This blog is mostly going to be my little place to talk about the novel I am writing. Which is why I stole a quote from one of my favorite tv shows, as this novel I am writing, I plan to finish, and at times.. it feels like an impossible thing. Also this is to journal my move to the UK, and starting my own business as an Indie Yarn Dyer

Colorado

In which a star falls

Today I did something that I hadn’t done for a while. I took myself back to my childhood. There were these cookies

from Trader Joe’s, they in my mind are the original “Two Bite” cookies. They were crunchy Chocolate chip cookies.

They were wonderful. They came in a tub. They remind me of the sail boat.

Well the last time I was at Whole Foods, I saw in their bulk area they had cookies that mostly reminded me of the Trader Joe’s ones. So, I got myself some. And literally just moments ago, I poured myself a glass of milk, loaded up the the glass with the cookies and let them turn to mush. Mind you, I didn’t do it proper. I should have put the cookies in first, THEN the milk. But oh well. I should have broken the cookies up with my spoon. I didn’t. But the memory was still there. It took me right back to the days of my youth. Mushy cookie soup. Yum.

Now onto a book review:

StardustStardust by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this story.

I had seen the movie first, only because I had not gotten the chance to read the book first. I am sorry that it took me this long to get around to the actual book.

To me, this is a book that I can completely see myself reading out loud to my future children.

Neil Gaiman is an absolute genius when it comes to delivering us into an amazing world. He really is my hero.

Now as I said I had seen the movie first. It was quite easy to imagine the characters as their movie counterparts. There were also some changes that were made betwixt the page and the screen, but the changes that were made in my opinion enhanced the story. I guess it helped that they actually had Mr. Neil Himself on hand to help with the changes.

But this review is about the book, not the movie. All in all, I thought it was absolutely wonderful and amazing.

On to other news:

My minion and I are hard at work on the Labyrinth Club. I honestly couldn’t do this with out her.

We’ve also got lots of things planned coming out of The Asylum. Most of the things we are working on won’t actually come to fruition until after the Grand reopening. It’s a timing thing. I can’t work for those 6 months. But I can get stuff ready before I do close up shop, and then once the shop is reopened, it will be as I said… Grand. I can’t talk about the plans yet. Not till they are more firm. But when they do become more firm… ooh boy you’ll be getting some teasers at the very least.

Last Friday I went to the Unsurpassable Prince and Pauper’s Steampunk Ball in Colorado Springs.

I decided to go Ricepunk instead of the classic Victorian Steampunk.

There is apparently not a solo shot of my anywhere. In fact, there are only shots of Tory and I together. It’s alright, we were Representin’ the multicultural minorities at the party… we had to stick together.

The party was a benefit for Myles Pinkney who is a fabulous artist here in Colorado Springs. He went into a coma immediately after an event in March, and we honestly thought he wasn’t going to survive. Mere days before the benefit for him, he was finally up and walking around. We are all so happy about this.

I bought my kimono at a thrift shop for like 3$. I fell in love with the colors and couldn’t pass it up. The belt is one I traded with The Twisted Gypsy for a shawl that I had knit.

The goggles I made in about the equivalent of an afternoon. They were so simple to make. I call them my Copper Goggles since I did a verdigris patena effect instead of a brass one. It fit the kimono better thank brass. I tell you, I got so many compliments on those quicky goggles. It’s actually quite amusing to me.
I haven’t been able to work on any of the novels like I’ve been wanting… but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been formulating plots and working out kinks behind the scenes. I just wish I have been able to get more words written. Oh well. I am going to be dog sitting for 2 days, which means I’ll have peace and quiet. I’ll focus on writing then.

Random: It’s been a very interesting couple of days. The Royal Wedding finally happened. Which I was quite sad that I was not in England for. I know it’s silly, but for me I wanted to see the people. Experience the street parties. Feel the surge of national pride that comes about during those times. The Wedding was beautiful. I will admit the 13 year old girl in me cried about the groom being who he was. Then the 27 year old woman in me took up notice at what a very handsome man the brother (Harry) has turned into. (Okay, notice was taken years ago… but it was just quite noticeable. He looks damn fine in a Royal Uniform)

Then the week became even more emotional when it was announced that Osama Bin Laden was dead. I will not touch on this much, as I know not all my readers share my opinion on the matter, and I am working on keeping this blog more reader friendly. But I will say that it was very emotional for me to hear about this. I remember exactly where I was when 9/11 happened.

