Sweater Weather

It’s official. Sweater weather has definitely started here in Oregon and I made the first one on my list. Not for me, but for the dog of one of my friends. Let me tell ya, dog sweaters? They’re weird to make.

Okay, so as you can see I’m not completely done with it. It still needs to be seamed up but I need to get it checked against the dog first to see where the seams have to be in order for the front paws to fit through. This is the pattern I used, by the way. I can only hope mine turns out as cute.

Next in line is a sweater for me, I just need to figure out what pattern to use first. Always helps to know before casting on, right?

 

Advertisements
Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Trash Crafting & being a Picture-Taker-Outer

I am sitting here, watching Lego Batman, wondering how to do this whole ‘guest blogger’ thing. When Karin asked me to contribute I was equally excited and nervous so I figured I’d give it a go.

A little about myself first… here on the internets I am known as zielahime, [zeela-heemay] which is a play on my real name and my love of anime and I call the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies my home.

I’m 35 and am the youngest of three daughters. I love reading, writing fiction and poetry, watching movies and TV, photography, doll collecting and making doll crafts. I also love knitting and sewing even though I am still way in the beginner’s skill set. That doesn’t stop me collecting yarn and cloth like they are both going out of style.

IMG_20170511_185105_682.jpg

I discovered my love for reading and photography from my late mom. She was the family’s ‘picture-taker-outer’ and she instilled in me the need for keeping memories through photos. I used to carry my little camera everywhere, taking pictures of everything. I fell out of it for a while when my camera got stolen but I’ve been getting back into the groove lately. Instagram has really helped me rediscover my passion for it.

My love affair with writing started way back in Primary school (I’m not sure what grade but it was elementary school so maybe 10/11 years old.) I loved writing ‘compositions’ for English class. I also used to love sneaking my mom’s mills & boons and reading them.

I got in trouble one time because I wrote a story about a girl named January (I got marks taken off because my teacher was adamant that no one could be named January. This was before custom baby names) who had to meet her boyfriend in the big city. I can’t remember much of it just that involved a revolving door somehow. anyway, my mom got called in and in the end, I was told that I had to rewrite a more age-appropriate story.

It was my first brush with censorship but at the time I didn’t really understand what the problem or the big deal was. After that, I kept my romance stories to myself and submitted the kid-friendly ones in school.

My first cartoon obsession was with Jem Goldstone. I watched the show. I had the Doll (both Jem and Rio mind you) I had the tapes. I knew ALL the words. Still do. My grandma even tried to sit me down in a one on one intervention to talk about my waking up at six am to watch the show every morning during vacation. It didn’t really work because I was ALL about the ‘glamour and glitter… fashion and fame!’

After that, I fell into anime and I’ve been lost in that endless ocean ever since. SciFi channel’s Animation Station and their showing of full length anime movies made me want to pack my bags and move to Japan (One day though… one day) Sailor Moon, Dragon ball Z, Gundam Wing AC, Tekkaman Blade, Samurai X… (me and my sister would dance in front of the TV to the credit songs, holding up our little tape player to the speakers trying to record the song. My dad in the next room complaining that we have the volume up too loud. Good times.)

Gundam Wing brought me into Fan fiction writing, I’d just been reading and discovering until then. I’ve been in love ever since. Finding communities like FFN.net (back then), GW Addiction, Tresses 6×2 made me realize that I could share my own writing, even my original work and my poetry for others to see and read and enjoy. It was life-changing.

My childhood was filled with visits to the Second Hand Book Shop, church harvests, garage sales, bargain tables. Anywhere I could get a book at a cheap price. Little penguin novels of the Count of Monte Christo and Tales of Mystery and Terror; Mills & Boons, Stephen King, Stephen Lawhead’s Merlin which changed my life and the way I wrote.

The Glass Slipper, to this day I don’t know where that book came from or how it ended up in our house but I love it dearly. As a grown up I discovered the satisfaction of buying books at retail price just because I wanted them and could afford them now. The Lord of the Rings, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which I bought in an actual Barnes and Noble on a visit to America, I almost took a selfie with it I was so happy) , The Artemis Fowl Series, Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts Trilogy, Dune (both book and Movie) Perfume : the Story of a Murderer and all the other books I’ve read and read over and feel like old friends. (see links at end)

I have a love-hate relationship with craft and design in general. I love to do it, I really LOVE to do it but after a while, my patience ends and I’m like ‘forget this noise.’ it leads to more unfinished projects than I like to admit.  When inspiration hits though… it hits hard.

I do doll crafts… like this Elsa

1654409_10152216103177177_1796797550_n

And I do artwork for my fiction…

12096204_991760764177724_6536960902210242271_n.jpg

I even did a dollhouse once from recyclable materials… but then I gave it to my nieces and it did not last very long after that.

