‘Tis the season…

•October 9, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Half of my newsfeeds are like “HALLOWEEN!”

Half of my newsfeeds are like “PUMPKIN SPICE!”


Ahhh, Autumn.

American Diagnosis

•October 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

–Photo courtesy of CityofAngels (Survivor 101)

So, my country consistently fails at addressing the need for humane, affordable, accessible, comprehensive treatment for people who are mentally ill.

Considering that the only time our lawmakers, journalists and other public figures can even bring themselves to discuss it is after a mass shooting, that’s not terribly surprising.

It is, however, quite frustrating for people like me who live with a mental illness (in my case, major depressive disorder). Every other day of the year, it’s “snap out of it” and “just be happy!” Until people start to worry about losing their AR-15s, then it’s “we have a problem with access to comprehensive therapy in this country…”

Yes, we do. But unless you intend to actually do something about it, I would certainly appreciate it if you’d shut up and leave us out of it.

Favorite Videos: “Swallow My Pride,” The Ramones

•September 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I bought my first Ramones album three weeks before Joey Ramone died. You could say it messed with my programming, along with a lot of the things were going on in the background of my life at the time. That first album — along with Leave Home — gave me an appropriate soundtrack for intolerable situations, pre-university and beyond.

There will always be days and people we would love to slam the door on but can’t. In the meantime, there are plenty of other days and people that swing the balance the other way. Turn the music up. If you’re going through Hell, keep going.

Needle in the Hay

•September 28, 2015 • 5 Comments

The plight of every person who crafts to deal with anxiety and stress: traveling out of town (inevitably stressful, you’re dealing with transport schedules, packing, food issues, homesickness), needing a distraction, and being bereft of anything resembling crafting supplies.

Strange Folk Festival and Yarn Geek Fibers saved part of my trip this past weekend, but when I sat down with my crochet hook and my new bundle of yarn, something just wasn’t clicking.

I needed knitting needles.

With no car, no money for STL’s anemic public transit, and no craft supply stores within walking distance, I improvised.

The 10″ bamboo skewers are from Jay’s International Market on South Grand. 89 cents for a hundred of them. 89 cents. The skewers are 3mm wide — making them a US 2 (UK 11). I thought I might need to sand one or two of them down to avoid rough edges, but having been designed for culinary use, they’re pretty smooth. Two days of knitting and I haven’t gotten a splinter yet.

Without any polymer clay, cute pencil erasers, or electrical tape, I ended up improvising the plastic end caps from a milk ring my friends left on their kitchen counter (safety check: do not melt plastics without proper safety precautions and make sure you know it’s safe for melting or burning).

So, upside: now I known I can improvise a pair of needles in a pinch! (Though I will be adding electrical tape to my “always carry” bag)

Has anyone else ever had to make or grab something on the run?

Strange Magic

•September 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Fall festival time has arrived! After almost a decade in O’Fallon, the Strange Folk Festival moved to downtown St. Louis this year. I ended up being in the city for a visit with family and — still twitchy from the six-hour train ride — walked from the Amtrak station to the Courtyard at the Mariott. The route took me past Union Station where the festival was taking place and, not being able to resist, I ankled over to have a look.

Fantastic vendors, lots of gorgeous pieces, the mall at Union Station was thick with families, clusters uni age crafters, grans and grandkids, the usual people drawn to this kind of esoteric craft space en masse. It was the busiest I’ve seen the mall in years.

I spotted Yarn Geek Fibers pretty much once I walked in (I have an eye for spotting yarn) and had me hooked from the first skein I picked up. The artist, Sarah Hollandsworth, names each blend of yarn after women in STEM with a note about their respective fields of study. I was particularly drawn to her Rocketeer fingering weight yarn and ended up grabbing a skein of Super Geek! Rainbow Dashing (Dark Grey). The label had a wonderful note: “Just for fun. We all need fun sometimes.”

Wire Wrapped Polymer Clay Signet Ring

•September 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Apologies for the long gaps between blog entries, folks. The turn from summer to autumn got a bit busy for this crafter and the people (and critters) around her. Several weeks ago, I decided to do some more wire wrapping and was inspired to try and create a signet ring with polymer clay. (Read more…)

Witchy Woman Knit Shrug

•September 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Moving house meant moving all of my craft supplies with me (specifically seven miles southwest). Moving supplies meant reorganizing and finding new ways to store all of them. Decorative boxes took care of the jewelry and paint supplies. Unfortunately my trunk could only fit so many balls of yarn and scrap fabric. Fortunately, there are lots of fun ways to offload balls of yarn. (Read more…)


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