At first I feared what would happen to the plans the Hubs2be and I have, as our major milestone we were waiting on WAS the Royal Wedding.

The next milestone (okay, it’s not a very big milestone time wise) is in 2 days. The election. Whether he wins the election, or looses… we are submitting the paperwork for my VISA. Thats right folks, after 4.5 years of plotting and waiting… it’s finally happening. It feels quite surreal.

And so of course with the death of OBL, and the threat of retaliation and heightened travel concerns… I was naturally worried. The hubs2be has allayed my fears on this, but I will of course take the advice of my immigration specialist (I am going to be going through the same people who helped with my visa last October. Though my visa didn’t arrive in time, that was not their fault and they did a great job at taking care of me.). But as near as we can tell, it is full steam ahead.

I’ve got a lot to pack up. I’ve got business to close. And I’ve got to actually start saying goodbye to people that I now don’t want to say goodbye to.

Why is it that you can keep yourself from making new ties for nearly 4 years, and then just weeks before leaving, you meet a whole bunch of awesome people that you actually would like to remain friends with and are now sad that you are leaving… thank goodness for Facebook, otherwise I really would be quite sad.

I guess I shall leave this here. I am going to try to be better about blogging again… I might not be able to do so directly during the move weeks, but until then, I will try to be better.

Bugs and Hisses everyone!


Anomaly Con 2011, Part 1

I want to do a good long post about Anomaly Con. I even started mentally writing it last night. But it would require downloading photos, etc.

I’ve also decided that certain things I wanted to talk about… I shouldn’t. So I won’t. Ya dig?

 

Anomaly Con was quite fun. It was quite interesting being a “vendor” type person instead of just a patron.

I will touch lightly on this, and that is it. I found most people at the con quite… negative.

I don’t know if it’s just that I have basically turned into a bit of a hermit over the last year or not… but the patrons were by and large dour and negative whilst looking at wares. This is an observation not just at my table, but something I noticed as I observed people at other artist’s tables, or downstairs in the dealer area.

Alright, I’ve said my peace on that. Now I’ll move on.

The con it’s self… lets just say I do realize it is the baby year, and there was a lot of learning experience.

The Tivoli Center is a beautiful building. The atmosphere was perfect for what we were doing. Giant copper brewery … urns? (My brain is dead, I can’t think of the word I want) lots of piping… and just amazing bits and pieces.

But, it is not a good place for a convention. To get places, you would have to walk across the entire length of the center, then go up another elevator etc. And there was one section that quite a few of us never did get to, nor could figure out how to get there. (I feel so bad for the people who were stuck in that area…)

The Asylum did not do so well at the con. I made back my booth fee, and the cost of everyone’s tickets.. So that is great. That’s the least I could ask for.

Copper Dragonfly’s hats did well and people loved the odd shapes of the hats instead of just general round ones. (By well, I mean a few of them sold)

Erin Gallagher the author did amazing. Lots of people are excited for me to finish my novel and have it out in the world.

At one point I was kicked out of my own table and told to go listen to a panel that was going on. I did. I’m glad I did. Though it was amusing, I was pretty much the only person asking questions.

But… I might have found a self publishing route that I might go with. It is a group that was created by authors who have gone the self publishing route. So, they banded together and created their own author house. Self publishing is hard work, but having resources is a good thing. And most importantly, I would retain all rights nor would I have to worry about exclusivity. So if my dream came true and Harper Collins, or Tor decided to pick me up… I could easily go with them without having to give up a pound of flesh to get out of contracts etc. What I also like about this group, is that they are inclusive of all genres. For me, that is a very good thing. After all, I’ve got several.  Aether Horizons, steampunk adventure fiction. Angel Blitz (working title), a paranormal fantasy in WW2 England. The Q2-Files (series title), a modern mystery thriller. The Happy Housewife (working series title), a paranormal fantasy set in the 1950’s.

See, I don’t just fall into one category. Then there are other projects that I’m not yet at liberty to discuss, which fall into none of the categories I just mentioned.

Now, this company is a baby company. They literally just published the first title as of this weekend. The website needs a lot of work in my opinion. (Right now it looks like a fan page for one of the authors… which I understand why it’s like that, but I would recommend making it a little less about Her Her Her.)

