Saturday, 15 September 2018

Milestones

Darkana Tarot


 A major achievement for me within the last year was to take driving lessons and pass both my theory and practical driving tests on the first attempt: I had several motivators - Mini Diva's rugby training, games and events happening more frequently and regularly in far more rural and further away locations (Titch can't perform taxi duties as he works away all week); the levels of anxiety and panic brought on by being a passenger in a car ... what do you mean, control issues ?? .... And a need to get to work not relying on public transport, which means I can do the early shifts I prefer.


I couldn't have done this without the support of my lovely MIL who doesn't understand the concept of non-drivers - living in what I would call remote rural locations for much of her life probably fuels that view (see what I did there ?) and of course, Titch, who not only helped me with major cheerleading, but enabled the purchase of the kind of car I wanted/needed although it really doesn't suit him.




 Actually, it's not quite that bad, but it is still not built to his scale.

Within about 3 months I had managed to do this:




 I was fine, just shocked and really upset. I'd only been moving at 10mph - it's amazing what damage can be done at low speeds: Shidare-zakura (Weeping Cherryblossom) was a write-off.

Titch was very keen for me to get back in the saddle asap; I think he had concerns that I'd never get into any car ever again. So we found this, same make, slightly different model:




And having learned from poor naming habits, this one has been christened Hinagiku (Daisy) - no hint of weeping this time. I love these old-style Honda CR-Vs: they sit quite high, LOTS of glass and therefore visibility, 4x4, they are chunky and sturdy, reliable, plenty of trunk/boot space (this model even includes a built-in picnic table!) and of course, an automatic, with the gear stick on the steering column. Needless to say, perhaps the most crucial design element of all, is the cup-holder .... My driving instructor considered her to be large, but Wilhelmina, of sainted memory, was what I consider large:


approx. 15 1/2 ft long, I know because we measured

 Since then, I have driven to Twickenham via the North Circular, to Wales and back to visit with my Uber Cool Brother, and up to Lincolnshire to visit with my new twin grand-nieces. And not only did I survive to tell the tale, but so did my passengers - in spite of the musical selections !

While fitting new tyres, the garage broke her hard wheel-cover; it proved too challenging to source another one in the right color, so I took it as an opportunity to customize:




 I found the pattern on Ravelry, and sourced it from an Etsy seller in Canada - I love the interwebz. How else could you find a crochet magazine from 1989 ?

It is a doily pattern, and to upsize it simply (read: lazily) I used SuperChunky acrylic yarn. I need to revisit this pattern and make it to include the daisies in the border - perhaps Aran-weight this time ....

EDITED TO ADD: I am claiming that this detailed post about my motoring triumphs (and failure) was a planned, purposeful expansion of my previous post; having spent too much time putting it together, and posting it, I realized with horror that my menopausal memory - or rather, serious lack of same - means I spoke about this last time. Apologies xx

 


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

So Now I'm Back ...

Housewives Tarot






.... from outer space ...

Well, no, not really. But it might as well have been, this last year. 

Hello again, my friends - I've had a quick tidy-up round the edges, removed dead links on the blog roll etc. now let's see if I can maintain a weekly post.



Visconti-Sforza
Forest Folklore

Durer

Much has happened since last we spoke - the most upsetting being the death of our quirky landlady last summer, which forced us to move house (on Hallowe'en). Our new house is a Victorian end-terrace, much smaller, much further away from school - so most unpopular with the kids, as it's a long walk to school and nowhere near any of their friends; in fact, we are only 5 minutes walk from a different high school, but Mini Diva wanted to stick with the courses she'd chosen, and Destructo Boy wants to stay in the same school as his friends. We miss our old neighbors and neighborhood, we miss the large airy rooms, the conservatory, the 2nd toilet, and Inky the cat, who roamed and hardly returns since spring. Most of our books and much of our furniture is in the garage - it simply won't fit in this house.

