Quick Note About the “Crafting Links” Page

business-apologies-image

It would appear, that for some unknown reason, my patterns cannot be accessed from smartphones.  Links to other crafters appear to be ok, but for some reason, the patterns I wrote are not working.  Fortunately, they can still be accessed from a laptop and I assume this also applies to desktops.  If you have difficulties with this, let me know and I’ll see what I can do; maybe if I send you a direct link?

If anyone out there knows what the issue is, please let me know.  Until then, we will do our best.

See you in the funny pages!

Change of Perspective

Rachel goofing around at the World Market

Rachel goofing around at the World Market

When my daughter, Rachel, was spending her tax refund money before it burned a hole in her pocket, she and I stopped at the local Cost Plus World Market to ransack their wares.  We’d been to most of our usual haunts and couldn’t pass up visiting this perennial favorite.  There are items there that can’t be had anywhere else.  I like to buy the McVities Digestive Milk Chocolate Biscuits since it reminds me of living in England, and my husband really likes the German section since he was born in Germany.  And Rachel, well, she just likes the place!

While perusing the pickles, I noticed a couple about my age, in the same aisle.  Nothing spectacular, just your ordinary, middle-aged couple looking for some exotic pickles.  Almost immediately after seeing them, my eyes were drawn to the woman’s purse.  This purse was not your everyday purse.  No.  This purse was of a make and design that I have yearned and longed after for years.  Has anyone ever heard of Dooney & Bourke?  The Giraffe print? Yep.  However, being the absolute cheapskate I am, I refuse to

It's love!

It’s love!

pay retail on such designer products, so that means I go to eBay and look for gently used purses, and this particular design is about as hard to find as a great quality diamond at a department store. Yet here one was, in the flesh, looking oh, so pretty, and very well kept (angelic choir hitting high note).  I walked with purpose to the couple and immediately remarked on the woman’s purse.  I discovered she’d had it for 6 six years and how she loved it too.

I walked away, feeling I’d made a connection with another true Dooney & Bourke lover and didn’t think much of the conversation.

Later, (yes, we spend that much time there) I was approaching the couple again.  They were looking at the dining tables and had negligently left the cart, with the purse alone in it, in the aisle.  The husband saw me coming and, for no apparent reason, made a mad dash back to the cart as I walked by.  My brows creased in consternation…what was that all about?  And then, the only scenario I could think of popped into my head.  The husband was protecting the purse from…me.  I thought about our conversation and reviewed it for anything suspicious.  I looked at my once pretty crocheted purse,

It doesn’t look like this anymore. :-(

 

which is now battered up beyond belief because it comes everywhere with me, and it dawned me that, yes, in a parallel universe, maybe I would have thought of such a thing, but really, why would a thief alert their prey?  Was I too friendly?  Too jealous?  Huh?

I started laughing as I tried to imagine a scenario that involved me snatching the purse.  We were located about as far away from the exit as possible…well, that would be the wine section, but you get it.  There were displays, rows of products, and people milling about between me and the door.  That would just be damn stupid.  And as for a quiet switch, again, I would have to make my way out of the building before she would notice that her purse was missing.  There were so many others around, I don’t see how it could be done.

Am I not criminal-minded enough?  Am I a pigeon looking to be plucked?  Am I not careful enough of what I say?  Unfortunately to the last one, I believe the answer may be “yes”.  I saw a purse that I adored and thought I would remark on it.  I like when people compliment my purse, and yes, it still happens, but I don’t think they’re looking to steal it!  Maybe living in the sticks has changed my outlook?  Possibly.  Will I be more careful what I say to strangers?  I seriously doubt it!!  The moral of the story?  Don’t approach strangers and rant about how beautiful their purse is and how you’ve always wanted one, unless you’re going to anyway, then expect people to act strangely if you get near them again.

Lesson not learned.

Free Photoshop Actions

I always enjoy playing around in photoshop and making my own actions, but I tell you, there’s nothing that beats freebies, and they always seem so much better than mine!  Everyone’s vision is different, and it’s fun to see what other people come up with.  I did a before and after image to illustrate only one of the many, many, freebie actions available.  I used this particular one because I love the dramatic change.  Go discover your own at:

 http://www.icanbecreative.com/useful-free-photoshop-actions-for-photographers.html

b&a

Sick and Struck (rather belatedly) with an Epiphany

As I was sitting here on my deck – yes, lovely weather in CA, wish it wasn’t -, trying to get some fresh air to counteract my sickness, perusing my crochet and knit groups on FB and being overwhelmed by Pinterest entries, it struck me.  Yes, the epiphany.  (And yes, I’m still on my deck.)

As I see all the beautiful, and maybe not so beautiful, entries from everyone who pitches in to the communal internet soup of fiber arts, yarn arts, whatever, I look at all the feedback and think how it wonderful it is.  These artists willing to share their work with, well, virtually, the world.  And the reason my title mentions belatedly, is because until just today, I didn’t notice anyone’s color.  I don’t mean their projects, I mean the contributors themselves.

And that was the epiphany.

Artists from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, India, North America, and South America are all represented.  Sorry Antarctica, you need to get busy.  Also, my apologies to the island nations; your entries are too numerous to write down – kudos for you!

