly proclaims that Witches Stitches is part of the H.A.G. Guild (Handmade Arcane Goods). Just a bit of crafting humor.

I’ve never actually done any Halloween skull pieces, but the Day of the Dead – Día de los Muertos – does follow Halloween, and the sugar skulls I’ve done become very popular around this time.
Sugar Skull Poster

This bright, colorful sugar skull has been available for a few years now, but I’m seeing more sales this year for my black and white skulls.
La Bella Muerte Poster La Bella Muerte II Print

Black on white, or white on black, “La Bella Muerte” is one of my favorite pieces. It’s diffuclt to describe what the process of creating it was like for me emotionally, but there was something beautiful about getting lost in the details of the work and then stepping back to see what I had created. Both versions are available from Positive Space. You can find the black on white options here. Or go here if white on black is your preference.

Whether it’s a mug from a witches’ shop to drink something hot from on chilly mornings, or a cuddly monster to help you fight back whatever is going bump in the night, make sure you’ve got what you need before the end of October. It’s a long night, even if all you face is an endless stream of trick-or-treaters at your door.

The Long Road Through August

Whew! Are we really almost done with the month? FINALLY?! August always seems like an agonizingly long month for me. “Way too busy” and “too hot and humid to move” tend to collide in August, and I have a personal emotional investment in breaking through to September. The month drags on forever.

Maybe that contributes to my feeling that I’ve done a lot of work and nothing at all this month. The truth is more that I have done a lot of work, but not all of it has been the kind I can show a finished result from. I’ve made minor tweaks to things like outgoing links on this blog, but haven’t had the time I’d like to write full posts. I also write a couple of gaming-related blogs that have been suffering from this posting drought, as well.  I’ve learned that I can’t draw with a pen for very long at a time anymore. I’ve made changes to my crochet hooks and how I hold them so that I can continue to crochet in spite of my arthritis.

As I’ve been adjusting my mindset to living with arthritis (as opposed to believing the doctor can “fix whatever is wrong with me”) I’ve also been trying to change the way I look at my work. I’ll get an idea for something and think, “Oh! I should draw this!” Then I start to ask myself what it would take for me to crochet it instead. Mostly, though, I’ve found I have a real passion for hats. I think there’s a perfect hat for each head, but I can’t seem to find mine. I’ll just keep making them until I figure it out. I hope to match a lot of other people up with their perfect hat along the way! My hat obsession is even mentioned on the Craftypodes “about” page.

I finished a very special request in time for my neice’s birthday. I finished and shipped a custom order so that a baby boy will have an octopus friend to greet him when he makes his way into the world later this year.

I’ve experimented with crocheting with thread, which is something my grandmother did, though I’m not exactly doing it her way. I don’t remember her crocheting around stones and using them as paperweights.

I’m currently working on a baby blanket for the shop, a few personal projects on the side, and doing my best to manage day to day. I still do some of my best thinking while mowing the yard. I guess I’ll have to find some other way to do my best thinking for a while once autumn gets here. Well… there’s always losing myself in my crochet!

I still want this blog to be a place for discussing art. Visual art, fiber art, music, storytelling… that won’t change. You can see from the links on the right that my visual art is still available for purchase. Some things are absolutely staying the same here as I move forward.  If you miss frequent posts, though, I suggest following my crochet tumblr.

Here’s to the end of August, and hopefully a September that brings the completion of that post on storytelling.

Custom Character Dolls

This is cross-posted from my crocheting tumblr, and that’s where the link to the Brann Bronzebeard doll post will take you.

I will be accepting orders for dolls based on your character from games like WoW, SWTOR, etc. Feel an emotional attachment to the character you’ve tanked every raid on? Maybe a roleplay character you’ve spent hours exploring the backstory of in digital taverns? If you can take screenshots of the front and back of the character, I can make a doll of them! (See the post about the Brann Bronzebeard doll as an example. I will NOT be taking orders for favorite lore characters, though. Only player characters.)

Here’s how it works –

I’d prefer that you message me through our Craftypodes Etsy shop, but I won’t turn you away if you contact me via Twitter.

I need you to provide me with front and back screenshots of your character, plus any information like race/class/physical characteristics from roleplay not shown on the character model. (Example – a scar on a character’s face that everyone can see, but the game model doesn’t have an option for.)

Make sure your character is wearing what you want the doll to be wearing, and be sure to tell me if there are any “must have” parts. If I have to simplify things, I don’t want it to be the off-hand weapon that I leave off if you very carefully chose that off-hand weapon for the doll.

