Craft Attempt #521

You might have seen in my about section that I mention my billion and one crafting attempts to become a billionaire. I decided it might be quite fun to make a series of blog posts about it. 521 craft attempts may sound a little excessive and don’t get me wrong is probably a huge exaggeration. However if I think that I’ve been trying new things to make and draw that will set me on the path of millionaireism since i was at least 8 or 9 it probably comes quite close. So from now on we’re starting at 521*.

#521 – Arm Knitting

I think by now this craze has already been and gone. I know for a fact it has already gone with me. Now I’m sure some of you are wondering what on earth arm knitting is and you have every right to, so I will start with an explanation.

Arm knitting is exactly what it sounds like: you knit with your arms. The only difference between knitting and arm knitting is that you don’t need any equipment, just some arms and some wool – easy!

What really excited me about arm knitting is how quick it was. You might have gathered that my lack of continuation of a craft is mainly down to having very little patience. Well that was the great thing. I was told I could knit a whole scarf or a blanket in under an hour! How brilliant is that?!?

They didn’t lie! Naturally the first go or two took slightly longer as I was trying to read the tutorials as I went. But before long I was arm knitting away to my hearts content. I even took it on the train! Much to my fellow passengers dismay and fascination I knitted a whole scarf in no time at all. It was brilliant. And I quite liked that I could show people something entirely new! It started many conversations.

It’s sounding all rather successful so far, isn’t it? I think give or take a few days as I was at work I probably stuck this one out for about 3 days? Don’t ask me why. I was right in the middle of .along my first blanket when it was time to watch Dr Who and eat dinner. Consequently the wool was removed from my arm transfered onto a kitchen roll tube never to be touched again, if only to be moved from sofa to the Craft Table of Doom aka my desk.

And that was the end of that. Perhaps I might pick it up again at some point perhaps not. We will see. It was fun while it lasted.

I do however strongly reccomend you give it a try. Even if you’ve had no luck with knitting in the past it is great fun and very quick once you get the hang of it.

This is the site I used.

I suppose then now it is onwards and upwards to the next caftventure.

Possibly coming up are:

Lino Printing and Rag Rugging.

Any crafting suggestions are always welcome! I love to try things.

*Yes 521 was the first random number that came to my head and I’m sticking with it.

**The images are not my own and link to the original image URL.

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My Dream Reader?

I am currently taking part in WordPress’ Blogging 101 course. I find these sort of things give me the much needed and much lacked kick up the bum (sorry!) to get things going and so far it’s working. Today’s task is to write a post for your ‘Dream Reader’. Usually I would leave it until it’s at least day light outside but as I am currently wide awake with a head full of buzz at 1:15am thought I’d give it a go.

My dream reader. That really is a tricky one. In complete honesty I have to say that my dream reader is anyone who reads past the first sentence. Someone who likes what I write. Someone who might comment constructively with advice as to what is missing in my writing. Someone who praises and is excited for me in what I’m doing. Really just someone who pays me attention.

The sad thing is I get a HUGE level of excitement when I get beep that says ‘x has liked your post’ or ‘y has commented on your post’.

Don’t even get me started on followers! How can one not be overly extremely superbly ecstatic when an email arrives that tells you z is following your blog! Some complete stranger actually wants to hear what I have to say on a regular basis?!?! My mind can’t quite comprehend it so instead my body does. I get up (I have been known to do it sitting down too) and I dance around the room more excited than a puppy when its owner gets home.

No I am not ashamed, because let’s face it, isn’t all of our dreams to find readers who care and want to hear more?

The Coffee Habit Is Back

Okay I know the tag line on this blog mentions tea, and we will get to that eventually. But for now I’m going to tell you about coffee.

I’m fascinated by hot drinks. Yes you heard me right, I did just say that because it’s true. I’m not fascinated in the sense I could stare at a hot steaming cup of sweet Chai tea. Although if it looked and smelled pretty enough I probably could. But I’m fascinated by the process. What makes a great tasting blend of herbs and fruits to make that luscious cuppa? What do you have to put together to make your insides do an excited happy dance and want more?

