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Aug. 2nd, 2016

#CTmonthinthelife day 2

So day 2 of the Create & Thrive Month in the life is Hands. I'm actually hoping this challenge helps me get back into the habit of taking time to post here. Heh.

#2 Hands of #ctmonthinthelife  This one was a little more difficult, because it's just me. So you get my left hand.  Which is ironic because it's the one with the most character-scars from when Dante and Max tangled and I stuck my hand in between, many ye

This one was a little more difficult since, well, it's just me. So you get my left hand. Which is ironic because it's the one with the most character- scars from when Dante and Max tangled and I stuck my hand between them, many many years ago. It's the hand that I broke my only bone in- the middle finger, no less. It's the hand I write with, weave with, bead with, sew with... obviously I'm left handed. LOL.




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Aug. 1st, 2016

#CTmonthinthelife

So a friend over on Facebook, posted an Instagram challenge with daily prompts for photos you take of your creative life. So I'm trying it out...

Day 1 is Work Space

So a friend, @xiane_threeravens , posted think #ctmonthinthelife challenge over on Facebook. I decided to give it a go. Today's prompt is #workspace , so you get about half of my studio in this shot, complete with the current #workinprogress  on the big #

This is actually only half of my actual work space. The room is 12' x 13' so rather hard to get the entirety into one shot. But I lurves it.



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Apr. 1st, 2016

Working with cats can be so amusing...



So I warped up the rigid heddle loom for a lovely houndstooth patterned wrap. Today, Miss Sassy, definitely feeling much better , decided to 'help'.



First she thought laying under the actual working area was a great idea. Since, you know, laying on my desk *next* to the loom is so passe- besides, Morrigan is also currently on my desk (the window is open). Of course, she simply had to make herself right at home, ensuring that I could do nothing, as moving the heddle would result in squishing her. Then she decided she needed a drink, whereupon I took advantage of her absence to toss the shuttle through and move the heddle down.



That of course was completely unacceptable to her. She immediately returned and squeezed herself under the back warp. She literally twisted and contorted to get in there. And then stretched out again. Which meant, I had to loosen the warp so she wouldn't stretch it out and move the heddle back up. At this point, I'm resigned to getting very little done.



Of course, a loose warp leads to other issues. Such as when she tries to turn around and has the heddle fall over on her.



Which leads to such Diva looks. It's a good thing you're cute, Miss Sassy.



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Mar. 29th, 2016

Changes are afoot.

Yes, I've been slack at keeping up the blog. It's been a rather busy couple of weeks. Toward the beginning of March, we decided to house hunt. It was an exhausting experience and wasn't fun at all. Looking at house you know aren't near large enough, or have too close of neighbors. Six houses in and I was ready to give up.

You note I said *was*.

We are currently in the process of buying a house.

House inspection was last Friday, the house is structurally sound and has very minor things that the seller shouldn't have any issues with correcting. And even if they won't, they're not deal breakers, we'll just do them ourselves. To that end, the tentative closing date is the end of April.

No matter what the house hunting/buying TV shows may show you, buying a house is not a straight forward process. They cut *a lot* out in the name of time and expediency.

After 9/11, they passed a series of laws regarding the transfer of funds. Since we are being gifted the 20% down for the house, we have to show *exactly* where that money is coming from- both from the person who is giving it to us, via their bank statements showing the funds are/were available at the time, copies of the check(s) sent to us, statements from our bank showing that it had been deposited AND the deposit slips.

Loan companies want to know where *anything* over $500.00 came from. They also want 2-3 months worth of banking logs- not statements, *logs* from the bank itself, showing every transaction. They also want a month's worth of pay stubs to compare against the bank logs. Obstensively, this is to prove that yes, you get paid what you say you do and no, you have no liens, or other debts, aside from utilities and rent or credit card bills, coming out (like child support, IRS payments, etc). If you can't give them the documentation they want, it's a red flag and the loan may not get approved. After you get them all the paperwork, hopefully in a timely manner, it can still take anywhere from 30 to 40 DAYS for the loan to process.

That is where we are right now.

We have been told by both the loan officer and our realtor, we are unusual home buyers. I guess because not only did we know exactly what we were looking for and what we would and would not compromise on, but in the terms of knowing in exactly what we want to pay per month, regardless of the fact that we actually qualified for $90,000 MORE than the house we are buying. We simply didn't want a $1,000+ house payment. We wanted to be house rich AND comfortable money wise as well. But also because we've gotten them every bit of paperwork they asked for in a very timely manner, as in, within 24-48 hours. Apparently, some people take weeks. Hrm.

So as a result, we are *well* within the limits of our debt to income ratio. Most people apparently go for a house at the very top of what they are prequalified for, which is what leads to problems. We didn't want to go that route, having been there, done that, once already 20+ years ago.

I'll talk more about the house at a later date, but suffice it to say- it has nearly everything we wanted, especially in terms of land, with the exception of only being one bathroom instead of a minimum of one and a half. We did good.

