Power Up!

So the last few days I’ve been without my computer because my power chord decided it didn’t want to work anymore (of course, this happens just as my coverage ends). At least, I hoped it was the power chord, so I ordered a new one that arrived a little bit ago and lo and behold! The laptop can once again charge so hopefully that’s the last of that because I really do not like being without my laptop. A phone or tablet are all well and good, but everything is on my laptop, patterns included, and it’s just much easier for me to navigate things on it than on my phone or tablet.

I did a lot of reading the last few days, mostly fanfics but none that are complete because I fell into the black hole that is Evil Author Day where authors post stuff they’re working on as a big ol’ tease, basically. I dislike reading works in progress on the whole, but there are a couple of authors where I just can’t help myself.

Something else I’ve done a bit of is knitting, as you can see. I’ve gotten a little further along on my blanket and so far I’m liking the look of it. I’m thinking random stripes that do not coordinate with the grey/teal, what do you think?

Aside from working on my blanket, I’ve also cast on a pair of socks because I wanted to be able to have something small on my needles for those times where I can’t handle having the weight of a blanket on me. No pattern in mind for these, either, just plain as plain can be.

They’re toe-up socks as you can see, mostly because that’s my preferred method of knitting them, especially when I don’t know exactly how much yarn I have (this yarn was gifted to me, already partially used). Do you knit socks and if so, what’s your go-to method for making them and why?

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Happy Accidents

Happy Accidents

When I was a kid I absolutely loved watching Bob Ross on PBS. If you’ve never seen him, Bob Ross is an oil painter who did televised tutorials for years. He would drop little nuggets of wisdom while he created absolutely gorgeous landscapes.

One of his favorite pieces of advice was to always remember that accidents were just opportunities to create little details in the paintings that bring it to life. Happy little clouds or trees that give the painting depth and character when you least expected it.

I would watch his show any chance I got, and recently I was pretty stoked to find they had episodes on Netflix. I always thought it would be really cool to follow along with his tutorial but never actually thought I could.


My very first painting

When it comes to the left brain/right brain battle I am definitely left brained. I like rules and structure, painting seemed way too artistic for me. I love to write, I love to do needlework. I like patterns and rules.

But man, I really wanted to be Bob Ross!

A couple of summers ago I was invited to a bachelorette party, we were going to be doing one of those wine and paint parties that have sprung up everywhere. I won’t lie, I was not looking forward to it. The day of the party I figured I would make a fool of myself, but I was willing in the name of friendship to go.

What I found was that I actually had a lot of fun. Even in the most artistic endeavor, there are rules and structure if you know where to look. Acrylic painting follows patterns, you have to layer the paint, use the rules of the color wheel to create the shades you want. And luckily, it’s a really forgiving medium!


Since that party I’ve taken a couple of classes at local art stores, I’ve pushed my other friends to go with me to more wine and painting classes, and I have done a ton of youtube tutorials.

It’s amazing what you can find on there!

Dustin has even been game to go with me and it’s been a fun bonding experience for us to see how the same tutorial leads to such different pictures.

I’ve got a couple of canvases that are actually pretty terrible. But I keep them because they show me how much I’ve learned and how far I’ve progressed. And I even have a couple of my favorites hanging up around our house. Reminding me that we’re only limited by our own fears of failure.


One of my favorite’s

I’ve been working on translating that lesson into more areas of my life. Currently I’m working my way through finishing first e-book. It’s the story of our infertility journey and that has been a labor of love and sadness for the last couple of years.

My blog, Little Blog on the Homestead has been on the back burner the last year. And I’m pretty excited to start transitioning it all to Crazy Lovely Life. Homesteading is something I am still passionate about, but when I started blogging I was still living pretty exclusively in the Left Brain world.

Crazy Lovely Life will be more free. I’ll be exploring more aspects of our life there and I can’t wait to share that with my followers, and find new ones too! When I turned 30 in September I decided that this was going to be a good year. And I’ve been working to make that a reality.


Our Date Night Paintings

Painting has brought new joy and freedom and creativity into my life in a way I was least expecting it. It was one of life’s Happy Accidents that Bob Ross was pointing out to me all those years ago.