I know after reading the above paragraph you might think I’m one of those people who obsessively must have their cup of coffee in the morning and their other multiple hot drinks at regular 20 minute intervals throughout the day but nope, not me. If someone offers me a cup of tea I’ll more often then not say no. In fact I rarely drink hot drinks. Sue me, I’m sensitive! Once I’ve made something nice and tasty I seem to without fail scold every layer of skin from my mouth, and once I’ve left it to cool and finally remember it exists it’s too cold and tastes a bit naff. It’s easier just to not bother!

However.

Every now and then I do become that person. Not totally, and it usually happens around this time of year thanks to my Starbucks gift card stocking filler, but I do like my morning milky* sweet goodness before work.

After a series of unpleasant experiences with time management and bus drivers, mainly bus drivers, (which I was going to bore you all with and have decided against) I had to alter my routine.

Instead of the sweetest richest chocolateyist toffee nut mocha in existence I had to resort to what was near work with no public transport in between. A white chocolate mocha (if you can even call that white chocolate) physically made me gag and £3, a snapped debit card, and 30 seconds later was promptly put in the bin. And then what came the next tentative day out of the need of caffeine on a frosty early start was something so beautiful, so magical in my mouth I had wondered where it had been all my life. Cinnamon, oh sweet gorgeous cinnamon! I could just drown in that sweet hot sticky mess that is a cinnamon latte!

*because saying soya didn’t make it sound nearly as tasty!

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Hacking Creativity: Simple Steps to Become More Creative

Something so very relevant to me constantly. It has been a very log Christmas Day and so now to bed I go, but tomorrow is another day. Creativity I am coming for you and this time I really don’t want to let go.
Unfortunately I write too many posts like this, but it will stick one day I know it, and I hope this is it!

Good night and Merry Holidays!

The Daily Post

One of my most vivid memories from high school involves a pottery class I took during my senior year. While I was sitting there mashing clay around the table trying my best to sculpt something that resembled a bowl, some of my classmates were practically recreating Michelangelo’s “David.”

There seemed to be a chasm in the quality of art being created. Some projects would be showcased proudly on a shelf at home while others would be hidden behind picture frames and encyclopedia volumes. I was in the latter group. Whatever gene was responsible for creativity, I didn’t have it.

Fast forward several years, I decided to give blogging a try. To my amazement, I was decent at stringing words together. After many early mornings of practice, I was even able to sell a few pieces of writing. Despite my lack of ingenuity in art class, I was able to grow some semblance of a creative muscle.

While we…

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That Kind Of Girl

I know it’s been a rather long time since I’ve done this. It’s been on my mind but I’ve been at a bit of a loss. Stuck. As usual.
I’m here however, and for now that is all that matters except of course why I’m here. I’m here because every now and then I read some sort of essay or column and I say to myself (and occasionally out loud) That’s me! That’s how I feel! That’s what I am!
Today is one of those days.
There I was sat in bed, minding my own business reading Lena Dunham’s collection of essays Not That Kind Of Girl barely words into the introduction and there it was. That rather uncomfortable drop. The punch straight into your abdomen which says this sounds just a tad bit familiar. I can’t say I have ever had fluorescent yellow hair or a mullet. Nor am I sat knitting a scarf for a crush in front of my vhs (though there is some knitting to the side of me that hasn’t been touched for a week or so) but anyway: there were just a few large hints in there. I don’t know where her writing is going after his passage. This is as far as I have got. But those two final paragraphs. That’s it. That is me. I am That Kind of Girl.