I am interested in this pub house because yes I had planned on doing the self publishing route. I know it means I’ll have copies of my book laying about my house waiting for me to ship out. I know it will mean me selling the hell out of my book to everyone I come across. But, going with the print on demand publishers is just bloody expensive(with very little profit), and won’t ever get me into Barnes and Noble. (This pub house needs a few more authors… well not authors, but book titles before it can be put into the big distribution list that all the shops order from.)

And there isn’t a print on demand website out there that I have discovered that can get me my novel for 5$ a book (my cost).

I think I’ll still go with smashwords, and a few other sources for the e-book editions, but that is neither here nor there right now.

 

For those who are interested in knowing the group… the website is here:  Tangled Webs Publishing

 

The weekend was not so fun because Saturday evening after we left the Con (no, we did not stay for the ball.. we were too tired) we went to dinner. After dinner we got back in the car and it didn’t start.

Oh, I had completely forgotten. The night before on Friday… we went to a concert. It was Great Big Sea. It was the final show of the tour, and the boys were having fun. I am so very glad I went.

When we got done with the concert, the car didn’t start. We got towed over to Danny’s shop, and then the car started. We risked it and went home because of how early we needed to be up in Denver. The car went up to Denver just fine.

So here we are, at a Mexican restaurant a few blocks away from Katte and Curtis’s house. The car is not working.

Katte comes and rescues us, as we were staying at her house anyway.

Curtis makes a call on his cellphone while I calm myself with a dram of scotch.

Curtis is the only man I know who can have a mechanic call him back at 10:30pm on a Saturday. And more oddly, that mechanic agrees to come out to the car at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday.

I slept not so great because my brain wouldn’t shut off, I was dehydrated, and I had a migraine forming.

The morning comes, the mechanic meets us.  We determine it looks like it’s the fuel pump thats not working anymore.

Curtis hooks up Ginny to The Beast, and I nervously steer while he tows me the few blocks to the shop. (Oh my gods I hadn’t had to do that kind of towing in 7 years… I do not like to do it at all!!!!)

Katte then takes us to the Con. She was just going to pop in and see my table setup, and ended up staying for 3 hours. She loved it. She has all sorts of ideas now. Ideas that involve The Asylum as well.. muhahahahahaa.

Von who was coming up from the Springs on Sunday for the con gave me and all my crap (and people) a ride home. Which is good, because I had no idea how I was going to get all of my crap home otherwise.

The car is still in Denver. Katte is coming down with the kids on Tuesday to go to Garden of the Gods, so she’ll just scoop me up and take me up to Denver when it’s time to go home. (I was told that Tuesday is when the car should be ready, if nothing else I can always spend the night at their house until Wednesday if needed.)

 

So it was a good and bad weekend. Lots of interesting things happened.

Oh, and apparently my steampunk name is “Extra! Extra!” as everyone remembers the badge on my hat. (At least thats what the Colorado Springs people remember me as.) So I even moved the badge to my fedora on the Sunday. We’ll see if the nickname sticks or if I find something better.

I promise to post photos once I get them all downloaded etc… but for now… here is this one.

Saturday at Anomaly Con

 


Because I could…

I could say it’s a result of the stress I’ve been under the past couple of weeks.

I could say it’s because I have been marginally good when it’s come to my sweet intake the past few days.

I could say it’s because I won’t have anything like this for a while again.

But the truth is… I did it because I could.

 

So I had myself a bowl of Cookies and Cream Ice Cream (Blue Bell since it just came to Colorado Springs, and Mim had never had it. Being of Texas myself, I have of course had it) topped with a chocolate chip cookie.

I made chocolate chip cookies today for this weekend. I like to feed people who are helping me out, and I’d rather myself have homemade cookies than store bought ones.

I couldn’t find my usual recipe from Martha. So I am trying one of her other ones. I think this is the same recipe I used while I was in England… I thought that they were my usual recipe but I guess not.

When I was in England I blamed the difference on the butter/chocolate chips.  I am not fond of the chocolate chips I had in England (Milk chocolate. BLEGH! Give me Semi Sweet or Dark!) and the future Mother In Law does not keep butter in the house. (She runs Cardio wards in hospitals. I personally would rather have the real butter and take care of my heart in other aspects.)

My French Grandmother would roll in her grave if she knew I had used fake butter to bake with. But that is another time.