If you’d like to follow along with my journey, see lots of my attempts at painting, and way too many selfies as I complete my 30 by 31 list I hope you’ll follow me on Instagram. If you’ve also had to deal with the heartache of infertility please come join The Infertile Life on Facebook for some wonderfully supportive ladies who’ve all been there.

Life is what we make of it, and sometimes what can seem like an irreversible mistake or obstacle can actually be the beginning of something truly lovely.


Just a Few of my Paintings

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I’ll Take a Break for 100, Alex

My hot water bottle is my friend today to battle cramps. Yep, it’s that time again (which also explains why I’ve been flaring this week on top of everything).

I did manage a little bit of knitting, though. Not much, but at least I’ve changed colors.

Slow but steady wins the race, right? I’m hoping to get a little more done over the next few days, lack of spoons notwithstanding. After all, the Olympics are on so it’s a good time to sit and knit if you’re able. I’m looking forward to watching curling, figure skating, speed skating, and some of the skiing, too, though I’ll keep the channel open and watch whatever. I’m not a huge sports person at all (far from the contrary, actually) but I do like the Olympics, both Winter and Summer.

Are you watching the Olympics? What is your favorite event?

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All About the Books

My name is Tuesday, and I write fantasy fiction as Mary E. Twomey, and romance as Tuesday Embers. I’m always looking for fun crafts to do while I unwind at night, so when I came across these little mini book ornaments, I knew I had to figure out how to make them myself. This DIY video was super easy, and once I got the hang of them, I was able to make them while I watched TV with my guy in the evening after we put the kids down. The supplies were minimal, and it was basically an origami project that didn’t get too complicated after the first couple tries. You can find the tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-XcyV9rwwY I made them into my book covers, so I could have something fun to look at all year, but you can choose whatever book makes you happy.

This mini book is Undraland. It’s book one in a 9-part fantasy series, which is based in Scandinavian folklore. You can download book one for FREE here today: http://smarturl.it/undraland

Right now, I’m working on an 11-part series that’s based in French folklore. It starts with “Ugly Girl”, which was inspired by the Ugly Duckling. You can start the series here: http://smarturl.it/uglygirl

I’m currently reading “Habit” by Charles Duhigg, and am loving it. I’m a huge nerd, and get super into marketing studies. It’s got a huge section on the marketing behind Febreze and Pepsodent, so I’m in my happy place learning about the ins and outs of that journey.  

My favorite book is the Art of War, which I re-read every year. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and rode the Twilight train until the wheels fell off. I’ll read anything by Cassandra Clare or Richelle Mead, as well.

You can browse any of my 33 books at www.maryetwomey.com or at www.tuesdayembers.com

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What is the last thing you want to have happen when you’re already in pain? That’s right, you don’t want to add an injury, too. Except that’s exactly what happened this week when I rolled my ankle bad enough to also wrench my hip (yep, same one that has been giving me issues) as well as my lower back. I’ve spent most of this week laid up in bed, icing various body parts and generally taking it very easy. Not what I had planned for my week, but hey, needs must.

Thankfully, my ankle is doing better, as is my lower back. My hip is being a little slower to heal up, unfortunately – though not unexpectedly.

In an effort to help my hip and of course the rest of me, I figured I’d do some yoga today since there’s finally space for it. Last year I got a new yoga mat since Arwen destroyed my old one not long before she passed away (sheesh, have I really not done yoga in that long? 😦 I miss my little kitty). I put it somewhere safe for while we cleaned and made room. So safe that now I can’t find the bloody thing! So yeah, I need to go hunting for my yoga mat before I can do anything because I really need the cushioning it provides (I’ve tried yoga on our floor without a mat and it doesn’t work well for my body).

Speaking of yoga, Paardje, I looked at the YouTube channel you suggested. It looks like it might work well for me, though I only had about five minutes to check it out this morning. Anyway, thanks for pointing her channel out to me, I’m looking forward to giving her workouts a try.


