This Word – I Do Not Think it Means What You Think it Means


This has been a word that is used repeatedly over the past three weeks, primarily in my improv classes, but at least once in every facet of my day-to-day, both training and at home.  “Relax your neck, relax your shoulders, relax your spine, relax your mind.”  When you are learning to move with grace and efficiency, every bit of tension becomes obvious.  And, as things get harder, more of our bodies and minds tense.  I can do three pulls up, and then I’m told to relax my ribs, and my neck, because I’m straining through those parts of my body as though lifting them higher internally will raise my entire body to the bar.  During improv, if I hold emotional or physical tension, I cannot give in fully to the graphics being dolled out to us.  There is too much internal clatter.

The idea of relaxing so much of my body – you would think that would help me feel at ease elsewhere; that I would exist in a floating state as I leave the classes.  Instead, I feel drained.

I want to relax.  Lately, I have been feeling like a ball of rubberbands – each idea or task stretched tightly around another, and if you fumble at all, I’ll go bouncing around the room.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I come running home between classes to make dinner for the youngster.  I’m out late for training, and when I return I’m exhausted, starving, and unable to sleep.  My mornings are either spent at the coffee shop, or now doing marketing research for my other job.

I desperately need time to myself, and find myself snagging minutes of it whenever possible.  For instance, this week, I have taken short breaks while doing my research and homework to begin knitting something new.  (The trapeze boots have been finished, and the pattern typed – on to the testers!).



This business of relaxing – it’s awfully hard!

Pink and Purple

I have been trying to tell myself to work on the big things.  The little things are not difficult and do not require much time (although, granted, I do need more little things than big things).  The big things are not things to procrastinate.  Especially the big things that require a lot of waiting, like paint drying.

One corner of my studio has become the “painting”  corner.  The tarp is semi-permanent, and there has been a steady rotation of wings needing to be painted.  Unfortunately, the wings I need are all of the pink and purple variety, and I am really starting to resent little girls’ obsession with those two colors.  You could say my biggest loss from sales comes from the lack of remaining pink and purple wings.  It’s kind of a bummer to realize that this is truth.  So, I am trying to preempt that by having on hand dozens and dozens of pink and purple wings.

While batches were trying, I was steadily making roses and pompoms, and at least that is something I can do while talking/playing games/watching movies with the family, so we all are satisfied with “quality time”.

On the subject of drying, I have also been felting and blocking top hats and other felted goodies:

It has been getting increasingly difficult to find appropriate articles of clothing to throw into the washer with finished knitted items.  I had to take a shower just to have a “dirty” towel to toss in with them.  Not that I wouldn’t have taken a shower otherwise.  Maybe.

Moving on.

Tomorrow, a friend is coming over to help in any area she can.  I am handing her the bolts of sparkly fabric for the “Celeste” wings and the template and having her cut for the rest of the day while I sew.  Either that or putting her to work making wands and hair clips while I work on top hats and wings.  In any case, tomorrow will be a big crafting day and I look forward to showing you what I have finished.

I feel like I’m a little ahead.  Enough so that I am making dinner for the family before the bolt of lightening strikes me down again.

Because I’m Tired

In no particular order:

  • The arrival of an out of print game – Civilization – has prompted the neglect of sleep this past week.  We tell ourselves that we will only play a few rounds, and pretty soon the game is almost over and a bottle of wine has gone missing.
  • Also neglected have been the scale mail gauntlets and the Tetris afghan.
  • To get me through the tedium of weaving in ends, I began watching Dance Academy.
  • And I wonder to myself why Australian TV is so much better than ours.
  • Their soap operas are pretty cool too.
  • Watching a show about a teenage dance school has given me quite the itch to dance.
  • As part of reconciliation for allowing our lives to become routinous and kind of boring (I know), Odin independently arranged a night out.
  • I don’t have a choice.
  • We’re going Salsa dancing at Alhambra.
  • Even though I”m wicked tired and slightly hung over.
  • Apparently, the missing bottle of wine was consumed mostly by me.
  • I plead the fifth.
  • Alhambra is 1.5 hrs on the CTA.  1.5 hrs that I should be knitting the projects I have been neglecting.  But the scale maille is not good travel knitting.  And the afghan is far to big for the train.  And the snarky cardi needs blocking.
  • So I suppose this means I get to start something new?

Summer Faeries

This past weekend, I attended the World of Faeries festival in South Elgin, Ill.  This was my first year attending, and I did not know what to expect.  It was a pleasant break from my current routine.

Ellette proved to be a wonderful help this weekend.  She became very knowledgable about the craft and how to sell the wings.  Her eyes lit up with excitement when she sold a pair and I gave her a commission.  She has been learning about working and earning money.

When she grew bored of helping, she laid down on the tarp to keep her white dress as clean as possible and watched the faeries walking by.

Jeremiah Wiggins – Faery Ambassador

There was a Green Man Parade:

A raven:

And falconry:

There was much carousing and music.  Plenty of faerie folk to talk to, and some humans new to the faerie realm.

Sunday morning, I arrived back at the site to begin setting up, and around 9:30, experienced a downpour.

The vendors and performers all hoped it would be over quickly, and that the sun would come out to dry everything and bring the faeries – because, you know, faeries can’t fly in the rain.  The kids, on the other hand, kicked off their shoes and went dancing in the puddles.

And by 10:30 the storm had passed and the sun started coming out.  The lanes began to dry and the patrons arrived.

Half an hour before our official close, clouds rolled in and covered the sun.  Someone looked at a radar reading on their phone and passed it around – a heavy thunderstorm headed our way.  Everyone broke down their tents quickly, loaded their cars, and started pulling away just as the rain started falling.  Folks who were ready to leave stayed out in the rain to help others.  Everyone departed, and the site was abandoned.  The only sign that there had been a faery gathering was the tamped down ring of grass where our little village had stood.