Today I used real butter, and had proper chips. The recipe I used is still different than I’m used to, but it is quite yummy in deed. Nice and cakey. Almost too cakey.

Today I also made myself some hummus. Made it for the first time. Used a mortar and pestle even. I did use a blender, but  as my blender is a tiny thing I decided to help it out by premashing the garbanzo beans.

I think the hummus was a success. It was nummy.

Next up will be to make different flavors, and also to make Edamame Hummus.

Pictured above is also some English Muffin bread that my mum made. It is always a yummy success.

For dinner Mim made crustless Quiche and I must say that I much prefer crustless Quiche to regular Quiche. I’ve never been fond of most pie crusts, and Quiche was not an exception.  I think from now on I’ll be making this version as I am fond of Quiche, but always am disappointed with the crust.

 

I’ll post the recipes up but today you are just going to get the cookies.

 

And the next time you most likely hear from me will be after Denver’s first ever Anomaly Con. I am quite excited. It’ll be my first time selling anything from The Asylum in a public setting. I will also be harking my scribblings. Yup, as an author. (Well, it’s my artists table that I’m paying for … so it’s not quite being there officially as an author.. but hey, my Asylum.. my rules!) Yup, Aether Horizons will be at the Con. I’m quite excited. It will make me feel all official like.

 

Martha’s Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges and set in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

 


The Mystery of the Carved Bones

This has been an interesting year. I never win anything. I always want to win things.. but I never do.  This year though, I have won 2 things. A book (Which I still haven’t read), and now a pair of custom made earrings by the fabulous designer Alena from Alena’s Originals.

Her Artfire shop is here, and her Facebook page can be found here.

I discovered her jewelry in a quest to find jewelry inspired by the tv show Bones. I love the necklaces that the main character of Bones (Based off the novels by Kathy Reichs) wore in the beginning seasons. I had found the actual designer many years ago, but her necklaces were going for thousands of dollars… and I’ve lost that link.

I ran into Alena’s shop once again in my quest for the necklaces.

With this set of earrings that I won, it was entirely up to me to pick what I wanted. Well, I didn’t know what I wanted so I told Alena to be creative. Just to give me something organic and earthy looking. I think she did an amazing job. I LOVE them. Wooden beads, A Walnut see, and Silver. Lovely, just absolutely lovely. And so light weight!

I love to look at pretty things. I can’t necessarily buy pretty things right now, but I can look at pretties and also send my “likes” to the hubs2be who is now terrified to buy me pretties because the only jewelry taste he is familiar with, of course is his Mothers, and his Sister. I am going to attempt to put this as delicately as possible.

I have the direct and total opposite taste in jewelry than my future Mother in Law.

She freely admits to loving the Bling.

I love things that are more organic and delicate. I do not love the bling. Guy has tried to show me things that he wanted to buy me. Thank gods he didn’t surprise me with pieces because quite frankly… I had not been happy with his choices.

OF course if he had bought me something, I would have loved it and loved him for buying it for me. Even if I thought it was the ugliest thing in the world. You do that for your spouse.

But he and I communicate with each other. He’s starting to learn what I like.  When he and I are finally cohabitating, he’ll finely be able to see what I like, and not just hear what I like.

Well, I like Alena’s work.

And I was absolutely floored when I won a pair of custom earrings made by her.  Even though I’m allergic to sterling silver (Though my ears aren’t hurting right now after wearing them for a few hours yesterday) I wasn’t going to mention it since these were free. If they had been less than SS, I would have offered to pay the difference so that I could actually wear them. Even with the SS, I chose a wire style that would allow me to change the wires out if absolutely necessary down the road.

Yesterday I had a photoshoot with Rebecca. We used the church of Grace and St. Stevens in Colorado Springs. That is my mother’s church, so while we were photographing, she was working in the garden. The reason we chose to have the photoshoot there was because the administrative offices are is in this amazing building next door. It is called the McWilliams House, and it is an old Victorian.

Now I shouldn’t be showing these photos yet, as there is a certain one that is for something very specific… but I’m going to risk it.

We had fun doing the photoshoot. I borrowed my mum’s hat for it, as I don’t have one of my own at the moment.

I have many more photos, but they aren’t ready yet.

I have quite a headache, so I’m going to leave it here for now.

Ta!

