Category Archives: Crafting

May Wrap Up, June Goals

How on Earth did it get to be June already? This year is going by much too fast. The kids are nearly finished with school which will make getting any real work done a little more difficult but not impossible. I’m planning on getting Bear Ridge completely finished by July. I did manage to get the Zero Draft finished and now it’s a matter of taking the bones and making them flesh and teach them to dance. Hopefully, it’ll be as good as it I think it will.

It’s been a relatively great month overall. I don’t really have any good news to share yet but I’m hopeful for some of that in the next few months. I didn’t quite make my goals for this month but there was definitely an improvement. I made 5 separate artsy things (2 of which went up on NestingDragon), I sent out 5 submissions (a very long way from my old totals but I’m wading in instead of jumping), I only missed 8 days, I went to 1 convention, attended 1 performance of my oldest child in Footloose, voted in local and primary stuff, and I wrote 25,196 words, up about 5000 from last month which makes me happy and I’m over 120,000 words for this year so far. I’m still not meeting my daily word count goals but it’s getting better every month and I’m more than ok with that.

On the health front, I think I’m getting closer to having it either under control or adjusting to the pain enough to work through it. I went hiking and my problems were more about my utter lack of fitness than my RA which is both awesome and awful. I know this last year has been really hard as far as getting moving so I’m trying not to be too hard on myself but it’s also really hard to get that fat-fairy in my head to shut her mouth – you know the one that reminds me I’m still fat because that’s a thing that can change overnight /s. I figure, once the kids are out of school, we can go to the park a few times a week and walk around for a while because I much prefer walking through the woods to walking on the sidewalk – it’s so much nicer on my feet, ankles, knees, and hips. Plus, there’s shade. I’ll get where I need to be eventually.

It’s harder to keep goals in the summer on the writing front and right now, it’s not about the word count so much as it is about getting the book done well and right. Edits don’t add a lot of words usually. They will a bit this time around while I’m adding flesh but my only goal for next month is to finish Christmas in Bear Ridge and get it right, clean and pretty, and readable so I can get it turned in. I’m not worried about the art, the crafting, or learning to use GIMP (though I’ll take any links or tips and tricks on that for after the book is done). In the end, June won’t be a letter grade sort of month but a pass/fail. I either get it done or I don’t.

Accountability has always helped me stay on track, that’s why I keep making these posts. By writing up my goals and my successes and failures, it gives me the motivation to do better, to keep striving a little harder to get it done. Hope you all have a happy and productive June!

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Shoes!

I took a little writing break this week, I needed a bit of a recharge and to make something tangible. I’m really proud of the final outcome, even if they aren’t perfect.

Handpainted Fullmetal Alchemist Shoes

A few years ago I painted a pair of shoes for my eldest child all relating to Fullmetal Alchemist, his favorite anime. I thought it might be fun to paint myself a pair, not for FMA though, I never want to paint Al again! I wish I had the artistic skill to match my desire to make things!

 

 

 

 

I started with a pair of canvas shoes in my size (boat feet ahead!). I started with some carbon paper and some reference material only to remember that it doesn’t really do more than give you a muddy outline on the best of surfaces. But it was enough that I was able to put in and tweak the smaller details.

Then it was all the painting for a very long time. I forget how much time it takes to paint when you really have no skill with it! I am not the worst at mixing color though! I had to tweak some of the color for Spot – he’s so dark it’s hard to distinguish patterns and shapes so I went with grays and greens instead of black and brown and I really love how he turned out. I am NOT a fan of my Kuro (Blue Exorcist) though – I should have made him bigger and used a different reference picture – there’s no spark to this one. I had wanted to do some more complicated characters like Falcor or a Loth Wolf but I really don’t have the skill for that when the tracing doesn’t work very well on these shoes so I scrapped some of my favorites for other really neat things that I can actually draw like the worm from Beetlejuice or a pipe piranha. I do still need something in my life with a Loth Wolf on it – they’re my favorite animal in all the Star Wars universe and the Loth Cat I managed to do an ok job with just isn’t the same!