As with any other request item, your finished doll will be put in our Etsy store and reserved for you. I’ll let you know your doll is ready, and you will have one month to purchase it. Our standard shipping prices apply. ($6.00 USD within the US and Canada, $12.00 USD to anywhere else.)

The cost of a doll is $50.00 USD. If your character is of a class that has a pet (hunter/ranger companions, warlock minions, death knight ghouls, etc) you can add pets for $15.00 each. And before anyone asks – yes, shaman, I can make a set of four totems instead of a pet. :)

I will let you know when you contact me with a request how long the waiting list currently is. If this is something you need within the month (birthday, for example) please talk to me about putting a rush on your doll. I cannot put a rush on requests for a major holiday like Christmas, though.

I am not accepting requests for pets/minions/etc on their own. Only as an addition to the character. I am also not accepting requests for non-combat/vanity pets at this time. If you have any other questions about ordering dolls, please contact me.

Improvise, Adapt, Crochet

I said I was going to make an effort to keep my crochet work divided from my other work, didn’t I? I even set up a tumblr for when I just want to babble about yarn crafting. I was determined to manage my drawing and painting in one area of my life, and the yarn crafting with my husband in another area of my life.
There’s only so much of me to go around, though, and those things all qualify as “art”. I’m finding that I can’t just set aside time to crochet and then time to draw. I get my need to create satisfied when working with yarn and there’s just nothing left by the time I’m ready to draw. I could draw one of the things on my list, but then I start thinking how much fun it would be to crochet them in addition to drawing them. I start running through how to do that in my mind, making sure I really could do it, and all the energy gets poured into the yarn crafting idea.

I need to create. I don’t actually need to draw. This shouldn’t surprise me, considering I turned to drawing when my illness made it very difficult for me to write.

I have to consider other things going on in my life, and I’ve discussed this at length with my husband and gotten some advice from a friend. If I don’t care that much which medium I’m working with as long as I’m creating, then what about other things I’m facing? How are they impacted by a change in my artistic pursuits? The truth is that crocheting is a much better choice for me at this point in my life when I consider my health problems. Everything from the physical toll from how I sit while working to the mental cost of doing this as a business changes.

Does this mean I’m giving up drawing completely? Absolutely not! I still have a few projects that are very important to me and must be drawn. I can’t imagine a time when I put down pens and Wacom stylus and think to myself, “The last one is done.” I will be keeping my stores with my artwork open. I just won’t add to them as often. I won’t aggressively pursue creative satisfaction and financial benefit through drawing.  Hooks and yarn are a better choice for me at this point in my life.

Some of you may not have an interest in my work anymore with this change. I understand that. I understand that sometimes the focus is the medium. Thank you for supporting my drawing and painting.

Anyone who wants to come along for the ride on the Yarn Train, that’s where the action will be now! There’s a Craftypodes Twitter account for it, Facebook, and Google+. My husband (fondly referred to on Craftypodes accounts as “Mr. Knitter”) also posts on the Facebook and Google+ accounts. I mostly do the Twitter thing myself, and the tumblr is all mine.

A lot of my Twitter friends are gamers. I recently crocheted a Brann Bronzebeard (from World of Warcraft) doll, wearing the Tabard of the Explorer that the character sends to you in the game.

Gamer buddies, help me get my mind focused on the good things about making this change in my life! Talk to me about dolls. I’d like to know how interested people might be in being able to commission a doll of their character. It would mean sending me screenshots, front and back, of your character. Hunters could have a pet, warlocks could have a demon, etc. I’d say SWTOR characters are possible, too. Not lore characters like Brann there, but a doll of your character. If there’s a reasonable amount of interest in this, I can work out details for pricing and how to handle a waiting list for commissions and make another post specifically about that.

Fan Fiction, Literary Elitism, and Fifty Shades of Grey

I made the comment on Twitter that I wonder what it says about me that I know people who are feeling shocked and getting hot and bothered over reading Fifty Shades of Grey, but I just didn’t see anything that exciting when I looked through it in the store recently. My Twitter feed has been full of talk about it since. Most of that has ranged from “I hated it” to “I wouldn’t even both reading it”.

One of the biggest reasons I’ve seen cited for being opposed to the very existence of Fifty Shades of Grey is that it started out as Twilight fan fiction. There are two camps of  This Is Bad… the FanFic Is Bad camp, and the Twilight Is Bad camp. I can’t put myself in either camp.