 

Oh, and stay tuned for more information about that pretty scarf I’m wearing. In a few days you’ll get to hear all about it with some detailed photos!


Sometimes the Universe Listens

I won’t go into a discussion about my religion here today. Not because I don’t want to talk about it, no not at all, I’m always up for chatting about my beliefs. Especially if you have opposite beliefs. I love theological discussions and always have.  I just ask that when we have that discussion you don’t try to force your opinions on me, as I won’t do that to you.

But so last night, I was praying to the gods. Asking for guidance, asking for assistance in my family’s future.

I also asked for help with my writing. Whoo boy did that one get answered almost immediately.

About 30 minutes later I was inspired something fierce. Morpheus of course promptly left me high and dry on our nightly date, and I had to run downstairs to fetch a notebook. I could not use the notebook next to my bed, as that one is for Aether Horizons, and this story most certainly was not Aether Horizons. Actually, that reminds me I need to go order myself a new Moleskine notebook… I think this project is going to be that big.

Never fear. I shall not let Aether fall by the wayside.  But I just had to get this story started. If I didn’t, I’d loose it. And my insomnia wasn’t going to let me get back to sleep anyway.

It kind of scares me. It’s not a genre I was fully planning on ever writing in. It’s a genre that already has so many greats, that I would very much be the little fish in the very big pond. But who knows… Perhaps someday I could be one of those big fish. I won’t know unless I jump in.

 

It does mean that I will have to dig out a copy of a book I’ve lugged around for years (and wow, in my search to find an image of it.. I realize that I got my copy for a STEAL!)

Actually, that is another story of the Universe telling me to do something.  I don’t know if I ever told the story on my blog, if I have forgive me.

Back when I was living in Boulder (hmmm… another coincidence that I can’t talk about right now), I was working at PetSmart. I hated it. I was struggling something fierce. I had just graduated from High School, I had just been rejected by CSU (sorry, when your mother is going through Chemotherapy and radiation treatment, the SATs aren’t that big a priority…). I was pretty  miserable.

I asked the gods and goddesses (and anyone else out there in the universe) to give me some guidance about what I should do.

I ended up missing my bus home. So I walked across the street to The Bookworm. Which was one of my absolute favorite used bookstores.. in the entire state of Colorado. (My California favorite is The Bookaneer in Thousand Oaks)

For some reason the idea of criminal forensics was stuck into my head. And going to school for it. So while I was in the Bookworm, I was just looking about… I picked up a few novels I wanted to read. And as I went up to the counter, the young man who was working the counter walked away. In his place was a much older lady. When she asked me if I had found everything, I paused and went…

“You know… do you have anything on forensics?”

She paused thoughtfully, then replied with:

“As it happens, I got a book in today, that I didn’t know where to put it.”

I followed her to the Law section (by the way, this was before the influx of CSI fans and the subsequent forensic books) and she handed me a hardback heavy book. “The New York Police Department; Practical Homicide Investigation” (I can’t remember what edition I have is)

I decided on the spot to get it. I mean, could a symbol be any brighter? There I was wondering if I should go to school for forensics, and lo and behold a text book for the NYPD falls into my hands. I paid 20$ for it, at a time when 20$ meant the difference between me making rent that week.  (Oh and I say it was a steal because I paid $20. To buy it,  it’s $70+. YOWIE!!!)

I ended up not going to school at all, and most certainly wouldn’t have gone for forensics. I realized that I already had a late start, and the burn out rate is too high. I didn’t want to do that to myself. (Okay, I was afraid of failing)

I would have loved to be a lab geek. I wanted to do ballistics. Somewhere in a box I have an entire bag full of bullet casings because a friend knew I wanted to do ballistics. (I hope those haven’t been lost in the moves)

So maybe the Universe wasn’t telling me that I was supposed to become a forensic tech. I’m human. I can get the message wrong at times. This time I think I’ve got it though.

The many pages that got written last night were good pages. Opening up an entirely new world to me. A world I had tried to delve into previously, but with a twist. It didn’t work out. I decided I didn’t want to go that route. This time it’s different.

Hopefully we’ll see both of these stories finished this year. Hopefully you all will enjoy what I’m creating.

Hopefully I might someday become that big fish.


Sometimes you fly…

Happy Imbolc to everyone who celebrates it. For me it certainly has been poignant. It’s about rebirth and renewal. Getting rid of the old, and bringing in the new.