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February Wrap Up & March Goals

Well, February was my best month since the last time I won a NaNoWriMo. I am a bit of a spreadsheet geek – facts and figures make me so happy.

The figures!

35,221 total words written for February (47,806 for the year)

How does that break down you ask? 9201 words on Gods of the Fallen, 19552 on Hunter’s Hell, 4011 on this blog, 1694 for the Geek Girl Project, and 44 words worth of poetry (or one rough poem). I don’t do a count of any of my handwritten stuff – notes, snippets, my personal diary and such because that would be a pain in the butt to do.

I missed three days out of the month and that’s it. That’s so freaking awesome. I’m really quite proud of myself today, at least on the writing front.

The health front faired less well … stupid yummy food, stupid boring exercise … I actually gained two pounds. However, given how much junk I probably really ate, that’s not so bad. I bought some new resistance bands to help with some of that and I’m trying really hard to stick with the calorie counter app. For me, it’s really more about the calories – if I can keep that under control, I’m good. Doing actual exercise is just a thing I do so I can eat what I want.

I am tolerating the increase in methotrexate pretty well – changing the time of day has made a world of difference. Now I get to sleep through pretty much all of the tired and icky feelings. I’m not pain-free but I’m certainly at mostly tolerable levels and actually able to type. I’m not up to normal speeds but I am thinking that I have to consider this a new normal. I think my days of 80-90 wpm are probably over.

On to March Goals!

On the writing front, I’d like the total count to be higher than February’s and not just because of the missing days. I don’t mind having to not write for a day or three – I might have things that need doing, might be too tired or drained or whatever. I do want to aim for that 50k word count. Realistically, that should be my average at a minimum. That’s only 1650 words per day on average. I might have some days that are only 300 words and days that are close to 4000 words. I really should be able to do 1650 words per day on average. And I really should add a per day average number to my spreadsheet!

On the health front – my biggest goal right now is to be able to get up off the floor without help. Which means I’ll be able to do more proper yoga again I suppose if I can get the dog to leave me be for a minute. Yes, I would like to lose weight. Really, I need to lose a lot of it – 75-80 is my goal (the doctor would be super thrilled with 50 though). So monthly, maybe 5 pounds lost would be really wonderful but the ability to stand up without help is what I’m after.

I got nothing made last month and I would really like to get something neat made this month. So, I want to make at least 5 things in March. I don’t care what they are but 5 somethings. (And find at least one festival I can manage to do for this summer).

I had a lot of progress in February and I just want to keep moving forward as best I can so March is even better.

 

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Working

At least for the time being, this attempt at tracking my words is actually working. Not only that but I’ve gotten at least 300 words every day this month and every day since January 20th. That doesn’t seem like much but the way things have been the last six months, the last year, that’s just flat amazing. I’m a bit of a sucker for a well put together spreadsheet and that’s what I’ve put together for tracking my words. It’s not as fancy as it could be but it’s functional – tracking by day, by month, by project, and yearly total. I’m probably enjoying that a little too much but it really is fun to do. I did learn that, even if I only wrote 300 words a day, I could still write a book every year. 300 words is nothing! Anyone can write 300 words.

Husband and I went out today, I hit Joanne Fabrics for some stuff that I can make other stuff out of, discovered much better prices on really nice makeup at Marshall’s, and bought myself a pair of light-up kitten ear headphones that are my new favorite thing ever. I have some crafty plans for this year – some of which might take a little practice – and I’ve got to get moving on that so I can make stuff worthy of actually selling at this year’s group of craft fairs and at my little Etsy shop. I have lots of plans, I just have to make my body cooperate.

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An actual productive day

I feel like I should have had more of them so far but, I’ll take whatever I can get at this point. I did everything on my to-do list today (not that it was a long list). I even put words in on Hunter’s Hell – a grand total of about 800 of them and that’s a whole lot better than yesterday’s 0. I put my face on and, while I need a lot of practice with the pretties, I can do my eyes. It’s not as pretty as what Heidi did yesterday but yeah. Pretty. I’m a very happy lady.

