My name is Pamela and when Karin asked me to be a guest blogger on crafty subjects, it made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve done much crafting. Unfortunately it did not make me jump up and start a new project.
In my day job, I ghostwrite business non-fiction. It’s a job I really love, helping people who are not word-ly inclined to tell the stories that are important to them. I also have two blogs, one about health and one that is considerably less well defined.
While non-fiction story telling is important, fiction is my first and most abiding love. We traveled a lot when I was growing up and books were friends that could come with me and never change. I’m supposed to share my favorite book, but in all honesty, I have never successfully narrowed it down that far. I have two favorite authors.
The first is Anne McCaffrey. I started reading Pern in early adolescence and I’m fairly sure I can quote long passages from memory because I’ve read them so many times. Pern will always be one of my favorite created worlds. I’m also fond of the ‘Ship’ books, particularly The Ship Who Searched about a little girl who makes the best of a situation until she can game the system.
My other favorite author of all times is controversial, Robert Heinlein. Yes, he was a completely misogynist in his writing. Some of his books have very disturbing family situations. I think Lazarus Long should die in a fire. That aside, Heinlein had a very clear grasp of some parts of society and how we think that were extremely important in my development as a person. Not to mention my tendency towards sarcasm. My favorite book of his is Farmer in the Sky, about colonizing Ganymede.
I dearly love reading fan fiction too. That’s most of what I read these days because the stories are often short and don’t suck me in quite as long. I hate to put a story down in the middle. I love and respect all the authors who post so much wonderful work to share for free. I wish I could be part of that, but so far I have no talent at all for fiction.
For many years I was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I learned to sew in order to have amazing costumes and to make amazing costumes for others.
I learned to bead and embroider for the same reasons. I like Italian Renaissance, but Tudor is also fun and I will put beads on anything that will sit still long enough. Necklaces are just beads on a string with some funny bits on the ends.
Knowing how to sew had some unexpected advantages when I got out of college. How many of you have an awesome purple business jacket that fits perfectly?
There are a million different forms of embroidery. I completely fell in love with smocking and I own the magic machine that puts the pleats in. This is the craft I most miss and the one I plan to get back to as my energy levels improve. I have three little girls in my life who are all the right age for pretty smocked dresses. This is the one I free handed when my baby cousin was born. The tree is awesome, but the bear came out a bit disturbing. Now I own some proper patterns for my next attempt.
My other ‘crafty’ activity is learning gluten free baking. Traditional gluten oriented baking is an exacting process where everything must balance to come out exactly right. Have you ever watched the British Bake Off? It’s amazing to see what every day people can do with butter and flour. Gluten free baking is strictly chemical, but needs some extra help. While many of the new flour blends will let you substitute one for one with flour in your favorite recipe, sometimes they need a little extra help to be amazing. These are some that I’ve figured out.