Today I took a leap. I’ve decided I’m going to have a table at the Anomaly Con here in Denver this March.

This is big for me. Very very big. Like, starting tomorrow I need to dye my bum off so that I’m ready. I’m sure I’ll either be far too overstocked, or I’ll be understocked. I’m okay with being overstocked. I’ll be thrilled though if I sell out of everything and am understocked. I of course won’t expect this to happen, so I will be presently surprised if it does.

This will require me finding my costuming that I’ve packed away. But it will give me a chance to wear the awesome awesome new hat I have that was given to me as part of the Pay It Forward 2011 from my dear friend Kristen.

Isn’t it awesome? Don’t you wish you were me right now with such an awesome hat? Well, you can buy one of your own from her brand new shop (I’m so proud and excited for her) on Artfire: Copper Dragonflies. You really should check her out. She doesn’t have hats up in the shop right now, but send her a message and she’ll make you one.

It means also that if you don’t hear from me for the next 2 months, it’s because I’ve fallen into a vat of dye and drowned myself. This is very possible people. Yes, I realize that I’m possibly biting off more than I can chew, especially with still needing to finish the Sherlock club.. but I’ve never been one to do baby steps. I dive into that deep end and learn to swim. Wait.. no.. I’ve got a better analogy. One quite fitting.

“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” – Neil Gaiman

Well, I’m determined to fly. I never thought I’d get the chance to do an event like this. Certainly not in the US. I might not get something like this in the UK. So I might as well take that leap. After all, this witch just might prove that she can defy gravity. (Alright, how many more analogies can I throw in this paragraph structure?) (Oh, and photograph taken from here.)

I’ve got many big plans for this year, and this wasn’t even one of the original plans! This year is definitely going to be my year.

I’ve lost 21.6lbs as of writing this. I don’t know if I’ll reach my goal before the end of this diet, but I am okay with that.  I am happier with my body, my self, my business, and my life. The only aspect that I am not happy with is still not being with my hunny. But there is nothing I can do about that.

My hunny though is striving to make me happy. He bought a rug for our place. Oh yes, we found a place. It’s small and dinky, but it’ll work for us right now. But as I was saying, he bought us a rug. A rug I had said I liked. When I first saw this rug, I fell in love with it. But I told him I liked the gray one, and not the purple one. I told him this because he is not fond of purple. The gray was nice, and would look nice in the house (our main carpeting is a dark blue). So I was fine if he wanted that one. What did he do? While he was shopping in IKEA (which by the way, I love IKEA. I grew up in Ikea. I am sad that the Ikea here in Colorado will not open till next year… I’ve been wanting this store to pop up in Colorado the entire time I’ve lived here) He got us the rug. He got us the rug for a mere fraction of the original cost.

And he got me the purple rug. I love him for it. He knew the purple would make me happy.  And it would look good with the blue carpet. (The other choices besides gray and purple was this “sand” and a yellow green)

To any men reading my blog.. it’s little things like that which win over girls hearts.

As the first month of the Sherlock Holmes Yarn Club is now over and done.. (and I’m scrambling to get this 2nd month in the mail asap!) I can now share with you photos of what you are either enjoying in your house or missing out on.

Photo thanks to Reni LeBard

Dr. Watson in shades of mustards, curries, browns and gunmetal. When I think of our dear Doctor, I cannot help but think of him in those colors. Some might think it odd, but that’s the impression I always have. It is mostly due to the very first impression of him meeting Holmes for the first time. He is on my new base, a 2ply SW Sock

Hound of the Baskervilles was not originally planned. When I planned this club, it was going to be a 3 colorway club and that was it. (2 skeins of the same colorway each month) But then I had a customer ask for Hound of the Baskervilles to be included, and my imagination went from there. Hound of the Baskervilles was one of my favorites of the stories growing up. And whenever I think of it, the image of those haunted moors. So while designing this one, that’s exactly what image I used. The purple and greens and browns, the ever shifting mist of those moors. This one is shown on my 4ply SW Sock

I hope you like what I created…  Also in the months package is:

An Absinthe Lollipop, after all that was one of his vices. (Though Watson will tell you otherwise) They are from Lollyphile, but it does not appear that you can get them anymore. I guess it’s a good thing that I have an extra stash left over from this club. Muhahahaa

A random assortment of Holmes inspired Pin Badges (before anyone gets huffy.. each customer got 1 pin badge, certain people got 2 for their help in the project)

A tea strainer that is rather neat! (it’s got its own drip pan even!)

