I realize I’ve been bad at blogging. Life has been super crazy. That’s my excuse every time though isn’t it?? Oh well.
I’ve decided to be generous today since it’s the 4th of July. Happy Independence Day to everyone.
I have mixed emotions over this holiday for very personal reasons, none to do with the actual holiday.
We’ll just say that it’s along the lines of “Something good started… then the next year something bad started… etc”
I’m going to focus on the good though.
But like I said, I’m feeling generous.
So I know that some of you can’t join in the Labyrinth Pattern club fun and games thanks to the economy sucking right now… but here’s what I’m going to do.
Bring a friend!
Yup, if you introduce a friend to the fabulous pattern club and they join the club (they have to let me know when they check out that you sent them.) You will receive $5.00 worth of credit in the shop.
This credit will be good on anything in the shop, be it patterns, or yarn, or a few of the knitted items I’m going to be posting up in there because I don’t want to pack them away for the move. Which means you aren’t left out if you’ve already joined the club. (Credit is good on the Club membership as well if you bring the friend and then suddenly decide at the last minute that you want to join in the fun as well)
And yes, the credit can be used on the future clubs (both pattern clubs and the yarn clubs… like The Three Musketeer’s which I’m still working on the details of… )
And here is a teaser shot of the “My Lady” hat.
I have also gone ahead and added the pattern for My Lady and As the World Falls Down to the Ravelry database, which is giving me problems (won’t let me add photos etc right now). Hopefully those issues will be fixed soon.
Remember, as of right now you can only get the patterns by joining the club. After the club is over I will release the patterns individually for sale, but I don’t know when that will be.
Alright, that’s all from me right now. I’m going to go take care of a chore or two before the party at my friend’s house tonight.
Look, new yarn! This one was dyed for some friends, as part of their baby blanket. I’m quite excited about this one as it is so subtle and beautiful and just glows.
It is part of my Neil Gaiman “Death and Dreams” series, and it is called Stardust.
I haven’t written anything on the novels in weeks.
I’ve been stressed, sick, and overwhelmed.
Even just last week, I started a dental emergency. Anyone who’s been a long time reader of mine knows that I’ve had problems with my teeth for years. Well, I’m finally getting things sorted out. Not in the way I want of course. This is more of an emergency situation.
Last Wednesday, I started having severe pain. Then I woke up on Thursday and my face was swollen.
I did what I could do to help the swelling go down, but on Friday it was again swollen and I had been up all night in pain. I hadn’t experienced that pain in many years, not since I had been living in Boulder and I had my wisdom teeth extracted and they hadn’t given me my syringe and I needed it.
Well, on Friday I managed to get an appointment at Peak Vista. Which I must say is an awesome place. I didn’t have an appointment, but they squeezed me in. And if I had gone to the emergency dentist I would have paid 300$. Well at Peak Vista, I paid a total of 29$, and that was including the prescription for antibiotics to get the swelling down. Yeah I had to sit around waiting a while, but that was fine. It wasn’t like I was going to be doing much that day anyway.
Due to the swelling they weren’t able to try extracting the tooth, which actually is fine. They couldn’t have given me more than just a local anesthetic shot, which from past experience… would have been bad. The last time I had a tooth extracted, a baby tooth mind you that they just used a shot.. it took 4 shots and I still felt every single tug and it hurt like a bitch.
So I’ve been referred to an oral surgeon. Which is most likely who I needed anyway since there isn’t much tooth for them to grab onto, and they have to remove the post that was left over from the root canal.
The tooth that has been giving me fits, was one that I wanted to have extracted years ago. But I was naive and I let the dentist convince me to just get a root canal done. Well, that was my mistake. I should have gone with my plan, my own gut instinct. My plan was to just get them pulled, and wear my retainers to keep my teeth from shifting, and then get implants some day. Good plan right? Well, the crown immediately broke on the tooth, and then I was generally in too much pain to wear my retainers, which means my teeth have shifted. Not much, but its noticeable to me. And means I’m most likely going to have to get braces again. I am going to start wearing my retainers again anyway, as theoretically the pain I was having that prevented me from wearing them will be gone. Now it’ll just be a matter of seeing if my teeth that have shifted slightly, will shift back in to place. (I’d be happy with that)
The hubs2be knows what plan we need to have for my teeth, and that I would rather have my teeth fixed than a sparkly necklace.
My cheek as of today is back to normal. Yay.
Now back to writing.
Yesterday I wrote over 2300 words. I am quite excited about this since I hadn’t written in weeks. Unfortunately it was all on The Q2-Files, and not Aether Horizons like it should have been, but you write when inspiration hits.
I’ve also figured out a lot of the direction that I want to take the Q2-Files in. So that makes me happy as well. My first set of readers who have gotten the few measly pages, love it. Which makes me believe I have a real hit on my hands.
Oh, and the Minion and I are planning great things for Baking After Midnight; there will be a contest soon. We are just working out the details right now. OMG, the month is almost over. We really need to get cracking on getting those details sorted so that ya’all know about it.
Alright, I guess that’s all for now. Cheers!