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R.L. Merrill’s world of Rock ‘n’ Romance

]Thank you Karin for having me on the blog today! My name is R.L. Merrill and I write romance of just about any variety all infused with a healthy dose of love, hope and rock ‘n’ roll. I’m a huge music fanatic. I was invited on the blog today to talk about my books and how craftiness fits into my life.

I’m surrounded by art, actually. My husband likes to paint, my grandmother paints, my daughter likes to draw, my mother is a quilter… And my favorite thing to do when we travel is buy from local artists. I collect painted skulls and Dia De Los Muertos artwork. Here are some pictures of my favorite pieces.



















I like to collaborate with artists on my books as well. When I went to New Orleans, I found one of my favorite artists ever, Clay Davis. You can find his work at www.facebook.com/artbyclaydavis. When I wrote my first published novel Haunted, I included Clay’s art in the story and we’ve been friends ever since. I also met artist Regan Kubecek at www.facebook.com/artbyregankubecek  and I’ve collaborated with her on images of my girls from my novels. She’s even drawn three of my covers now: Minded, El Corazón Sabe, and Father F’in’ Christmas. Regan is based out of Australia and I hope to get to meet her someday!

My most recent release, Hurricane Reese, is the story of how one ornery octogenarian, with wayward balls, plays accidental cupid to the gay odd couple. Reese is a Tony award-winning musician who comes home to care for his grandfather who suffers from Alzheimer’s. In the process, he falls in love with the caregiver he’d hired to live with his grandfather while he was on tour. They’ve got lots of struggles to overcome before finding their happily ever after, but in the meantime some beautiful music gets made. I’d love to share an ebook with one of Karin’s readers. If you’d like to leave a comment on my page at www.facebook.com/rowritesrocknromance and show me some of your arts and crafts! I’ll choose a winner in 48 hours and announce it on my page. Then you’ll just need to message me if you’re the winner! Easy Peasy!

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Hurricane Reese, you can find it at these retailers:

Dreamspinner Press: https://goo.gl/bcSbXi

Amazon: https://goo.gl/3FTGYR

To find more of my books, you can follow me on Amazon: https://goo.gl/G7Owdm

As for what I’m reading right now, I’m currently reading Sandman by Danielle James (https://www.amazon.com/Sandman-Forbidden-Love-II-Book-ebook/dp/B079C6LXGK/),listening to Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (https://www.amazon.com/Simon-vs-Homo-Sapiens-Agenda/dp/B00TYNL0MQ/ on Audible, and currently jamming to one of my many playlists on Spotify. You can follow me to find lists for my books as well, including Hurricane Reese (https://open.spotify.com/user/rlmerrillauthor/playlist/79BaPjDRZXUwVr5tPI9FNC. I read just about everything from all sorts of romance to thrillers, true crime, and memoir. One of my favorite series about a crafter is the Bennie Harper series from Earlene Fowler. If you haven’t read them and you dig cozy mysteries, check them out!

Thanks for joining me today. I’d love to stay in touch! Sign up for my newsletter at www.rlmerrillauthor.com, friend me on Facebook or follow me on www.twitter.com/rlmerrillauthor.

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Today isn’t a very good day as far as pain levels go. For some reason (I swear someone’s playing with my voodoo doll again) the pain keeps shifting between my hips and my head, bouncing to a few other places in between. Not fun. Also not conducive to getting stuff done, though I’ve tried.

Flu season is in full swing and so far we’ve managed to avoid it *knocks on wood*, but we have come in contact with people who weren’t so lucky so I’m keeping everything crossed we don’t end up sick. I even went so far as to make Elderberry Syrup again, and I am giving fermented honey garlic a shot. We’ll see how I handle that last one, never tried it before and while I do love garlic the idea of eating it by the clove is iffy to me. Have you ever tried it?

I really need to start doing yoga again, I think. Good thing is that we’re finally getting to a point where I’ll have the space to pick it up again, if barely. The only problem is, I’m not sure what good beginner videos are available. I can’t afford to go to a class which would be my preferred way of easing back into it, so I’m stuck with videos (please do not suggest the library, it isn’t an option either). For some reason, I have a harder time following along with video workouts, not sure why. What’s your favorite yoga video? Or for that matter Tai chi or Qigong.


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