I like to consider myself without prejudice, but I seriously doubt it; and if you say you aren’t, well, maybe you know something I don’t, and please tell me.  The ugly reality of prejudice is that we all have some, but the good and bad thing is, we’re humans.  The same inherent, ancient xenophobia that we are all born with, can be overcome with diligence and understanding.  I imagine back in caveman times and before, this fear of “outlanders” was a good thing (you’re not from my tribe); but as ever expanding means of communication has improved, our fear of other cultures has subsided, but not gone away. Mind you, I’m not saying to go fearlessly and naively out into the world, there is danger, but it’s changed.  And it has for quite some time.  But you get my point.  We all harbor some irrational prejudice.  My internal optimist thinks that most people are very conscientiously trying to overcome this ugliness, and winning, including myself.

One avenue to pursue in this altruistic hope?  Take up knitting and/or crocheting, and go online.  There, you will find the most colorblind community ever.

But how many of you already knew this?

If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist)

Featured Image -- 1868

Glenda:

I was also raised by a single mom in the 60s and 70s who worked her fingers to the bone, but that’s where the similarity ends. A very good essay, one that makes me pause and consider…well, the continued inequities women still suffer.

Originally posted on girl in the hat:

image courtesy Devil Doll image courtesy Devil Doll

Because my mother was a painter and a beauty when artists had patrons and a woman like that needed a man to take care of her, so she married a money man.

Because my mother’s mother was a beauty and her mother was, too, and that’s what people said: “She was a beautiful woman,” as if that was the only remarkable thing.

Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.

Because when my mother had me, she stopped painting and started cleaning house and throwing dinner parties and smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror.

Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow…

View original 806 more words

That Takes Me Back…and a little forward

So I’ve been a little wicked because I’ve watched I don’t know how many episodes of Mad Men on Netflix, and it’s 5:00 am.  Yea.  In the morning.  And I need to get up in a few hours.  I know, I know, I just discovered it.  Still in season 5, so no spoilers!

I think one of my big draws to this particular series is remembering so many things that you’d forgotten you’d forgotten!  No, it’s not a typo, just a fact.  The producers and set designers either did their homework or were there in the 60s and had great memories, though I can’t see anyone being old enough to remember all of this in such great detail actually working on the series, or even working at all!

beigeselectric

This was cutting technology back in the day.

But what prompted this particular post is a scene where the character, Peggy Olson (played by the inimitable Elizabeth Moss) is working a late night in the office and just punching away at the typewriter.  And it hit.  The sight, sounds and smell (yes, there was a hot motor smell!) of the IBM Selectric that she’s abusing.  I was a typical teen-ager filled with angst, rebellion, drugs, and the need to set the world on fire with the Great American Novel.  My long-suffering mother did moonlighting as a medical transcriptionist, so she had the most up to date equipment she could afford, which included the IBM Selectric ii.  Ahhh, I’m sure some of you out there remember and are nodding your heads ever so slightly of the recollection.  The font key ball that could be replaced so you could work with either Courier, Script, or Delegate, the ink tape cartridge that was such a breeze to replace.  No messy ribbons for me as I sat there, night after night, trying to think of how to put on paper what I felt so eloquently in my heart, feeling the buzz of the motor under my finger tips, and when I was at it too long, smelling it heat up.  When hitting an odd writer’s block, I would fiddle with the power rocker key (it’s there to the right if you’re unfamiliar with this piece of vintage stuff) by turning it off and on.  That couldn’t have been good.

Now I’m sitting on a couch with a laptop in front of me, the keyboard being pounded on by hands accustomed to punching keys on, first) a manual typewriter; then, second) a slick electric typewriter (well, it was slick then), able to choose from thousands of fonts at a keystroke, access information on anything I would want to know at a moment’s notice, play games, keep in touch with friends and family, be current on the latest news and weather, and the list goes on.

Now we’re looking at something like this, and this is already 3 years old!

I used to say that humans would start having simple outpatient procedures to incorporate the computer with them wherever they are, but I’ve had a think since then.  With technology always advancing, who would want to have last month’s widget melded on their body?  Something to think about.

I’m not anti-technology or anti-advancement.  I really can’t wait to see what’s next.  How about you?

Cuddly Colfax Bear Hooded Cowl

1546176_737553206329839_7123790170351236806_n

1546176_737553206329839_7123790170351236806_nHey everybody!  As I sit here in my home, sipping a lovely butterscotch latte, I’m feeling quite magnanimous.  Also, I figured since it’s been over a month since I posted any freebie patterns, that it’s about time.  I am especially endeared to this pattern as I was inspired by local surroundings.  I feel fortunate to live in the great state of California, and really lucky that I am a native.  I also understand that many of you who live elsewhere have a dim view of my beloved home based on the reports of others, or you had a bad experience yourself (just to remind you, those happen everywhere).  I currently reside in the scenic Sierra Nevada Mountain range, where bears, mountain lions, deer, raccoon, foxes, coyotes, etc., roam free.  I know they’re in our neighborhood because they leave little “gifts” in the most conspicuous places, but I don’t really mind because I love being here.  Besides, I’m already picking up after my dogs and cats, what’s a little wildlife scat going to hurt?

Anyway, after all that, here’s a link to the pattern and for those of you who don’t crochet or just don’t want to be bothered I have included a link to my online shop, as usual.  I also keep all my patterns and some others I find online on my Crafting Links tab, where it’s broken down into Knit and Crochet patterns.  If you just click the tab with choosing from the drop down menu, there is a form where you can upload your own pattern.  Enjoy!

Pattern

Etsy