A Little Bit Random Monday

I have many new photos to show you, since this weekend I was briefly permitted to carry my camera, since I wasn’t actually working.  Not that I am going to be giving you photos of the faire itself.  I somehow ended up too busy to snap them.

Since a variety of things have taken place this weekend, it seems only fitting that it is followed up by a random post.

  • Saturday, I worked a block party in the city.  It was fun.  The hosts were very nice and accomodating, and children were all well behaved and respectful.  I even learned a new face!
  • Yep, it’s Spongebob.  Before I could finish the detail, the fire truck showed up, and the younger was too eager to play.
  • Right after this event, I hopped in the car, drove north, and ended up at the fair.  I had so much fun walking around, not working!
  • Ellette had fun too!
  • We found this dress at a thrift store.  For $6!!
  • The top hat is one of mine, that is now adorning the happy head of my boss’s wife.
  • Ellette is very proud of her new mug.
  • And I had dozens more top hats to make.  I just received a shipment of headbands.  The 14 or so hats I had drying on my table have been mostly adorned, need to be sewn in place and attached to the headband.
  • I am excited for top hats.
  • Yet they are still driving me bonkers!

  • This is the chess piece for the wonderland fashion show this fall.  This is the queen, and will be on a hat of some sort for the show.  I have yet to see the final product.
  • Just after I finished the queen, I mapped out many of the other chess pieces, which will be turned in to the complete game board eventually.
  • That is – if I ever get time.
  • Speaking of game boards, I blocked the pieces for the Catan board, but didn’t like the result.  I am going to start over.
  • I know, it sucks.
  • But I am a perfectionist.
  • Since Bristol started, my house has been a massive dusty mess.  I am going to spend some quality time with Mop and Broom this week and try to clean.
  • I say try, I mean try.  I never seem to get it right.
  • I stopped complaining about the mess and why doesn’t anyone help me clean when I realized that the majority of the mess is my craft stuff, strewn about the house.  Oops.
  • I will figure it out one day.
  • I actually have a quite lengthy list of what needs to be accomplished this week, and deep down I know I will only cross off two or three things by Friday.
  • But sitting here writing isn’t helping me work.


Somebody help me.  I don’t think my captors are listening.  This is an SOS from a little, green, tormented pixie.

They have me surrounded.  They are hiding behind the doors, under the tables – even inbetween the couch cushions!  They are sneaky things, they are.

And, for the love of cupcakes, they know how to torment a girl.

It started innocently enough.  I received orders for various knitted items.  First, a few mushrooms and a 6″ chess piece.  Then, it escalated beyond control.  My dining room table is littered with wool top hats.

That’s right, wool.  Oh, the sheep are out to get me.  They’re pretty sly.  They inflict me with a crazy passion for their fuzzy fleece, and then they through 110* temps at me.  Try knitting when the fibers felt through your sweaty fingers!

And, even though knitting in this temperature is torture enough, I keep getting orders for more wool items!  And the sheep are throwing their woolly offspring at me!  Balls of yarn are falling of the shelves, rolling out of my closet, hiding in my laundry basket.  They want to tempt me with their colorful softness, luring me with inspiration.

Somehow, I can’t seem to stop.  I spend my spare hours sitting in front of a fan, drinking ice water, and trying to knit in stages.  Retreating to air conditioned coffeeshops and tempted to move into the flooded laundry room just so the fiber won’t stick to my digits.

Somebody, please!!  I am begging you!  Take the wool away.  Get it out!  Geez, take the cotton and the silk too!  Don’t leave me anything that will tempt me!  Please, tell the sheep to leave me alone!

And then bring it all back again when the weather hits 60* this fall.

Just A Weekend

I have searched the house ruthlessly for the camera, and discovered not too long ago that Odin had taken it to work with him.  This is my frustration.

Ellette and I are packing up for the weekend.  We are staying at Rose’s house with other folks, because Rose lives 15 minutes from the Renaissance Faire site.  And, pray tell, why should one wake up at 6am when one could wake up at 7?  We are putting together our costumes, accessories, necessary equipment, food for the weekend, changes of clothing, child occupying devices, yarn, games, and wine.  We are almost finished.

Packing like this – for two days in which we will be housed in the comfort of someone’s home – makes me feel a tad foolish.  How much could one person need?  Then I remember I am packing food for 3 people, games for the dozen of us that will be at the house, two sets of costumes (which, truth be told, I do not want to spend any more time in than necessary – you have to be mental to want to be strapped in to a heavy velveteen bodice in 95* heat for more than 6 hours – or maybe at all!), two changes of clothes (one for self, one for munchkin), pajamas, soap (because we are sweaty and dusty by the end of the day, and nobody wants that in their house), and nobody wants a bored 6 year old.  Or a yarnless pixie.  Heads could roll.

Writing this just reminded me that I haven’t actually packed my toiletries or herbal first aid kit yet.  Be right back.

Last weekend, I spilled blue dye on the sleeve of my not-chemise.  I was looking to replace it anyway, so on Monday, Odin and I went to Vogue Fabrics to find appropriate fabric.  This afternoon, I finally got around to sewing up a chemise (which I had wanted to take a photo of for you, but Odin has the camera!).  I think it is one of my finest pieces of sewing yet, since I actually followed the instructions instead of looking at the pattern and improvising.  It may help that no buttons or zippers were involved this time.

So, chances are I will be MIA for the weekend.  I have several ideas for next week’s topics, including a search for UFOs and some wonderful photos of the DaVinci wings.  Keep checking in!


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