On the plus side, it has an actual back garden with grass, not just a patio; it could be seen as cosy and snug; the kitchen is massive; it is 5 mins from the dog park - Sebastian is pretty creaky and gray suddenly, and doesn't want or need the long walks to, round and from the big main park anymore (we have turned into those people who drive to walk their dog). It is next door to the local corner shop; it is close to 2 good bus routes into town. 


squeeze them as hard as you can


And in an attempt to master my car-related anxiety and panic attacks, I took driving lessons and passed both my theory and practical tests on the first go. We then bought a little old car that ticked all my boxes (high, lots of glass for visibility, solid, not huge) and within 3 months I did this:



Shidare-zakura

 Not bad when I was going a mere 10 mph. There were many, many tears. And my insurance is even more extortionate now. (I was fine, just shaken up and upset). We bought another new-to-me Honda CR-V, this one christened Hinagiku; the garage broke her wheel cover, which gave me the opportunity to really customize some decor:


I get lots of great comments about this, from all kinds of people

 I work full-time outside the home now, so my crochet and knitting time has really suffered - this year so far I have completed only 10 items, and 9 of those were baby items ... for my sister's middle daughter's twins, born in June. My sister would have absolutely loved them, and being a grandmother.

Speaking of knitting for twins - how to make things the same, but different ?

I decided to invert the colors:






 







Vintage pattern Emu Treasure 8561, using WI Soft & Silky in pink, yellow and lilac mix.

 
To use plain and self-striping colorways of the same yarn:











UKHKA6 in WYS Signature 4ply in 'Pennyroyal' and the self-striping version ' Woodpigeon'


To use a pattern that offers two versions (here, differing stitch patterns) :


 










Vintage pattern Peter Pan P551 in Hayfield Baby Blossom DK in 353 'Buttercup'.

And lastly, the same colors but different patterns:















Textured Baby Blanket and Lilac Lily Baby Blanket, both in Scheepjes Colorcrafter Weert, Urk (yes, I know, I laugh every time), Amstelveen, Amersfoort, Heerlen and Alphen - or, white, aqua, purple, pink, lilac, and teal.

 My goodness, I'm exhausted. I forgot how much time and effort creating a blog post can take ! Especially when your computer crashes halfway through ...

As ever, I welcome any comments. 

 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Tarot Blog Hop: Beltane 2017





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 Well, our host Arwen has a lovely, straightforward topic for us this time: 


Since Beltaine is a holiday of coming together, I thought it would be fun to answer this question: '' Do you combine Tarot with any other divination system ? Why or why not ?

That's it. Short and sweet. Simple. You can answer it however you like.


I hope to answer short, sweet and simple.


Old English Tarot


No, I don't use any other divination system.


Fenestra Tarot

 Back when I started learning to read tarot, over 25 years ago, one of the challenges was to filter the useful information from the many, many books I read, and apply that in practice and in readings. As a beginner, one tends to overdo things, I think - one hates to feel like one is missing out on anything, or failing to include every last possible morsel.


Tarot Illuminati

 Part of this package is to examine other forms of divination that may link, overlap or otherwise add to one's readings, along with using large, complicated spreads. Other systems such as astrology, numerology and kabbalah are the most popular - however, making them fit to Tarot seems forced ... 

Cosmic Tarot

Rather than following Cinderella's ugly sisters, cutting toes off to fit into the glass slipper, over time and with experience, I came to consider that Tarot pure and simple is enough: it contains everything that is needed, and can stand on its own without the need for other disciplines.


The Creative Muse Tarot Card Challenge by water rabbit (deviantscrap)

    
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

For my Valentine

Tarot Art Nouveau


So Valentine's Day rolled around again - I was a little surprised by how many men I saw dashing last minute for bunches of flowers, as if it had caught them by surprise. Perhaps they feared sharing St.Valentine's fate ...

For my Valentine Titch, I share an aria from my favorite composer of operas:




                                               Caro nome che il mio cor
                                               festi primo palpitar,
                                               le delizie dell'amor
                                               mi dêi sempre rammentar!
                                               Col pensiero il mio desir
                                               a te sempre volerà,
                                               e fin l' ultimo mio sospir,
                                               caro nome, tuo sarà.

                                       Sweet name, you who made my heart
                                       throb for the first time,
                                       you must always remind me
                                       of the pleasures of love!
                                       My desire will fly to you
                                       on the wings of thought
                                       and my last breath
                                       will be yours, my beloved.
                                          Translation by Guia K. Monti


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Sun's Out

The Sun by ZackLoup



I am constantly surprised by the sheer quality of Art that there is available on the Interwebz; my own total lack of skill just makes my awe greater.