The best part, besides the nearly 2 acres of relatively flat yard? The house is named. And it's a wonderful, wonderful name.


* * * * * * *




In other news, after Mysticon, I bought myself a 7ft adjustable triloom. It finally arrived a little over a week ago and I went to work immediately making a 6ft shawl using Unplanned Peacock Morphic Peacock Sock in the Fountain colorway, dark to light.



Unlike the 3ft triloom and my rigid heddle loom, this one requires a lot of standing, bending and walking back and forth. This was 3 hours worth of work right there. Mainly because Miss Sassy kept laying right in front of where I was working (that should have been our first hint that she wasn't well).



But after a few days of working on it for a couple hours at a time, I finished the shawl now known as Water. On the loom, itself was gorgeous as is, and I couldn't wait to remove it and finish the top edge.



Needless to say, it's stunning off the loom. I will have a very hard time parting with this one, methinks, but that is why I create things like this- if I love them, I know someone else will love them as well. This was before the ends were woven in and the top edge finished off. The drape and flow was quite lovely. I plan to get more of the UPP Morphic yarns in the other colors and create more like this.



I even had enough of each color to weave a 3ft version, but light to dark, which will go to my mom as a Mother's Day gift this year. I also had enough to do 2 more 3ft shawls, one in light to medium, the other in dark to medium. They, and the large Water, will be available at the Olde Liberty Fiber Faire the 3rd week of April.


* * * * * * *



Speaking of Miss Sassy, last Thursday morning, we had to take her to the vet. Turns out, her red blood count was extremely low. Normally cats have a count of 40-45, her's was TEN. The vet said, and I quote, "It was not enough to sustain life." She was literally dying in front of us and we didn't know why.

They had to do a blood transfusion and tests. Ruled out a stroke (which is what we thought was going on), diabetes, kidney issues, thyroid issues and leukemia. That left a flea/tick/mosquitoe/biting fly borne disaese- hemobartella.

I blame the neighbors next door for throwing *bread* out into not only their back yard, but over the fence into ours (when I find it, it gets disposed of immediately), the result of which has attracted rats, whom have taken up residence next door but come under the fence to my side for the bird seed I no longer put out. Rats carry fleas. We've had a bad flea issue for the last year, when we hadn't had hardly *any* in the many years prior. So I blame the neighbors.

Miss Sassy is recovering quite nicely. Still a bit skinnier than we'd prefer, but she is 17 yrs old, so never really was a big Siamese. She's fighting the meds when dosed, which is always a good sign, very mouthy when we're getting dinner or lunch or really, *any* food in the kitchen. Needles us for her breakfast, then finishes Morrigan's when she walks away. And she's purring again. Almost normal.

Speaking of blood transfusion- feline blood only lasts 60 days, so most vets do not keep any on hand. Most feline blood types are compatible, I believe, with the others, but the need for feline donors is great. If you have a cat that is of a good size (over 10 lbs) and is healthy, do yourself, your friends with cats and your neighbors with cats, a favor and go get your cat blood typed and registered as a donor.

We almost lost Miss Sassy because we almost did not have a donor nearby. Thankfully, we got lucky and found one. But you simply never know when your cat or someone else's cat might suddenly need blood.

So go get your cat registered as a blood donor.}:)



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Mar. 8th, 2016

Did you know...

House hunting actually really *sucks*? So tired of being told I can't have what I want at the price we're looking in. Yes, I can and yes, I will. We will not simply 'settle' for something we'll want to move out of in 5 years and if we can't find something that's *larger* than here (which is just over 700 sq ft itself) and that doesn't mean almost all the extra square footage is just another bedroom that's smaller than what we currently have, as well as the other 2 being smaller than what we have, then we will simply stay put for another year. Even though, we really don't want to and we're really tired of stupid close neighbors and traffic and city living...

Yeah.

In other news, 2 weekends ago, this happened-

Last day of #mysticon , we're here until 3pm, do stop on by!  #nofilter  #dantesspirit


I set up a table at our little local sci-fi, pop culture, etc Con to try my hand at selling in person. I had at least one person tell me they recognised my stuff from *Tumblr*. Tumblr!, of all places. It was rather fun, honestly and I did quite well. I gave out almost 100 business cards- so glad I ordered 200 from Moo. Well enough that I was able to restock quite a bit of gorgous locally dyed yarn and order a new 7ft adjustable triangle loom- which I'm still waiting for the shipping notice on, sigh.

Next up is the Olde Liberty Fiber Faire, where I was also asked to demonstrate my rigid heddle loom.

Meanwhile, I need to weave up a bunch of wraps and shawls and restock. Heh.


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Jan. 4th, 2016

Hullo, 2016

I'll try to do better on the blogging front, I promise.

I've already decided that Facebook makes me angry too much, sometimes daily, and as a result, my whole day gets thrown out of whack. So, cutting back on Facebook is a definite thing. Which means, more gets posted here instead, even if it's just a random thought, scatter shot type of posting, its still a posting, yes? Heh.