I read all the books in the Twilight series and enjoyed them. I read them at a time when my medical condition was making it increasingly difficult for me to read at all. As a child, my reading and comprehension was on the college level while I was still in elementary school. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to find books both on my reading level and with age appropriate content. Even as an adult, I just had to accept that books were something I would easily devour and not have to think very much about. Right up until I became ill, anyway. That made my brain take a sudden leap from being able to read a novel with half my attention on something else and still get the whole story (including remembering dialogue) all the way down to wondering why I couldn’t read the book. Why I just couldn’t make sense of all the words when I knew for a fact that I knew what each of them meant.

Twilight isn’t great literature. It was what I needed at the time, though. There are plenty of people who have never climbed above that level of reading, and they are often intimidated by books targeted at them because, whether they should be able to easily comphrehend those books or not, the reality is that they can’t. So they don’t read. Because they don’t read, they don’t get better at reading. Pat the Bunny is no Chronicles of Narnia, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say it never should have been published. There’s a group of children it is appropriate for.

I didn’t get preachy anti-sex lessons out of Twilight, but I often don’t get the lessons other people do from things. I almost always see the opposite of whatever people are outraged about in Disney movies, and I think everyone’s missed the biggest lesson in the story of the birth of Jesus… Don’t travel so close to your due date. Honestly, I just accepted that these are fictional problems that may arise when humans and vampires try to mate. I never read it as Edward being a symbol for any kind of real boyfriend/partner. I read it as a human and a vampire. Buffy and Angel had strange relationship problems, too, but I never thought Joss Whedon was trying to preach to me through them.

Fan fiction. That’s a big one. Lots of people hate fan fiction. I’m not a big fan of it, myself. (No pun intended.) Now, I flipped through and read a few pages here, a few pages there of Fifty Shades of Grey. (Yes, I was going for the naughty bits.) I cannot comment on how much it may or may not still resemble Twilight fan fiction without reading the whole thing. I wouldn’t judge it based on the fact that it started as fan fiction, though. Not if it’s been rewritten enough to be its own story since then.

I don’t like having to sort through a lot of badly written fanfiction to find the good stuff, and I don’t care for the drama I hear about in fan fiction communities. I read good stuff when it’s recommended to me. (There was one some years back in which John Constantine ends up in the Harry Potter universe and becomes the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. It was very true to the spirits of the originals. If you’re familiar with both, let that sink in for a moment.) I don’t have a problem with the existence of fan fiction, though.  Mercedes Lackey explains the benefits of fan fiction much better than I ever could.

I enjoy roleplaying my characters when I play roleplaying games, and that’s a form of fan fiction. And I’ve enjoyed reading Peter David’s Star Trek: TNG novels. Especially the ones about Q! And, as Mercedes Lackey points out…

Well just as an example, go have a look at all the Star Trek, Star Wars, and game-based books there are out there. If you reduce things to principles, most of those are fanfiction—fanfiction commissioned by and given the blessing of the publisher, and produced by professionals, yes, but still fanfiction.

You don’t have to enjoy fan fiction, or the Twilight books, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exist. I think they have their place. It may not be a place that’s relevent in your life, and that’s fine. I can’t help, though, but think it’s an elitist attitude when I see and hear people say certain books should have never been written or published.

I’ve been known to argue that I don’t think certain works should have been done in a certain way, especially when it comes to adaptations in another medium. Even that depends on just how much was changed and why. I do not believe that anyone really can make an adequate movie adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen, but I’m able to enjoy the movie for what it is. The movie version of Starship Troopers, though? The actual approach to making the movie was so dismissive of Heinlein’s novel that I just don’t think it was fair to use his work at all. I think it would have been better to build something else on top of the basic idea and then say in interviews, “We drew some inspiration from guys like Heinlein when we wrote this story.” I do not actually fault the director for not wanting to finish the novel or thinking it was depressing, nor for wanting to take his movie in a a different direction because he couldn’t muster up enough “give a damn” for the book. I only fault him for passing the movie off as an adaptation of the book instead of really going his own way with it.

So what is my problem with Fifty Shades of Grey ? I don’t have a problem with it. The situation is exactly what I said it was… I’m kind of confused about myself when I compare my reaction to it to the reactions of other people I know. People I don’t think of as having poor reading skills, or being particularly naive about sex and relationships. Certainly not overly-religious, sheltered people. Admittedly, I don’t think any of them are part of the BDSM lifestyle, but neither am I. I’ve had friends who are, though, and so I’m not completely ignorant of it just because I’m not experienced with it.

