Pulse. Wow!

A few of you who follow me may be aware of my photography sideline, in a peripheral sort of way!  I used to be a professional photographer, but every time I got a good rhythm going with business and clients, we always seemed to be moving.  That meant every time we relocated, it was back to square one.  Several moves ago, I gave up.  In a fit of pique (meltdown combined with a sense of despair), I donated all my backdrops, studio lighting, and a bunch of other costly photo equipment.  I was done.

My advice to anyone who feels that way – don’t do it!  A year after the great purge, I found myself really missing all those costly items that were tossed away like so much detritus.  Do I want to return to professional photography?  Nowadays, it’s not so much a matter of want, but more like a matter of “can’t”.  My eyes are doing that thing called presbyopia (you’ll learn when you get there, if you haven’t already) and it really bites.  I imagine I could continue to take pictures, but I find myself more and more at the mercy of automation, especially when it comes to the focus feature on the camera.  I don’t like losing that control.  So, as of the last five years, my photography has been more personal or commercial stock photography of items.

Do I still buy gee-gaws for my old Nikon D-90?  Nope.  I get by with what I have right now, that is, until you see this on Kickstarter…

I’m a big fan of low-light assists and remote control.  I may have to climb a mountain or go hiking to get that special selfie!!!  And yes, they have my email to let me know when it’s ready for retail sales.  Can’t wait!

Have you photo hounds found any new technology that’s fun?  Let me know! 😉

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Good-bye, Summer. See you next year!

For many knitters and crocheters in the northern hemisphere, September 22 is an auspicious date.  Having taken a hiatus from the beloved craft because of the heat, September usually brings cooler temps, for some, only slightly, but it’s enough.  Out come the hooks, the needles, patterns and yarn, and the crafting season is on!

https://people.com/home/fall-equinox-2018-everything-to-know/

I found this particularly cool crochet hat pattern while perusing Pinterest – of course!  Originally designed in conjunction with Lion Brand yarns, Jennifer created this pattern for a Stomp Out Bullying campaign.  I found it a bit too late to contribute, but I still had to make it.  This is for a good cause, and even if we can’t send the hats in on time, we can sure spread some love.

Meanwhile, some lucky child of my friends’ will be getting this hat!

See you in the funny pages!

Holy Flercking Schnit!

I am pleased to announce that my knitting and crochet themed graphic designs are now available on Amazon!  I’m stoked!  I don’t know how hard their initial vetting process is, but, hey – I’m trying not to overthink that.  I want to believe this is an achievement.  LOL!

One of my designs on Amazon

There are only two designs available right now, and I can upload only 10 designs a day.  They do review the individual items carefully, because the first design I uploaded, I used the the phrase “guaranteed to bring a smile” in the description, and it was immediately denied.  I fixed it up, and re-sent it, where it took about 12 hours for them to review and pass it.

If you feel you don’t have enough t-shirts that proclaim your crafting obsession, check out my store.  The picture above is a link.  If you’re not personally interested, but think someone else would be, please pass this info along!

Meanwhile…

“Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.” René Descarte

If you read my blog with regularity, you know that I am caught in the machinations of trying to open a local yarn business.  My biggest hurdle?  Lack of confidence – and for once, it’s not a lack in myself.  I did an exercise in Google maps a few weeks ago to help me get a grasp on where my customers would be, literally, in relation to the brick and mortar location.  I was not impressed.  I used zip code information and got the population from there.  All in all, it was a dismal showing.  Maybe that’s why there isn’t one in town already.  I don’t know.  With approximately 70% of the store fronts in town empty, it can be hard to justify opening a niche shop and making it work.

So…I’m juggling a little.  Make that a lot.  My internet savvy cousin, Nancy, told me to build an online presence first, then open the lys after you can make ends meet that way.  Such pragmatism and great genes in one package!  I feel like Veruca Salt from Roald Dahl’s creation “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the subsequent movie “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” when she’s singing I want it now! https://youtu.be/2zcVnNwAHys

 

 

Waiting for the fire

North fire California

This was the scene I came home to after running errands all day. (Courtesy of theunion.com)

Here in the Sierra mountains our summers are punctuated with short jabs of fear when we get a whiff of acrid smoke and wonder…is it a fire?  Or when  we see these huge, rapidly growing clouds that don’t have anything to do with rain.  Fire.  Our homeowners insurance premiums are outrageous, and many of our neighbors have had theirs cut off since their companies won’t cover them anymore because of where we live.  It’s considered high risk.  Every time I get a letter from our agent, my heart beats a little faster as I wonder if this is our termination notification.  Finding replacement insurance has become difficult, and tales of annual premiums reaching $5,000 have circulated around for a few years.  For some people, that means they’ve had to sell their homes.

Welcome to Northern California.

My husband and I had ran errands all day long, and as we crested the last hill on I-80 next to our exit, I noticed a cloud.  I knew it was closer to our us than I was comfortable with.  I also knew I had to get home so I could check the status.  Before reaching my computer, I got a call from a friend, telling me where it was.  She said 25 miles, but she’s further down the road than I am.  For me, that was only 16 miles.  10 minutes later, we were compiling an evacuation list, and gathering critical documents, where they still sit on the dining room table.  My camera is packed and contractor bags are placed strategically around the house, copies of the list next to them.

