Babble, books and… uh, bustle?

Hi! This is a little weird for me, since I don’t really have my own blogs or anything but I’m super excited! I love reading Naelany’s blog and now I get to post!

I’m Pam and I use the handle Lace & Leather for my Rough Trade writing, which then gets posted under LadyMaya on A03. Or it would if I ever managed to finish and then you know, edit one of them. I should probably get on that. I’m mostly a fanfic reader though, and honestly, if it’s got two pretty boys or a really strong female lead I’ll read anything. My tastes are many and varied that way XD

I do a bunch of things as a crafter – crochet, embroidery, jewelry, Japanese book binding and calligraphy are probably my best skills, though they’re all definitely beginner levels. Basically, I know just enough to get myself into trouble. Seriously last time I pulled out the dip pen I managed to get ink all over my hands, my foot, the cat and miraculously NOT over the card I made. Washing the cat earned me a lot of bloody scrapes, but she forgave me eventually. IMG_3142

Thinking of the lady, she was born on my 18th birthday and her mama died a few days later. I spent my birthday party alternately drinking whatever I was given and listening to people fight over who got to feed her and her siblings. She’s with my parents now, because my housemates both have their own cats so I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like. But as much as I could talk about her all day, this is a crafting post!

Here’s the latest example of my calligraphy:


I’ve taken to using a brush pen instead of a dip pen recently because of two reasons: firstly, I’m moving and it was easier to pack my frankly ridiculous amount of inks and fragile glass dip pens now, than having to rush it later. Secondly, it’s a lot easier. Seriously, the dip pens are an exercise in learning perfect sizing at a minute level, judging liquid thickness through glass and hoping it’s not too watery, and sight judgement of how much ink you have left before you need to dip again. It’s something I’ll be working on – all hundreds of hours of practice of it – but for now I’m learning the slightly easier version. This means learning more about pressure – thin lines mean light pressure which graduates to a heavier hand as I need a thicker line – and sight reading the different heights of letters, hopefully all in the same line. Or at least making it look good when I don’t!

Unfortunately, all my best stuff has been gifted away (I wrote out my mum’s favourite poem) or it’s in the packing. Turns out I picked a really bad month to start packing!

Instead, have photo’s of my newest project and the aim of the end product! I started this because I though it looked hella cool. It’s turned out to be something of a bad luck project though 😦

Image result for star crochet blanket

First, I lost my favourite crochet hook, which was gifted to me by my Grandma with the superstition that you should never buy your first hook. I thought that only applied to tarot cards, but hey, who am I to break tradition?

Photo 16-5-18, 19 16 27

Then, I lost my ball of “fun” wool, which is totally uncool given how much I love it!  It’s a gradient purple that’s a light lavender all the way to royal purple but all in the muted hue. The purple in the photo is matched by a white as well for a three layer colour set.

Then of course I had to undo it, twice. Because of the really weird shape, as a beginner you can actually make it two ways: all of a single arm in one (giving you a sort of elongated diamond) that you then sew together, or you can follow the pattern. I did not do well following the pattern, so I undid it, and then tried making the arms, which mostly involved a lot of chaining one extra loop on each horizontal. It would have been fine, but when I got sick, I managed to lose count. A lot. After that, it was easier to unravel it and start again, following the pattern this time. (Can you tell I’m really bad at it?)

Onto the best part of talking to people though: the things they read!

Currently I’m reading a dozen different fanfic, in Marvel, 007 and Stargate Atlantis. I binged the Call it Magic fics from RoughTrade already and damn were there some awesome ones! I also read Teen Wolf, Sherlock, The Flash and occasionally Castle and Firefly fic. Like I said, my tastes are many and varied.

For the regular book stuff I’m a little more circumspect. I read scifi, fantasy, classics and the occasional crime-romance. I went through that stage where I read whatever I could get my hands on and easily made 500 books a year. These days I just don’t have the time for it, and they frown on you reading in front of the customers XD

I’ve recently started On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony, which is kind of hysterically 80s. It fits right in with Blade Runner, Dragons of Pern, Full Metal Jacket. Very nostalgic reading honestly, which is odd, cause I’m only 30, but these are the things I read (and watched thanks to my dad’s… unorthodox… parenting) first and they stuck with me. I’m horrible at picking a favourite anything but if I had to read a single pair of books for the rest of my life… I’d pick The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. They’re both such distinct books in my head, I read them at exactly the right time for me.

I was 12 when I first watched the movie of Three Musketeers, and Mum was sick of me picking up a new book every time she looked over (I kinda treated books like chips: quickly eaten and easily consumed and the best thing in the world) so she gave me the book. In case you didn’t know it’s somewhere around the length of the Prisoner of Azkaban, depending on the version you read and it wasn’t written for kids. It took me nearly a month to get through the language in it and it’s very different from the movie. Mostly because d’Artangan and the Musketeers aren’t really heroes. They’re protagonists definitely, and they fight against the hypocrisy and horrors of the abused class system but they’re no angels themselves. At 12, I found that *stunning*. REAL people? In books? WHAT?! Needless to say, it created a grand love affair with flawed characters for me.

Neverwhere is a very different story, it’s full on fantasy for one, and much shorter for two. I’d just tried and failed to read American Gods, which I’d been told was the bestest thing to ever thing. It’s not. It’s a hard slog of wordiness that is full of important things that you can’t ignore or skip over and while I really do like it, and the way it was woven, it’s really not his best for readability. I picked up the much slimmer volume and had it read in two hours. It’s one of those books that you can really see how it could be possible, if magic were real. All about people falling through the cracks of real-London into London Below where the Angel of Islington is a real Angel and many things are both far simpler and far harder.

I guess that’s all I have to babble about to today. Hope you all enjoyed it, and that you take a look at my book suggestions!

I like wiki links, because that way you don’t get a face full of other people’s thought


3 thoughts on “Babble, books and… uh, bustle?

  1. Thanks for being my guest, hon. There’s always time for kitties here, just so you know 😉 How long did it take her to forgive you, and did she exact her revenge?

    Sometimes those bad luck-feeling projects can be a downer and make it hard to want to continue them. Have to say, yours turned out great 🙂


  2. Paardje

    LOL! I love how Mum dealt with your voracious reading 😀 And I didn’t know you are not supposed to buy your first crochet hook. Hmmm …. what will happen if you do? But I guess I got lucky because my first 2 or 3 hooks were old ones which I just took out of my mom’s drawer 🙂 And I love that star afghan ❤


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