I was searching for just the right depiction of XIX The Sun because of this post, to reflect the actual sun being out today, the topic of my post, the words on the Finished Object, and my satisfaction - and there it was, this beautiful fox created by ZackLoup. If you scroll through their other cards, one of my favorite creatures, the Wolf, features (as it does in their name) ... this is definitely a deck I'd back if it came up on Kickstarter. Thank you, ZackLoup.

I was looking for the perfect card to celebrate the completion of an overdue project - it was supposed to be a Christmas present for Titch, a popcorn 'word' blanket from designer Jody Pyott.

Yes, last Christmas, not the one before. Or the one before that. I only have one longterm UFO, and this wasn't it - I was derailed by a seasonal retail job which I loved, but the hours were tiring and left little time or energy for crochet.

Anyway. This project had Issues. Firstly, color choice - wanting several yellows that all needed to complement each other meant testing the customer service at the Wool Warehouse: the lovely lady who answered my call physically ran up to the actual warehouse to check that the colors I'd select would actually go together: and she was right. 





Secondly, my first time working with Scheepjes Colorcrafter DK yarn - I'd wanted to try it for a while since it's arrival on my radar as it has a great color palette. It is soft, but I found it splitty to crochet with even with a larger hook than recommended. It does wash well so far.

Thirdly, I had gauge issues. Major ones. In a blanket like this one needs the blocks to be very uniform, and using a few different sizes of hook was necessary for me to achieve that. It also highlighted that I cannot handle row gauge: width was fine, height .... not so much. I'd chosen to make it in DK rather than Worsted or Aran, as I wanted a smaller FO than stated in the pattern - but because of the aforementioned row gauge it came out smaller than I wanted, which meant I needed more words, that I had to create the charts for myself ... uncharted territory, ha-ha. And it was also not the right size for Titch's new truck, a MAN rather than a Mercedes.




BTW, that's a whole other discussion. Suffice it to say, the MAN is more Melania than Michelle, rhinestone than diamond, cod roe than caviar. Her one redeeming feature is that she bears the name of a beautiful angel baby.

But I was too close to the finishing line to quit. Having plenty of yarn left meant I could add a generous border ... I completed it yesterday while watching Dwayne Johnson as Hercules: quite apt, don't we think ?

 And here is the result of my Labors:

 



Friday, 20 January 2017

Inauguration Day

Deviant Moon Tarot
So the title of the post kind of reminds me of some movie titles - ''Independence Day'', for instance, where Earth is targeted and millions die in an alien attack. ''The Day the Earth Caught Fire''.''Day of Wrath''. ''Day of the Dead'' ... and many others in the same vein. All pretty much dealing with the end of the world in some form.



But we will focus on ''The Day After Tomorrow''.



Anna K. Tarot

A speck of light in the darkness; it leads us on, gives us a goal, encourages us along the journey and helps to illuminate the path. Do you wonder where the light comes from ?


IX The Hermit, from The Portland Tarot

 He is you. 

And me. 

He is us. 

And we are not alone - others will see our light and be drawn to it.





Wednesday, 4 January 2017

New Year, New ...

Tarot of Vampyres


 Nope, it is the old me, but lazier- can you imagine that ? Yes, a challenge, I know.

Today's accompaniment is the following mellifluous version of a country classic:




I have been absent owing to my own ennui,Weltschmerz and angst, as neither did I want to bore you, my Dear Reader, with it nor send you running for the bunker loaded with ammunition and canned goods ...


challenge: name this classic movie



Instead because we are foolhardy brave, we will commit to writing a couple of goals for the coming year:

*   to blog at least weekly, without empathy or compassion for my readers as regards the topics - I will share the ennui/Weltschmerz/angst, with occasional dollops of other stuff

*  to overhaul my website

*  to go 'Cold Sheep' - no buying of yarn this year, knit/crochet only from stash. This has 2 provisos: (1) if any baby knitting becomes necessary, I can buy yarn for those specific projects (2) I have a threshold/big birthday, and if anyone gives me yarn vouchers I can spend them. Except please not vouchers for McADirect - long story for another post.

*  to streamline/downsize/declutter and simplify. Except for yarn and tarot decks, naturellement.

Have you committed publicly to any goals this year ?