:10/30:

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Hiding from the Camp Fire smoke has proved to be productive. On Friday I was able to pick up another cabinet (also free!), this time with a bookcase hutch. It proved to be perfect for organizing my modest yarn stash and crafting books. It was also the impetus I needed to get my spinning fiber and equipment put away in the other cabinet I have out in the living room. The best part was I got to get out the sewing machine I bought years ago and never use. I keep telling myself I’m going to learn to sew. It hasn’t happened yet. Now that the sewing machine isn’t taped up in a box I may actually do it.

:7/30:

A super busy day today, most of it spent chauffeuring the kids. Now I’m taking the time to work on my journal. I’m doing my first urban sketch of Uncommon Threads, the local yarn store near one where they have an activity. I get a blissful couple of hours, hanging out with other knitters and drooling over the new shipments. Here’s the unfinished page:

I’ve figured out that I am not going to make it to the end of the month in my current Bullet Journal, so I went ahead and set up my Traveler’s Company notebook. I can at least start the art journal there before the calendars get put into use.

:4/30:

Wow, I am only now getting a chance to sit down and write. Today I got to go to A Verb for Keeping Warm to a Slow Clothing panel and book signing with Katrina Rodabaugh, author of Mending Matters. It was my first time going to AVFKW.

It is an hour and a half away to Oakland.

The shop was small, but packed with so much fiber goodness! I just stroked and fondled my way around the shelves and tables. There were spinning wheels and looms and masses of dye plants drying on the walls and hanging from the ceiling.

A wall of indigo drying by the register.

The crowd was standing room only, and I was glad I arrived an hour early and snagged one of the few chairs. The panel was fantastic. Almost all the panelists were local and there was a lot of discussion about the sourcing of plant and animal fibers in California and the growing Slow Clothing movement and natural dying.

I loved it and it made me wish I had sheep or alpaca or even fiber rabbits.

Some day….

Now I’m off to read my new book. I have a couple of jeans that need some attention.

:no stitches west for me:

Stitches West 2018 is about to happen. The vendors are starting to set up in the marketplace. Thousands of knitters are about to descend on San Jose…

…and I will not be a part of it.

I want to go.

So, so badly.

It does not help that it falls on my birthday week each year.

You have no idea how badly I want to go.

But, alas, I will not be going this year.

This year is a year of prioritizing a few things above knitting. Yes, I know, it didn’t sound right to me when I wrote it down either. I am trying to comfort myself with the fact that I have plenty of yarn and fleece in my stash to tide me over. I don’t really need more.

It’s not working very well.

I could go and just look and touch and squish and sniff the yarn, but I am afraid it would make it worse. I do so love all the pretty yarn.

So I will stay away, and hope that next year I’ll really get to enjoy it all.

:january 2018 zentangle challenge

In the past my drawing efforts have been sporadic at best. I’ll do a big piece and then I won’t touch my pens for months. So, to go with my word for the year, I am doing a daily drawing challenge in my bullet journal this year. this is my first effort. Unfortunately, I did not start it until I came back from my trip to Florida, thus the crossed out days.

This month I am going to try a more free-form format. I may not always do zentangles, as I want to start doodling and drawing in other styles as well.

We’ll see how that works out.

:the right to make:

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When I was a child I loved to make things: stories, drawings, knitted scarves for my cabbage patch doll. All of it was play, the important work of childhood. It is the way in which children learn who they are and what they like. But, with age, comes responsibilities. Childhood things are left behind. I put my notebooks and sketchbooks away and concentrated on getting into college, getting a degree, and getting my first job. It was the sensible thing to do.

And then….

…then I awoke one day and found something was missing.

I was happily married. I enjoyed my job. I had good friends. We had a beautiful little girl and a boy on the way. Yet, there was something missing. I had already picked knitting back up. I would occationally write up a short story here and there. I kept a file of ideas on a USB key.

Having a second baby re-focused me on them. They were so little and they needed me. As they got bigger, I pursued other interests, both because I loved them and because I wanted a career. Still, in the back of my mind I continued to have the feeling something wasn’t quite right. Something was still missing.

My second career ended, and my focus turned to homeschooling. I spent a large part of the first year lost as we went through the deschooling process. So, I took up my knitting more seriously. I began to draw again. I started stepping away from Facebook political fights to chase hashtags on Instagram. I made my first poorly timed attempt at NaNoWriMo (we were moving.) I learned to spin. I started taking photos again.

Slowly my inner self woke up.

At first I felt a bit guilty, but then I realized I was showing my kids by example. I was teaching them to use the resources around them to teach themselves. I was teaching them to go after the things they wanted.

Last year I also started to come to the realization I wanted to make making my life’s work. I’ve come to believe that it is everyone’s life work. Creating is part of what it means to be human. We all do it in different ways, as scientists, as poets, as surgeons, as teachers, as sculptors.

I want to make every day for the rest of my life.

I want to write novels.

I want to take film photographs.

I want to knit sweaters.

I want to spin my own yarn.

I want to cook.

I want to play music.

I want to create.