A pattern designed by the awesome Christina Scovel from Serenity Stitches.

Today I went to the printers to get this month’s pattern. It’s beautiful. But you’ll have to wait a month before you can see it! I’m also working on getting the last of the swag done, which hopefully will be tomorrow.  Then it’s back to the dye pot for me.  I’ve only got 1 more colorway that needs to be designed and dyed. I have the other colorway 99% finished. It just needs one last little treatment done to it before I can call it done.

I have been truly blessed by my loyal customers, and amazing friends.  This club was a huge leap for me, and it has taught me a lot, and enriched my soul while doing it.

Oh, I also had another Big Ass Order during all this… It was for a Sock Kit that is being put together by one of my customers.

“Bold As Texas”

I had carte blanche on the colors, so I chose: Red, White and Blue for the state flag, not to mention the patriotic tones that Texas has to begin with! Bluebonnet Blue, and a Yellow that matched the Yellow Rose of Texas.

I’m very happy with it. She’s very happy with it, and apparently the people ordering the kit are happy with it! Yay!

Well, I have more that I can announce, but I’m awfully tired. I should have gone to bed before I actually started writing this. So I guess I’ll just have to announce the rest tomorrow. Goodnight everyone, and may your Imbolc fires burn bright!


2011 With a new look!

Well.. it’s taken some tinkering, but I think I’ve finally decided on a look for the blog that I like.

 

Let me know what you all think? Anything I need to change and what not.

 

I’ve got many ideas and plans for 2011, and now that I’m not cranky and depressed I’m starting to focus on those.

I can’t tell you about all the plans, simply because there are some meanie heads (yes, that was being polite when I really want to call those people (and I’m using a plural to be polite) a certain 4 letter “C” word that I never never never use and generally want to punch a person in the face when they use it. But these “people” deserve the label.) will attempt to steal the ideas.

But yes, I’ve got very big plans for this year. And I’m not talking about the move or supposed wedding!

In regards to the wedding and move, I’m not making any plans. To make plans would be to tempt fate once again.

 

It’s been a tense couple of days between me and My Guy. Moving brings out the worst in people, finding suitable housing always makes me cranky. I hate searching for places. The UK also makes it very difficult for apartment searches. They don’t believe in renting over there, the mind set is “to own”. Well, that is all fine and dandy if you are one who not just wants to own, but can own. So you are lucky if you get a crappy image of the outside of the building when it comes to rental properties. Oh, and that is the only image. No floor plan, no measurements. Nothing. Just a crappy outside image.

So it gets frustrating. And My Guy is wonderful, but the worst when it comes to searching for housing. He’s picky to say the least.

As I was typing this up though, I checked my email and found that a deposit has been put down on a place.

My Guy sent me the link yesterday, with photos from his viewing. And after the big upset that had happened over the last “promising place”, I was certainly nervous opening the email. (The argument had not been pretty.) I will say I let out the breath I had been holding. There was light.

One of my big things was fear of living in a dark cramped little closet. I get depressed. I suffer a bit from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). Also moving to a new country, with weird customs, and no friends close by… All while not being able to work for the first 6 months… in my mind is a recipe for severe depression.

This little place has light. It has a galley style kitchen (only it doesn’t go through to anything other a Juliet Balcony).

It has a black stovetop which is good if I ever dye. Woodgrain countertops, and though the sink is smaller than I’d like (and only a 1 basin sink) I’ll manage somehow.

The bathroom is downstairs, with a window. Which makes me happy so that I can get the steam out and not have a mildew covered bathroom.

The bedroom is upstairs. That is the only problem that I really see (other than just general size of the little place.. but can’t do much about that on our budget right now). I can just see me with my bad knees having to go pee at 2am and going down those stairs. Oh well, if there is a problem, it might mean I finally get the second knee surgery I need lol.