1472734_10152075076867177_1385893341_n.jpg

I usually use recyclable materials when It comes to crafting. My house is full of bottle caps, weird looking plastic containers, wires, beads and little odds and ends. I would ask people not go through so and so in the trash and they would give me these weird looks. It got to a point where people would save things to show me before throwing them away. (my sisters got a kick out of that one but then again they saved things for me too. Someone even called me the bottle lady but I just laughed.)

The thing about ‘trash crafting’ is that it usually doesn’t look like the awesome videos on YouTube but that’s ok. All that matters is how you use the stuff you have. It’s also a work in progress. I can’t tell you how much times I’ve struggled with patience and have either abandoned the piece or finished it hastily. I’ve been getting better on the matter but it’s still difficult. It’s all about having a plan and sticking to it, a large dose of patience and a bit of imagination.

And great friends to cheer you on….  and the right adhesive.

I am currently on a sewing jag, trying to get my mother’s old sewing machine working so that I can spare my fingers. I’m sticking to jackets, tops, and skirts at the moment but want to move to more complex garments soon.

Collage 2017-06-26 17_52_19.jpgCollage 2017-06-19 15_49_46.jpg

and setting up mini photo shoots.

IMG_20170627_220048.jpg

Hope you enjoyed my little ramble.

Laters.

Links:

Artemis Fowl Series,

Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle,

Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts Trilogy,

The Ultimate Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Frank Herbert’s Dune Book and Movie,

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Books, crafts, fan fiction, Guest post, Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Where Has This Week Gone?

Seems like I only had to blink to go from last Sunday to today. I couldn’t tell you what I’ve been up to the past few days because it’s all a hazy blur. Not because I’ve been busy, but simply, well, hazy. Yep, it’s been one of those kinds of weeks. Fun times!

Anyway. I was thinking the other day about books that have stuck with me. Like, ones I read years and years ago that still come to mind at times now, that really had an impact on me. One of those books for me was When Rabbit Howls, written by The Troops for Truddi Chase. I honestly can’t recall whether I saw the movie or the interview on Oprah first, it’s been too long ago now.

What I do remember is being… I guess awed is the word I’m looking for. Here is this woman who has gone through hell growing up (seriously, this book comes with all the warnings! They are not kidding around with what happened).

Now, I don’t have D.I.D., but I do have trauma in my past and when I first read that book I was trying to work through it. Now, there are some out there that theorize the story is manufactured, and some that say it’s all absolutely legit (author included, obviously). I don’t know what to believe and to be honest, to me it didn’t – and still doesn’t – really matter because hard as it was to read, it helped. Not that When Rabbit Howls is a self-help book in any way but more that reading someone else’s story helped me both come to terms with my own and to work through it. Or at least, get me a little further along the way.

Every now and then The Troops come to mind and make me pause. Another book that I still stop and think about is, of course, The Diary of Anne Frank, or The Diary of a Young Girl as it is known as in English. I don’t think this really bears much explanation as I doubt there are any of you who aren’t familiar with the name Anne Frank. Then again, you might not be, so…

The Diary of a Young Girl was written by Anne Frank herself, by and large. The publication had a little help from her father, Otto, since Anne died in a concentration camp. You see, the Franks were Jewish and during WWII that wasn’t a good thing to be. During the occupation, the family hid in the backroom of Otto Frank’s place of business, along with another family and later another refugee. Anne writes in great detail of their time there. It’s not an easy read but it is a good one and – I believe – a necessary one.

What books have you read that have stuck with you?

Posted in Books | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Little Encouragement

Hello! My name is Laura Kreitzer, and I write books . . . sometimes. I’ve been writing since 2008 but have taken a bit of a hiatus due to moving and life. Right now, I am currently working on the final book in my Timeless Series: Halo of the Sun. Since it isn’t finished, I sadly do not have a date set for release. So, let’s talk about romance, dogs, and gaming.

Writing, lately, has been more of a job than usual due to everyday stresses of life, but I am more determined now more than ever to get back into the game. Especially now that I have a new love in my life. For the past several months, I’ve been gaming and walking my dogs every chance I get. Not so much writing anymore. Give me some zombies to kill in 7 Days to Die or dragons in Dragon Age. When I was asked to write a guest post, I wasn’t exactly sure what I had to offer at the moment. So I offer you this: encouragement. Whatever hobby it is you have, whatever creative mojo you’ve stored away, bring it out and offer it to the world. We all know with the current political climate and the news constantly showing us all that is terrible in the world, we need a little bit of joy. When life kicks you in the shin, kick it back. That’s my new motto. Find someone to love, something to love, and grasp it with all your might.

I will leave you with this, Dear Reader. A book that will surely put a smile on your face. The Single Undead Mom’s Club by Molly Harper, though, of course, I had to listen to it on audio because a Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi pairing is epic. If you haven’t checked her out, please do. Funny, romantic, fantastical. So though I have nothing to pimp out of my own right now, I will pimp the hell outta some Molly Harper in audio any day.