North fire California 2018

Another view. (Courtesy of sacramento.cbslocal.com)

The fire is not currently threatening any property, but it also isn’t contained and these buggers can easily get out of hand.  It will be a long week, and hopefully, no one gets hurt. Good wishes, prayers – all are welcome!

See you in the funny pages.

Crocheted Pumpkin Roundup!

Up here in the mountains, the night temps are just on this side of less than comfortable and, even though there hasn’t been any color changes yet, the leaves are starting to litter the driveway a little.  Yes, we do have a few warm days ahead of us, but all these signs herald the coming of autumn and a much busier crafting time, not to say anything about it being my favorite time of year.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve lived the better part of my life in places where the summers are incredibly hot, whether being a redhead, I have a genetic propensity to enjoy the colder climate, or that I just like bundling up in cold weather fashions.  And possibly, quite probably, it’s that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, even Valentine’s Day, are not so far away on the calendar.

To mark our annual celestial trek through space and time around el sol when it crosses the plane of the earth’s equator, or autumn (could have saved some bandwidth there), I compiled a list of some really neat free pumpkin patterns.  When they started popping up in my Google feed, I knew it was official.  If these aren’t to your taste, fear not, as they are quite a few options out there.  Whether you intend to make one or not, feel free to peruse these artists creations – they’re so cute!  Enjoy!

 

https://www.stitching-together.com/country-crochet-pumpkin-patterns/

https://coolcreativity.com/crochet/halloween-decoration-crochet-patterns/

https://www.favecrafts.com/Thanksgiving/Awesome-DIY-Crochet-Pumpkins#dQpyBSjGKIlrMwOy.32

http://www.sewrella.com/cute-easy-crochet-ridged-pumpkins-with-meg/

https://www.whatyousow.co.uk/blogs/news/13855267-crochet-pumpkin-diy

http://theslantedlife.blogspot.com/2014/08/crocheted-pumpkins-i-love-pumpkins-free.html?m=1

http://allwhatninalikes.blogspot.com/2011/09/crocheted-pumpkins-decoration.html?view=classic

https://pixeledpeach.com/2016/10/19/free-pattern-pumpkin-amigurumi/

https://amvabecreations.blogspot.com/2018/06/cute-pumpkin-bear-free-crochet-pattern.html

http://www.rebeckahstreasures.com/blog/free-crochet-pumpkin-pattern

Review of Bernat Home Mix Yarn

Failed crocheted floor mat. And yes, I plucked this sucker out of the garbage to get this pic!

This endeavor was one of those spur of the moment, “let’s break it up a little bit” type of moves.  I was meandering around the local Michaels Crafts with my husband without any plan in my mind.  I wanted to check out the new Halloween displays and be inspired by what I saw.  Well, I was, but not for seasonal decorating.  The yarn clearance bin was strategically placed right in the middle of all the brilliant autumn colored silk flowers and garlands, and everything else faded away as I worked my way to the display.

I glanced over the typical off-colorway offerings one would find in such a bin, then noticed a whole load of the Bernat Home Mix yarn on the bottom.  At half the regular going price, I thought, why not?  I’ll make a new door mat.  The one we currently have was a Dollar General impulse purchase and had done a good job for over a year; in fact, it still is.  I bought two of the large skeins just because.

In order to justify the crocheted hot mess I posted, I must say that I’ve always had trouble with textured yarn and the crochet hook.  Amazingly, I do have a few crochet patterns that feature knobbly yarn and they came out great, so what the deal really is, you got me.  This was one of those instances where the yarn just wasn’t willing to work with me, so in my frustration, I just bundled up the disaster and tossed it into the trashcan.  I knew at this point that knitting was the only way to do this, so I brought out the second skein.  Good thing I bought it, huh?

I didn’t count how many stitches I cast on, and I worked the whole skein in garter stitch, so this was a no-brainer.  What I noticed about the yarn, though, is that the mix wouldn’t, in my opinion, make a good blanket.  I mention that because a blanket pattern is printed on the inside of the label.  It was actually a little rough on my hands, and the differences in yarn texture created uneven edges.  Still, for a floormat, who’s going to be looking?  Other than that, I was happy with it.  If you want a fun or different yarn to work with, this would be an option.

So much to say, so little time to say it!

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A lot has happened since my last entry, though none of it has had anything to do with the yarn shop except for the idea that I’m presenting in the YouTube video!  LOL  So, like I ask, talk to me!  Suffice to say, I had a busy few weeks here and I’m trying to put it all in perspective.  The reference book seen in the photo gallery is Knitting Pattern Essentials by Sally Melville.  So far, so good.  I’m one of those kind of people – I’ll read just what I know to get started, then when I get stumped, I’ll return to the book and read what I should have, usually wasting time and resources.  Don’t ask – it’s just my way!!

For those of you not registered on YouTube, I’ve given you the option of a poll:

See you in the funny pages!