Cro-Crazy

A couple years ago, I started doing an epic stash bust in preparation for my adventure.  I was determined to par down my stash to what I actually wanted, needed, realistically would use.  (This purge incited a panic attack in some of my yarn-hoarding cohorts, who quickly became the instigators in the yarn stores.  Having one who works for a dyer sure didn’t aide in this endeavor, either.)

Upon our arrival in Colorado, I unpacked several boxes of yarn, and one box of UFOs.  The UFOs sadly remain relatively untouched.  And, as my knitting time remains somewhat sparse, opening any of the other boxes has been a rare occurrence.  What I have managed to make has all been pulled from stash and was primarily destined for friends.  Two of those projects are still on the needles, but I’ve reached an “I’m too bored to go on” state with them.

And then, I found this crochet-a-long that captured my attention and I have been hooked (ba-dum-ching!)  Sorry, that was a terrible, yet irresistible, pun.

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I keep going around and around, curious about the next color change and texture.  I really ought to be working on the two projects I have to ship out for friends.  I really should.

Let me just pour another tot of whiskey, sit in the sunshine, and get right on that.

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Resolution #1: Use it or Lose it

With all of the hustle and bustle prepping for the holidays, then post-crazy decompress, my house is not as orderly as I try to keep it.  Now, I am a craftaholic.  My yarn tends to explode randomly, I have stray bits of fabric spread all over, sometimes there are buttons, bells, ribbon, and other odd things left on the dining room table, or coffee table, or in bags littering the foyer.

My Confession: It takes a lot of work for me to even pretend to be clean.  I am a cluttering crafter to the core.

Yet, for some reason, I desire a clean and orderly house more than anything.  Maybe it’s the phase of life I am in.  Maybe it’s because my house is bigger than I alone can manage and I feel overwhelmed.  I’m not sure, exactly, but I realized last night during my meltdown that I really need to clear my head by cleaning my house.

Cleaning has been difficult with the shoulder injury, but there is still quite a bit that I am capable of doing.  And that starts with the purge.

By the end of this year, I am going to reassess my craft supply situation.  Anything that predates January 1st, 2014 and has not been designated for an already-in-progress craft will be donated. 

This excludes yarn, for which the resolution remains that I need to par it down to the single dresser.  At the end of 2014, I will reassess that situation and get rid of everything that does not have a definite project designation or is not enough for an actual project.

This begins tonight, where I resolve to blast the music, crank up the heat (my apartment is notoriously chilly) and work my butt off trying to purge and clean and unclutter my brain.

Wish me luck!

One Fish Two Fish

The business of the past few weeks left me with an intense need to craft.  I clocked out of work, got home, and the rest of the night was consumed by scissors, fiber, sewing machines, and expletives.

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Water soluble stabilizer that I have had in my craft area for several months now, combined with:

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Pounds (about 8-10 pounds, I kid you not) of tangled fiber.  Basically, I received a shopping bag of fiber and told that if I wanted to go through the trouble of untangling everything, the yarn was all mine.  At this time, I had an idea for a project that this sort of gift was perfect for.  I had no desire to untangle it, I merely sandwiched a bunch of it in the stabilizer and added a bajillion pins (yes, that is a mathematically correct phrase.)

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I’m still picking pins off the floor and have warned my housemates against walking around barefoot.

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I took it over to the sewing machine and spent the next three hours stitching, and swearing, and slapping the table, and cleaning the machine, and fixing the thread, and retucking and pinning, and swearing some more before bringing out the bottle of whiskey and glaring at the mass of tangled yarn and thread.  I am lucky to have roommates who happen to find my moods and crafty notions amusing, so they poured the whiskey and watched the project progress, not minding that over time the volume and creativeness of my cursing increased.

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Once the main stitching was done, I headed to my fabric stash .  I have had this bolt of fabric for a few years now – it was a freebie from a neighbor.  I find it charming, yet too gaudy to really do anything with.  I love the images of the koi and lotus though, so I wanted to utilize them in my project.

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There were even seahorse!

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The whole thing then took a bath in warm water to get rid of the stabilizer and spent the next few days hanging over whatever I could drape it over without it being in the way.  It was so thick – too thick probably for the project really – it took ages to dry.

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And then it took a while to photograph, but here it is! Thanks to Ellette, I have some modeled shots.

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This makes the fiber look more brown than blue.  I wanted it to look like the shifting waters of a stream.

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There are different sized koi, a couple of seahorses, and a few lotuses hanging out as well.

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It measures about nine feet and weighs a pound or two.  It needs another warm bath to get rid of the last bit of stabilizer residue, but after that it should be beautiful.

And now that the weather is in the 80s, it will really come in handy (she says with just a hint of sarcasm.)

Things I Am Thankful For…

  1. My family – without whose craziness I would not be the person I am today.
  2. My daughter – who is a bubbly ray of sunshine at all times of day, is growing up to say the darnedest things, and who is constantly surprising.  I am thoroughly enjoying watching her grow up; if a little bittersweet that I am becoming less and less of a direct role in shaping that growth.
  3. Odin, because it’s so hard to find someone as crazy, serious, and ambitious as I am; who uses reason and logic but can understand (or try to) the need for art and performance and chaos.
  4. Coffee, for waking the world up, giving me a job, and teaching me so much about other cultures, geography, science, and myself.  It was a happenstance that I entered the coffee industry, but I have enjoyed the experiences I had.  In 10 days, I will be leaving the coffee industry for more stable employment, which I feel is necessary at this stage in my life and will be fraught with it’s own challenges and opportunities.
  5. Crafters.  I wanted to say Knitters, but I stopped myself.  Most individuals in the crafting world, while crafting is mostly a solitary activity, enjoy the community that builds around us.  Upon moving to the Chicagoland area, my first goal was to find a knit night or craft night because I knew that, while it may be difficult to make friends on the street, or at work, or by chance, here was a community already established and waiting with open arms to welcome more in.  All I had to do was sit down with my sewing or knitting and I would instantly be part of the group.  And likewise, when I travel, I know that I have friends-to-be in every yarn store.  The phrase “That’s so nice, did you make that?” instantly inspires conversation and even friendships – and I can’t tell you how many people I have met and am still in contact with for whom that phrase was the ice breaker.
  6. Our cat, for being the comic relief in our family.

What are you thankful for?

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