Christmas was fun. And I mean that sarcastically.

We woke up to a completely flat tire on Christmas day. Then we found out the hard way, that all five tires- to include the spare had a locking lug nut on them. And we did not have the wheel lock key to remove them. Or the proper sized socket set and a breaking bar to force them off. Yeah.




Those 5 things right there cost us over $300.00, since we ended up having to buy two new tires instead, as the flat was not repairable and putting a new (the spare) tire on it with a worn tire, might have resulted in damage to the transfer case, which would cost over $3,000.00 to repair. Merry Christmas to us! Ugh.

Then, yesterday, we took down the Christmas lights and discovered that half the new net lights we bought (and ended up actually hating the colors on) no longer work, half had gone out a couple days ago, but it was wet and rainy and we weren't messing with them in the rain, - good thing we got them at half price. They went into the trash. New Year's Day, discovered that a portion of our strand of white lights we use on the porch was out. Closer examination after taking them down, it was discovered that an entire bulb had been removed- read, chewed completely out by the wildlife. Found the bulb section on the ground when we went to look for it. Yeah.



The first quarter or so works, then there's about 50-75 lights that don't, then the rest work. It's a 250 bulb strand. Yeah. Might end up using it for the dwarf alberta spruce, then using the unlit section to cross to the porch, then the rest on the porch, assuming we're here next holiday season to put lights up. *After* we electrical tape the cut section off. Otherwise, the plan is to try to find a white LED strand instead.

We set a house hunting goal line. And that's October-November of this year, with an eye towards hopefully being in a new home by Christmas if not New Year's. So, between now and then, that means figuring out what we absolutely can cut out (going out to eat so much, for starters) and instead put towards savings to build up that nest egg faster, as well as pay the credit cards down and potentially off completely, and figuring out how to build the husband's credit record up more. He's got a reasonably good credit score right now, but ideally, we'd like it to be a lot higher and a great score instead.

We've been narrowing down areas we're interested in potentially looking at houses in, as well as styles of house, size of both house and land, number of bedrooms, etc. We also have a 'theoretical' price range - well, what *we* would be interested in paying per month towards a house, if it's less, awesome, if it ends up being more than we'd ideally like to pay, well, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Research is your friend.}:P Still a long way to go though.

In the mean time, I have just under two months to finish the hand embroidered silk scarves I've got planned, the steampunk/clockwork jewelry pieces in the works and the last few themed gaming bags, all for Mysticon. Which is another reason I've decided to drastically cut back on Facebook time. Heh. Distractions are very distracting and time consuming.

To that end, these are in various stages of progress...



Habotai silk scarf, hand dyed and being hand embroidered with an octopus tentacle. Have another ready to go when this is finished that will be hand embroidered with clockwork gears.



The third steampunk/clockwork brooch in the process of being beaded. Also have plans for a steampunk/clockwork charm style bracelet and a couple necklaces.


Need to weave the shells for at least 5 more themed gaming bags and then, do a couple dry runs and see which display set up works best. And put price tags on everything still. Heh.

And as a heads up, sometime over the next few weeks, all gaming bags will be moved to the Square shop. Each will be an individual listing with multiple photos. It'll free up space in the Big Cartel shop and better display the bags themselves.

Fun times. Guess I better go get started, eh?



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Nov. 30th, 2015

Finished things, for sale and not...

So several years ago, I started the embroidery on this quilt and never finished it until recently. Not only did I finish the broidery, I then put the blocks together and made it into a quilt top. Then I managed to actually quilt it.

It's not perfect, there are wonky parts, but it's finished and the cats, who have taken it over the moment I tossed it across the end of the couch, don't care and love it.

Cat of the month throw quilt, finished.   #nofilter  #catofthemonthblock #quilt #quilting #handsewing #handsewn  #machinesewn #embroidery #embroidered #stitchery #quiltblocks #quiltblock #throwquilt #lapquilt #dantesspirit


After I finished the embroidery of the above throw quilt, I designed and embroidered a quick, small art quilt hanging, along with several hand designed Akita embroidery blocks.

Clockwork, Artquilt


This particular piece is currently for sale here.

I needed more steampunk/clockwork themed pieces for Mysticon next February, so that's what's being worked on now. This is the first of a dozen or so pieces in the works.

Clockwork Compass brooches, in progress   Needs a pinback and the suede cover, then this one is finished.   #clockwork #steampunk #beadwork #handbeaded #pin #brooch #handmade #mysticon #dantesspirit


I'll post photos of each as they're finished, but these won't be put in the shop until March 2016, whatever doesn't sell at Mysticon.

Speaking of the shop, it's Cyber Monday and a great day to help support small Handmade busineses. You'll find lots of items in my shop marked down and on sale, so come check them out!

Such as this lovely 100% Silk Noil handwoven scarf or wrap-

Barfight Aftermath


Barfight Aftermath is available here. There are lots more items, so definitely take a look!


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