My list of things to do this year is pretty long and I’m doing my best to get on track to get them done. I added a few things to that list today, a few things I’d like to learn how to do or get better at doing. In theory, I know how to make paper. In practice, it’s been 25 years since the last time I did that and I don’t have my mom to help me now so I imagine there will be some trial and error there but I know I love artisan paper and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that. I’d like to learn nuno-felting only not with lamb’s wool because I would like to not make my skin hate me but it’s just such a neat idea and I’d love to see if I can make something like what popped in my head when I read about that the first time.

Now I’ve got to set up my to do list for tomorrow that hopefully includes getting the kids ready for school again… fingers crossed it stays just a two hour delay.

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Goals for 2018

I think everyone gets at least a little introspective this time of year, looking back at the progress made, the failures, the successes, the gains and the losses. There’s a lot about life you can’t control so goals don’t always come to fruition but I really like to have them. I like to separate them into categories also – personal stuff, professional stuff, and the stuff that doesn’t really fall into either category.

Personally: I’d like to lose the weight I’ve gained (or rather, never lost after my youngest kid). I’d like to be comfortable in my own skin again – or at least as much as I can be. I would like to find a foundation or concealer that actually covers all my stupid red splotchies that have suddenly decided to be part of my life (yay weird effects of my RA or the medication for it). I’d like to be a little better at peopling this year also – less tripping over my tongue and more making sense. I’d really like to feel comfortable enough with myself and my anxieties to get pictures done – we haven’t had a family photo done since before my youngest was born and we should really do that – I just really hate being in pictures.

Somewhere in between the personal and professional is journaling. Not blogging. Not really a bullet journal. Just a journal, for me. It’s always helped before to get all this ick out somewhere and I just happened to get a pretty awesome Solo in Carbonite journal for Christmas.

Professionally: I’d like to write three books, four short stories, and forty poems. Those seem like doable numbers for me. I’d also like to do a little more artsy stuff than craftsy stuff – maybe not for the craft fairs but for the Etsy shop. I’ll be happy if I can get three of the things in my head to be real tangible things, especially some of the mixed media type art in my head. I’d like to do at least five vendor events and maybe a little convention. Maybe. I’ll be ridiculously happy if I can write some words no fewer than five days a week.

The stuff that doesn’t fall into either category are more like hopes than goals. I’d like to go a year without a panic attack. I’d like to go a year without a major loss in my life – real, imagined, personal, or otherwise. I hope we can get my RA under control. I hope my kids continue to do awesome in their classes and in just being awesome people. I hope my husband has the best year ever. I hope my friends and family have awesome years also.

I’m just tired of being sad so I’m really hoping for a year with a lot less of that. I’m taking steps to do what I can do feel better – it’s not working just yet but these sorts of things take time. Much more time than I had imagined.

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So far behind

I know there are things I usually have done by now that I am nowhere near finished with. It’s driving me a little bit nuts. The weather is being a bit weird and my body is feeling it in very weird and new to me ways. I did figure out what to make the kids this year but they’re the only ones getting mama-made presents. I just don’t have it in me this year to do more and that’s okay. Hopefully, I can still manage a straight (ish) line with my sewing machine lol. I won’t post anything about it until after Christmas as the youngest child lurks here quite often.

I’m working on the yearly wrap up and next year’s goals and stuff and there’s not a lot of good in this year and I will be so glad to see it go. Last years goals didn’t even come close to being met. There was a lot that was out of my control but I really could have done better. 2018 has no choice but to be better than 2017. Except, I’ve said that every year for a few years and each year has shown me how much worse it can get so maybe this year I’ll say something different come New Year’s.

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It’s that time of year

I adore Christmas. Truly. I’m struggling a little bit with it this year, between missing my Dad and my stupid fingers, but I’m trying to get into the spirit of things.