My life is interesting. When things happen to me, it happens all at once. I can go for weeks, months even without things happening. And then boom. Everything comes down at the same time.
Some might say it’s coincidence. But since it is a constant thing, I am no longer inclined to believe that it is simply coincidence.
They might be little things, they might be big things, but they have a habit of grouping themselves together.
I’m not going to go into details, but I must say I find it rather annoying at times.
It can cause frustration, anger, elation, and confusion. It can be the cause of drink, be it in celebration or depression.
It can cause artists to retreat into their worlds, be it on canvas, or paper, or whichever medium they find to be most comforting.
It can also cause that same artist to feel blocked and unable to enter into that world in which they feel so comfortable, causing them to float aimlessly about the aether.
Today is a gray day.
It is sleeting here in Colorado, which means I am unable to photograph yarn (not that it’s dry yet…); I am unable to go for a walk like I would like, and there are storm clouds both inside the house and out.
So as it is a gray day, I am watching Dorian Gray, the new one with Ben Barnes (alright it’s a few years old now, but I hadn’t been able to watch it previously).
I am enjoying it immensely. I am reinstalling MS Office onto my laptop. And I am trying to ignore the annoyance of the world.
Oh, and I give you a new yarn.
Herbology. Part of the Whimsical Wizards series.
And here is some knitting that I have done…. it was a commission that I took while at Anomaly Con.
Both shawls are in the Legolas Pattern by Susan Pandorf
Both shawls are on the Cherry DK yarn from The Asylum.
The blue one to the left is the colorway “Melisande”, the green one to the right is “Herbology”
I guess that’s all I can talk about right now. News will be coming soon.
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:
Stardust 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!
I am biting the bullet. I am committing to it. Now I just need to get my butt into gear and get the patterns ready.
In the next couple of months, I will be putting up for Pre-Order, a Pattern Club.
There will be 6 official patterns. (Price yet to be determined)
Of the confirmed patterns, there will be:
1 Stole (rectangular)
1 Sock pattern
There are more coming, but these are the ones that will happen.
As of right now, orders will only be through the shop proper, I will email the patterns to people. Once the club is over, I will then open the patterns up for sale via Ravelry, but it will be only once the club is well and truly over. I will then send a download code for the members to add the pattern to their Ravelry libraries. (But that won’t happen till the club is over, only because I can’t separate out who can “purchase” the pattern via ravelry. And as of right now, this is only going to be open to club members.)
When I started tinkering with this idea, I start wracking my brain as to what I wanted the theme to be. I almost didn’t start this project simply because of worrying about if I’d be able to come up with the patterns.
Well, not even 5 minutes after I came up with the theme, I got ideas for 6 patterns immediately. I have more than 6 patterns that I’m playing around with, but for this round… there will only be 6. (There might be a special extra, but we’ll see.)
What is the theme?
Well my dear readers… I’m going with one of my favorites of all time.
Yes, you read that correctly. Labyrinth. Inspired by the most amazing movie brought to us by Jim Henson, featuring The Goblin King himself, who just so happened to be my first crush ever. (I still have a crush on David Bowie)
That’s all the info I have for now. More details will be forthcoming.
In other news… I had been avoiding doing my taxes for weeks now. I had everything prepared and ready to go, but dreaded the important step of actually filing. On one hand, I am glad I delayed.
A few weeks ago I received a letter from Unemployment (Colorado), stating that my payments were being postponed, and that my claim was under review.
Then a few days ago, I received a letter stating that not only was I now ineligible for benefits (no explanation as to why… the buggers), but also that they had over paid me by 2 months. This overpayment is of course due immediately, and comes to just over $1200.00. Where they think I’m going to suddenly come up with this money is beyond me. There is a reason I am on unemployment. I am by the Government’s standards… unemployed. C’est la vie.
This last letter of course lead to meltdowns and panics on my part trying to figure out what the heck was going to happen. (And it was partly the inspiration for this club)
I finally came out of shock, and got a game plan.
It has changed what will happen in the next few months. The moving to England time table has once again been stepped up, and it means changes to The Asylum.
But, like I said above I am glad I delayed in filing my taxes. Had I done that sooner, I would have had my return already, and most likely spent it on yarn (for the Asylum) and other things… like food and rent. (What a concept.)
Now, it all gets to go to my Unemployment bill. It won’t cover all of it, but it will put a fair sized dent in what they are demanding, and it will make me breathe easier not having the total amount looming over my head.
Sometimes procrastination pays.
On a completely different note… I just found out that they are going to be making the Dragon Riders of Pern into movies. YAY!!! I cannot express how happy this makes me.
I did not read Lord of the Rings in 6th grade like a lot of people I know. Instead, I was in Pern.
I carried around marble decorative eggs because they reminded me of Firelizard eggs.
I learned how to make Klah (still drink it on a regular basis). I learned how to make Bubbly Pies (though I don’t make Blueberry since I’m not a fan, instead I make mixed berry).
During the death of my Aunt/Mother, I retreated not only into Outlander, but into Pern.
In dreams I flew on dragonwing.
They better do these movies well. Otherwise there will be hell to pay.
On that note. I’m going to bed. I am very tired. Night all!
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- 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.