It’s over a shop, which is weird to me. I’ve never lived over a shop. I might go mad during those first 6 months. Or it means I’ll spend my days at the pub next door, with my laptop working on the novel. The pub is literally down the stairs next door. It’s called The Seven Red Roses. I rather like that name for what will be “my local”. The post office is also literally right next door. As well as a Curves (which I’ve never gone to curves, but if it’s the closest gym, I might give it a go). There is also a pilates studio, that has the machines. I might give that a go, I know I can’t just do the floor routine for pilates, not with my back the way it is, and I haven’t had the chance to try the pilates machines.

I still do not know if I will be allowed to run my business during the first 6 months of living in the UK. I understand the reason for the “not allowed to work”, as they don’t want people just marrying for the Green Card. Wait, to they call it a Green Card in the UK? You know what I mean though. I think there should be an exception for owning your own business though. *shrugs* we’ll find out, and if I’m not allowed to run the business, I won’t.  (Hear that government people? I won’t work during those 6 months. If I dye, it’ll be for my own personal use, and that is all.)

I started a diet at the end of last year. And since the 2nd of January, I have lost 14.4lbs. To put it in British terms, I have lost just over a “stone“.

I don’t know if it’s simply because of the diet, or if it’s just the universe telling me something I should be doing with my life (beyond dyeing yarn)… but I have been dreaming and fantasizing about owning a bakery for the past few weeks now.

Colorado has far too strict laws in regards to food sales, so sadly all my plotting and planning will have to wait till after I move to the UK. I have someone researching the laws in the UK, but I believe they are slightly more relaxed.

But just because I cannot sell my wares right now (once my diet is over of course, I’m not going to tempt myself like that) doesn’t mean I can’t bake them and perfect them. I’ve already got a menu of items to perfect. I can also test an idea I have in regards to keeping things fresh and shipping them, not just across the country but across the pond.

This little baking dream I’ve been having has actually done a wonderful thing. My big brother Merlin and I have reconnected over it. Baking and cooking was a very magical thing in our house growing up. All of us kids did it, and we enjoyed doing it. Whether it was grilling a piece of fish on a tiny grill hanging off the back of the boat, or if it was a Chocolate cake with Peppermint Frosting (pink even!) for a sleepover. We are a family of foodies.

In my comments about this dream on Facebook, he encouraged me. Since I haven’t actually seen Merlin since… Wow, I want to say 10 years ago now… this is a big deal to me that we’ve reconnected. I didn’t get to see him at the engagement party, that he and his now fiancée flew out for. (They got engaged the night before the engagement party, but didn’t tell anyone until afterwards because they didn’t want to take away from my “thunder” well, considering I wasn’t even at the engagement party, I would have been pleased as punch for them to announce it then as then it would have been a REAL engagement party. lol)

Stories I am working on this year:

Aether Horizons

Nope, haven’t dropped this one. Still working on it. While I was in England I did a little artwork to get myself inspired.

That is an idea for Vesper Ravenwood. I enjoyed playing with it.

And here is a logo for the HMAES Valerian, the ship that takes them oh so far amongst the clouds.

Then there of course is still the Unnamed Blitz Novella. I don’t think it’ll get a name till it’s done, and I cannot finish it till I get into England and can take a walk or two.  I am not giving this one up at all, because I really like it.

Mind you, the image for the Blitz Novella isn’t pretty. It was thrown together without the aid of photoshop. Someday I’ll clean it up when I have photoshop again (meaning after the move as the main computer of the house has it)

 

And then of course there is the new little short story project that I am working on. I announced it in the last blog.

Can’t really give you the title at this time, but you’ll know it has to do with the mysterious person named “Bliss Leigh Happy”. I cannot wait till this one is ready for public consumption. It shall be quite fun!

 

I’ve been working my ass off the past couple of days dyeing yarn. I’m exhausted. Today I’m going to edit some photos and put listings up in the shop, and I might do a bit more dyeing, but I’m certainly not going to do as much as I did the other day.

 

The Sherlock Holmes Yarn Club has been a hit! People are expressing that they enjoy the yarns and the swag they’ve received, which makes me quite happy. I was nervous about my yarn babies going off into the world.

 

Books I’m currently reading:

Tekwar by William Shatner (haven’t actually touched this one in a while)

Two for the Dough by Janet Evonovich

and I just got from the library (haven’t opened them up yet but I will later today):

Death Masks by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #5)

The Cereal Murders by Diane Mott Davidson (#2)

 

I guess I’m done yammering. I should go make some lunch and then get to work on what I was going to work on.

 

Bugs and Hisses everyone.