Every year I make my kids neat things for Christmas but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to this year and it makes me sad. I mentioned it to the oldest kid and the look on his face said I must try a little harder to think of something I can manage to make that is neat and still mama-made. The last few years, I made the oldest kid Fullmetal Alchemist pillowcases, a weeping angel tree topper, a Doctor Who themed keepsake box, and a sorting hat that talks. I’m not sure what I can do that will be as neat and still doable for me. I don’t have long to figure it out though. The little one is even harder to make stuff for, honestly and I’m not sure what I can do for him either. Them and my nephew will likely be the only ones I make anything for this year though, if I can manage even that.

I had to force myself to turn the car radio to one of the non-stop carols station thinking that might help. Not so much. I’m dutifully getting the shopping done and the baking planned – all things my mixer can do. I’m mostly done with decorating – though I guess I’m waffling a bit on putting out the village but I’ll probably force myself to anyway. I’m just not getting in the spirit yet which is very unlike me. so very.

Tomorrow I have nothing to do except Christmas sorts of things so maybe tomorrow I won’t feel quite so scroogish.

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Winding down

The fair is done and my whole body is feeling it today! I met some interesting people and made some good connections and even sold a few books. I have some new stuff to get up on Etsy this week but not today – my fingers and knees are hurting. I’m falling behind on the book but I’ll catch up during the week when I’m not trying to make stuff too.

I’ve got bloodwork and a doctor’s appointment this week and I’m really hoping I can get off the prednisone ASAP. I do not like it at all. I had been doing so great with my panic attacks – I haven’t had many to speak of in a long time and now they’re getting to be a little bit regular and I don’t like that at all – I’ve been there, done that, wouldn’t like to go back there. I also blame my newfound weepiness on it too – I’m crying at the dumbest stuff. I burst into tears in Krogers because they didn’t have the breakfast my youngest son requested. I cried at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, not for that movie but because I was so upset that the role of Batman did not go to Joseph Gordan-Levitt who deserved it (and the story was perfect for it!) but to the guy I don’t see as anything like Batman (so much so that I haven’t even watched it). Both of those things are upsetting but neither is really honestly cry-worthy. I’m a lot quicker to get mad too and I really don’t like it. The other meds, it is what it is. My nails are terrible, my skin is terrible, but my hair isn’t falling out and I’m not hurting anywhere near as bad as I was. I’ll do as I’m told because, as much as I don’t like one of the ladies in the office so much, the doctor himself seems to know what he’s doing and for sure he knows more than I do.

I’m going to get some words today but I am not going to push too much with my fingers today – they need some recovery time right now. I’m in an interesting place in the book though, some ramifications from the events of book one are coming to light and no one knows what it means longterm just yet (not even me!), and the new plot is getting a little convoluted and the connections are starting to come to light and it’s just beginning to get exciting. This is my favorite part of the process but I’m a little worried that I’m coming to this point too early so I might have to toss in a small distraction or two as they figure stuff out. This is the sort of stuff that makes me remember why writing is my all time favorite thing to do.

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Filed under Anxiety, Crafting, Crafts, etsy, Event, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Writing

Craft Fair!

I have a craft fair tomorrow – if you’re in the area, you should come. I know a couple of the vendors and I’ve seen pictures of others. I’ll be there with weird stuff and books and some not so weird stuff too – repurposing is my new kick at the moment and I’m having fun with it. I’ll be the tiny island of odd under the sorting hat tree topper. Seriously though – there are a lot of really neat looking things on the vendor list and you should come talk to me there.

3rd Annual Santa’s Runway at the Millsop Community Center in Weirton, WV starts at 11 am on Saturday, November 11, 2017.

There are things I didn’t get finished – I haven’t had the dexterity to do much with polymer clay or even paint lately but glue and fabric and enamels, I have that down pat!

Now, I’m headed back to the book as very much doubt I’ll be getting a lot of words tomorrow or Sunday so I need to try and get out ahead of things. I’m at 16145 right now and Lei is just beginning to realize how much trouble she’s in so that’s fun. 50K or Bust!

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