“I AM TWENTY years old and I hate myself. My hair, my face, the curve of my stomach. The way my voice comes out wavering and my poems come out maudlin. The way my parents talk to me in a slightly higher register than they talk to my sister, as if I’m a government worker that’s snapped and, if pushed hard enough, might blow up the hostages I’ve got tied up in my basement.
I cover up this hatred with a kind of aggressive self-acceptance. I dye my hair a fluorescent shade of yellow, cutting it into a mullet more inspired by photos of 1980s teen mothers than by any current beauty trend. I dress in neon spandex that hugs in all the wrong places. My mother and I have a massive fight when I choose to wear a banana-printed belly shirt and pink leggings to the Vatican and religious tourists gawk and turn away.
I’m living in a dormitory that was, not too long ago, an old-age home for low-income townspeople and I don’t like thinking about where they might be now. My roommate has moved to New York to explore farm-to-fork cooking and lesbianism, so I’m alone, in a ground-floor one-bedroom, a fact I relish until one night a female rugby player rips my screen door off the hinges and barges into the dorm to attack her philandering girlfriend. I’ve bought a VHS player and a pair of knitting needles and spend most nights on the sofa, making half a scarf for a boy I like who had a manic break and dropped out. I’ve made two short films, both of which my father deemed “interesting but beside the point,” and am so paralyzed as a writer that I’ve started translating poems from languages I don’t speak, some kind of Surrealist exercise meant to inspire me but also prevent me from thinking the perverse, looping thoughts that come unbidden: I am hideous. I am going to be living in a mental hospital by the time I am twenty-nine. I will never amount to anything.
You wouldn’t know it to see me at a party. In a crowd I am recklessly cheerful, dressed to the nines in thrift-shop gowns and press-on fingernails, fighting the sleepiness that comes from the 350 milligrams of medication I take every night. I dance the hardest, laugh the hardest at my own jokes, and make casual reference to my vagina, like it’s a car or a chest of drawers. I got mono last year, but it never really went away. Occasionally, one of my glands blows up to the size of a golf ball and protrudes from my neck like one of the bolts that keep Frankenstein’s monster intact.
I have friends: a kind group of girls whose passions (baking, pressing flowers, community organizing) do not stir me. I feel guilt about this, a sense that my inability to be at home with them proves, once and for all, that I am no good. I laugh, I agree, I find reasons to go home early. I have the nagging sense that my true friends are waiting for me, beyond college, unusual women whose ambitions are as big as their past transgressions, whose hair is piled high, dramatic like topiaries at Versailles, and who never, ever say “too much information” when you mention a sex dream you had about your father.
But that’s also how I felt in high school, sure that my people were from elsewhere and going elsewhere and that they would recognize me when they saw me. They would like me enough that it wouldn’t matter if I liked myself. They would see the good in me so that I could, too.”

There is something beautiful and powerful about seeing yourself written on a piece of paper (or a kindle screen). I am not alone. But there is something unsettling too. And maybe, just maybe, I want to be alone.

So erm.. That didn’t last did it?

Well, no, it didn’t. But I have an excuse. Life has been getting in the way. I’ve been job hunting, job getting, and packing to relocate back home for this job. All in all it’s been a fairly stressful couple of weeks and surrounded by boxes I can finally take a deep breath and live again.

All I can say is that it’s felt like a huge emotional roller-coaster. I HATE PACKING. Seriously. But it’s now over and it didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would, so I’m now sat here wondering what life is again and trying to work out what I was doing a couple of weeks ago. Writing was definitely one of those things, and just as I was really getting into it I lost all headspace for everything. I didn’t like that, in actual fact it made me feel pretty crappy so, here I am attempting to stop feeling pretty crappy and get back into this writing malarky once again.

Good luck to me!

Writing 101 Day 5: Iron March

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. A challenge in writing fiction for me! 

Dear Sir, the anonymous letter started. I looked around to find I was alone, the gaslit street quiet, too quiet for a London eve. As I kept reading I longed to find the recipient, or at least the author, but all I had to go on was a single initial ‘V’. It was full of incomprehensible statements of terror. Talk of iron machines marching the streets. I sank to the floor as I kept reading, sat on the cold stone of my shop’s doorway where the letter had apparently been dropped. The sound of my stick startled me as it slid down the step. Shaking my head, brushing off this sudden fear of new times ahead I continued. Dates in the not to distant future were written, worries of an aftermath of unknown atrocities. My hands gripped the tinted parchment, eyes wide, and I continued to hope someone would come to retrieve this from me, assure me of its fiction. But alas, I knew, deep down inside it was time to prepare. It was time for the unknown and we must be ready to fight.

The twist for todays challenge is to keep it brief – in my case I have tried 200 words or less and succeeded although I would really love to continue this sometime! Thoughts for this piece very very much appreciated please!