Thank you so much for giving the opportunity to encourage a writer.

Posted in Books, Gaming, Guest post | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Hats… On?

So for those of you who’ve been paying attention, knitting hasn’t happened for me in a few months now. I simply haven’t been up to it, which is saying rather a lot since I tend to knit in order to keep sane ;-).

You also might remember that I have a couple of sweaters waiting to be made. For that to happen, I need to be able to function, since they all require being able to comprehend the various patterns.

So I thought that it might be an idea to start with something small to get me back into the swing of things, and considering that I needed a new hat anyway, a hat it was going to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pattern I used is Duality and it was fairly simple to make, but just enough to it that you still need to pay attention. I ended up making the Adult Medium, though I went with 8.5″ instead of the called for 8″ because I like my hats on the slouchier side. That said, I could have gone a little longer still because man, for all that this hat is supposed to be slouchy, it really isn’t that much. I would definitely make it again, though.

I’ve cast on for a dog sweater, which I really hope I can figure out because it isn’t the most comprehensively written patterns out there (at least, it isn’t to me, but that might say more about me than the pattern). Fingers crossed?

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are You Crafty?

IMG_0102IMG_0101Are you crafty?

This was the message Karin sent me last week. My immediate response was not really. I mean, I draw a little but it’s nothing grand. I just do it to relax, or sometimes, it makes me want to pull my hair out, which is the opposite of relaxing. Exactly the way I feel when I write.

I’m Teegan Loy, and I’ve known Karin since our Twi-fic reading and writing days. A long time ago, I was awarded a degree in Graphic Design, and sometimes I still pretend I’m an artist. My favorite medium is pencil.

Another area I’ve dabbled in is scrapbooking. I started out quite well, but now have managed to fall years behind. These pages are from a book I did when my daughter was five years old. She’s now fifteen. Instead of books filled with memories, I have boxes scattered around the house with the years mixed all together. Maybe some day I’ll catch up.

 

One more thing I really enjoy doing is framing memories. The first one is from the R5 concert my daughter and I attended, and the second one is my grandmother’s basketball letter and her team from 1929.

I must admit it’s become difficult to make time for my art. My writing has taken front and center and uses a lot of my creative energy. For people who are fans of my M/M writing, I’m hoping to release a new book called Beyond the Boards in early December. Of course I haven’t informed my editor of this ambitious plan, but she’ll find out soon enough. The book is about playing hockey and hard choices that must be made.

I also released a M/F book called Jagged Edges under the name Denise Bower. If you enjoy my writing, you can find this book on Amazon 

free skate ebook REVEALBlurb: Victoria Campbell began the figure skating season with hopes of regaining the US title and qualifying for the Olympics again. But this year there won’t be a season because her partner decided he wanted a new woman, both on the ice and in his bed. Unsure of what to do , Victoria considers finding a new partner but quickly dismisses the idea and, at the age of twenty-two, she retires from the sport. 

Victoria ends up in an unlikely place, back on the ice in hockey skates as the new strength and conditioning coach for the Ritchfield Ravens, an AHL hockey team. Works starts out rough, but slowly the guys accept her and the knowledge she brings Though pleased with her success,she misses figure skating. 

When an NHL Team sends a problem player down to the Ravens for a conditioning stint, Victoria’s world turns upside down. Carter Murphy infuriates and intrigues her. He makes her question her career choices by bringing back memories long forgotten, and unknowingly, helps her find joy in her skating again. But Carter’s time with the team is short, and when he leaves, Victoria must make some difficult choices. 

Skating and hockey have always been a passion of mine. When I was  young, I skated, and when my body would no longer tolerate the constant pounding from jumping, I turned to coaching. Today I enjoy watching hockey and love to watch competitive figure skating. Writing about characters who skate and play hockey is a joy for me.

Thanks @Naelany for having me on your blog and reminding me of the grand days of  writing and reading twi-fic. It’s been a pleasure.

IMG_0082xo Teegan

 

 

 

Posted in Books, crafts, Guest post | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Someone Please Pass the Wine

No, really. Someone, please get me some wine *curls up into fetal position*.  Needless to say, today I’ve spent doing a whole lot of nothing. Well, okay. Not nothing. I decided to catch up on shows that have started up again. So far, I’ve watched NCIS, Bull, Criminal Minds, Law & Order SVU, Hawaii 5 O. I’m considering a couple of new ones, like Inhuman, but not sure yet. Probably watch the first episode, see how it is, but I won’t hold my breath on the odds of it becoming a regular for me.

What are you watching this season?

Earlier this week I did do a little work on my stitching. Check it out.

Posted in Needlework | Tagged , , | Leave a comment