Well, through all the mad-insane-crazy (yes, I needed ALL the adjectives, precious) creating I’ve been doing lately, I’ve come up with a new venture. In my frantic quest for kitten-proof bags for my knitting and spinning projects, I discovered that probably the best way to get exactly what I wanted was…to make my own! I’ve become a little bit obsessed, which made me start thinking, which made me start researching, which gave me a whole slew of ideas…
I’ve re-opened my Etsy store, under a new name – Bent Needle Designs. The pics are my samples/prototypes of bags that either are or will eventually be in the shop. I love modern fabric prints and high quality materials – two things I rarely find combined in project bags (though there are a couple lovely makers out there that I love). I have a lot to learn about having a business, but right now I’m having a lot of fun.
Eventually I hope to offer things other than just project bags, but for now I have a million ideas floating around in my head for new bags and new designs, and there are so many lovely new fabric lines coming out right now! To celebrate both spring and the grand opening of the store, there is free domestic shipping (discounted international) for the month of April. I hope you’ll pop over and have a look, and use code BLOGLOVE for an extra 10% off.
And not much else. Not much else that bears writing about, anyway. Job situation for me and the other half is not good right now, so I’ve been knitting like the wind to save my sanity. It’s working…mostly. Also been doing some spinning, since I got a gift of a spinning class at my LYS for my birthday. After years of spinning on a spindle, I get to play with a wheel and I’m in love. Now I just need to figure out how to fund one of these (just think of all the beautiful ways you could finish that!). Oops…back to the job thing again. So lets talk about the knitting…
Finished a pair of socks for the February SKA challenge on Ravelry:
This top was also finished, though after blocking it took a turn for the worse and is now in time-out until I actually want to wear it, at which time some mods and steam blocking will be required. I’ve decided that I don’t get along with cotton blend yarns. Meh. Oh, the pattern is “Gemini.”
This is yarn I spun 4 years ago (first attempt at chain-plying, so it was a bit uneven) that has sat sadly in my stash waiting for the right project to come along to make its 100 yards of squishiness shine. I finally found it.
And then these projects are all in progress (links on my Rav page and will be blogged properly when finished).
Those last socks were nearly destroyed a few days ago, when Alfred dug them out of my knitting bag (which was ON my craft table, UNDER some magazines) and had a heyday with it. Chewed through the yarn in two places and utterly, completely destroyed the needles – which were, of course, the only ones I can knit socks on due to my super-loose gauge. He doesn’t realize how close he came to being made into socks himself. Grrrr. Thankfully the sock itself was untouched.
So yes. Knitting, and not much else.
Just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try, try, try
Gotta get up and try.
There have been a lot of financial stresses in my life lately, and today while standing in the kitchen wondering what on earth would sit well on my flu-rampaged stomach the thought came to me (not for the first time), of how nice it would be to just eliminate money all together.
Fair warning: I am still somewhat in the grip of aforementioned flu and will not be held responsible for my vocabulary or the lack of it in this post. I had to try four times before I could properly spell “eliminating” in the title.
You would either have to be a complete and total bum, or someone incredibly motivated, strong, and intelligent. I’m just imagining how completely lovely it would be to 1) have everything I paid for (i.e., not owe rent OR a mortgage every month), 2) skilled enough to provide most of my own food, 3) know enough otherwise skilled people to trade for other necessities, and 4) not be dependant on big companies for things like electricity and internet (electricity = solar, internet = ??).I can’t imagine how much WORK that would all be. I can only begin to imagine it, and even just that brings me back down to earth with a hard bump, because I was just looking in my kitchen cabinets complaining to myself about how long it would take to make some rice as opposed to ordering a pizza. I haven’t always been like that. When I was growing up it was enforced, not by my choice, but I can see now that eating at least from pantry stores if not straight from our own garden saved us a good deal of money and was healthier for us as well.
I think what I really want (not most want, but it’s high up on the list) is to be as self-sufficient as I can possibly be. I hate depending on anyone else and I especially hate being essentially held captive to high bills on freaking everything because, well, that’s our standard of living and there’s only one company that provides that service to this particular area. Grrrr.
I realize this is a pipe dream that is mostly born of frustration. I wouldn’t really want to cut myself completely off from the world (I’d go insane worrying about what the hell was going on). It would all have to come back down to that ever-elusive state of being – balance. Harmony, beauty, balance. Also when it comes right down to it, I don’t want to spend all of my time being a farmer, even though yes, I love being on the land, listening to the plants and the trees. My first love is helping people, and I want to continue to pursue that through medical avenues. But that in itself would work well in a sustainable-style life.
The problem being how much goddamn money it takes to get there in the first place. It feel like a brutal merry-go-round that I can’t even try to win for already losing.
Okay, okay. I give in. After pouting for a month and a half over not finishing my 2012 GoodReads challenge of 75 books, I’ve given in to the urge to try again. Lowered the goal a bit this time, I’ll try for 52 books. One a week. I’m a little behind at present but I think I’ll catch up. I will still NOT be counting the many magazines I read, which I think is probably why I didn’t make the 75 books, but eh. I have a huge list of to-read books, only a few of which are listed on my GoodReads profile (does one ever run out of books to read?).
I think I might have found my focus for this year: simplification.
Consolidating and reducing bills, reducing environmental footprint, and turning my outside-of-work interests into something profitable (not just something I spend all my spare money on). Been thinking a lot on that one. So between knitting, sewing, hiking, and gardening…well, all those things have one common thread – they all demand lots of photographs. Maybe I’m the only one that can make that connection, but there it is. I’ve been addicted to taking photos since I was a teenager (maybe before, but that was when someone gave me a digital camera and suddenly I could take as many pictures as my little heart desired). I’m still very much an amateur, but I have a few photos I’ve taken that inspire me and I hope share my love of beauty and the earth with others.
That said, I’ve opened a Redbubble shop. Bent Needle Photography will be slowly updated as I have more shots I think are print-worthy. Photos are available on greeting cards/postcards, and as photographic or canvas prints. While eventually I hope to have a stock of professionally printed photos in a gallery setup, Redbubble is an easy and low-cost outlay and satisfied my need to do something now.
In other news, I’ve been knitting as though my life depended on it. At least my sanity does, at this point.
There will be no garden for me this year. I am beyond sad and it’s really depressing me. The community garden will not work out, last year it was really hard to keep it up due to it being a bit out of the way and the work schedule just made it harder. This year it is REALLY out of the way and the work schedule looks even worse.
I am just…really sad. Really, really sad.
It was very gray and rainy today. The pictures aren’t great, but they were taking whilst walking and trying to look inconspicuous. I really like living so close to the Greenway here, it’s probably the best place we’ve lived for having an escape (well, a semi-escape) from the city noise. I should have gone for a walk when there was still snow on the ground, it would have been a lot prettier!
I seem to have needed more than usual this month. I apologize for the lack of posts, but honestly I haven’t been doing much worth telling, just trying to stay afloat. For me that means lots of “turtle time,” lots of time spent trying to make things. More on those projects later, but for now just a few pictures.