A book has me taking a look at myself, wondering about my place among other people… about how and why we’re different and whether or not that has any significant bearing on how I relate to those people. (And I didn’t even really read the book!) I’m not arguing that it’s great literature, but isn’t this what books are supposed to do?

Broken Tools

Very often, my hands hurt.

Not just a little stiffness or ache that a little rest and hand massage will fix. No, this is a pain deep inside my hands. Or maybe on the surface. Perhaps both. That’s the trouble… it reaches a point where I can’t tell you exactly where it hurts, just that it does and I want it to stop! It’s a warm pain in the joints, like if you go for an MRI and they tell you the contrast may cause a warm sensation. That warm feeling can feel like a wave passing over and through you. I get a very similar warmth just lingering in my painful joints of my hands. That’s not even counting the feeling of hot needles stabbing at the joints.

None of that helps me get my work done. And there has been some trouble with doctors. Back and forth with general practitioners and specialists… a lot of boring, frustrating details. The good news is that some progress is being made! The bad news is that’s only been true for one day. Not much progress gets made in one day.

My hands are my tools. It’s likely my tools are broken. We’re looking at arthritis, but the question is which type. It’ll take some time to find that out, and possibly to get me to another doctor if it’s not a type my current doctor can treat. And even treatment can take some time to work. But I’m not ready to throw my broken tools out, or say I can’t do the job with them anymore.

I may work slower. On days that I can work, I may choose not to draw or crochet at all. There’s a life to be lived that is my source of inspiration for my creations! I don’t want to get so focused on the bucket I carry that I forget to go back to the well where I fill it.

I’m in the middle of crocheting things for Craftypodes, the Etsy shop my husband and I have opened together. (You can find Craftypodes on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.)

I have mushrooms to finish painting.

I’ve added some work to Positive Space. The above picture is one of the Kindle cases I’ve added. You can find more of those at Everyday Myth, including my Alice in Wonderland-inspired work.

The Kindle cases make me think of drawing on book covers.

There’s also a section in Positive Space now for products with the art from my black and white floral fabric There’s a part of me that really wants to take one of the notebooks and color the cover with markers.

I have not forgotten that I have a request to fill for some new gift tag designs this year, but one of the people who requested that has also requested a crocheted gift for her birthday and I need to fill that request first. Whether I can get around to everything else I want to do or not, requests from my sister’s children make me very happy!

Maybe my tools aren’t really broken, but they are worn down to the point where I need to be careful with them until they can be repaired. If only hands could be replaced like pencils and yarn! I know there’s something of value for me to carry out of this experience. I just haven’t found it yet. It may be something I don’t realize until years down the road when I say, “Remember when my hands hurt so much for a while…”

Enjoy what’s available now. I promise there will be more. I just can’t promise when.


Craftypodes Knitting and Crochet

I’ve written a couple of times before about my crochet projects, and if you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me mention “yarn mangling” before. I often get requests from people who are more than willing to pay if I’ll squeeze some time in to crochet for them. I’ve politely declined these requests except in a couple of cases. My mind has been set on the idea that I don’t have time to add crochet to my work.

The problem with that line of reasoning is that I’ve already been spending plenty of time crocheting! I make things for the joy of making them and then wonder what I should do with them. Obviously, I do have time for this!

Add to that my husband finding his own creative niche in knitting. Being a disabled Marine has taken a lot away from him and been a physically and mentally painful adjustment. I’m glad he’s found something he enjoys doing that we can share an interest in without stepping on each other’s toes. (He doesn’t really understand crochet, nor am I a knitter. We can share the general yarn crafting interest, but we don’t try to manage each other’s projects.) This is a situation just asking for us to start an Etsy shop, isn’t it?

So that’s what we did!

As of the end of last week, Craftypodes is open! We’re both working to get more into the shop, but it’s exciting to be able to make the announcement.

Why “Craftypodes”? This is a story for word geeks. I favor “octopodes” as the plural of “octopus”. (I did not make that up, I promise.) I also favor “platypodes” as a plural for “platypus”.  My husband, being a bit amused by the terms, has embraced them and it’s become something of a joke in our house. Things often get the “-podes” ending to pluralize them here at home when it makes the word fun to say. When every store name we could think up was already taken, we resorted to trying Craftypodes as a plural for “crafty people”.

The desperate silly name was, of course, the one that was not taken.