Thursday, 30 September 2010


Well, one of the two TABI beginner's tarot courses is just about reaching the end; the other is just over halfway through. The AGM is coming up, and my period as temporary acting Training Administrator will be over. This will free up quite a bit of mental time and attention, which I'm looking forward to: I have all kinds of plans - sensible, practical plans about promoting myself, updating stuff with gidgets and sparkly things, really getting to grips with using social networking for business, you know, boring stuff, but that I quite enjoy.

But seeing as how I'm becoming expert in the art of procrastination, I had a look at this idea today: NaNoWriMo. The basic idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, as a challenge to oneself. Now, apart from the fact that my writing standard is .... inconsistent .....(to say the least) I think one is supposed to have a rough idea for a story, as a bare minimum. Characters and plot twists could come later, organically evolving and erupting out of the chrysalis of the storyline. Oops, got ahead and above myself there - please forgive.

I was thinking I could use tarot to prompt me - draw a card as a source/root for each chapter, kind of thing. But one still needs a Plot ....This is something that differentiates the truly creative people from plebs like me: they have an Idea, and then the talent and skills to turn that Idea into something: whether a story, a piece of furniture, a piece of music. It's in their head already - all they have to do is extract it, and put it into some physical form that other people can recognize and appreciate.

So without an Idea in my head, I'm better suited to cheering from the sidelines, and sending supportive chocolate to my friend Alison when needed ....

This chocolate reminds me of the bit where Han Solo has been frozen in carbonite ....

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Philosophy ?

I've been pondering something for a while, and today my friend Sharon was talking about the same sort of thing: blogs and websites, better connected or separate ? And whether to keep a blog 'pure' to one's main interest, or include other aspects of one's life?

For instance, this blog is tarot themed by virtue of the fact that I choose a card for each post that, for me, reflects in some way the main topic of that post. For me - as for many other tarotists - tarot cards are a shorthand way of communicating something. Another tarotist can look at my Ace of Swords today and have a pretty good idea of what I'll basically be talking about.

In spite of this, my blog is not a tarot blog: I talk about way too many other things that are also part of my life. Tarot is an underpinning, so omnipresent and part of the structure and foundation of my life, and how I think, that I just don't consider it separately, and I don't often think to mention it or talk about it. It's just there, you know, like the sun and the sky. I'm getting close to what I'd consider to be philosophy, so let's drag this post back on track, shall we ?

I've been considering whether to amalgamate this blog and my tarot website. On the plus side, it would be far quicker and easier to update; on the negative side, do I want my customers knowing quite so much about me ? And would that put them off having a reading with me ? Of course, they can always use the link, or Google to find the blog, but that's not the same as having it right there in your face. Would I have to post more regularly - or solely even - about tarot ?

Some of these issues could be resolved by having another, separate, blog that is purely about tarot. However, realistically, I'm not the kind of person that could maintain more than one blog to a decent standard . And that's if one assumes that this current blog is readable. Also, my own personal preference when it comes to blogs I follow and read, is for blogs where I see more than one aspect of a person's life: I read them because I'm interested in the people themselves, not just whatever it is that they do.

And thus it is often disappointing when one scrolls through other people's blogrolls, to find that those blogs too are all connected to merely one subject.

So here are two other topics that I discuss sometimes, just for variety:

This is lye melting frozen goatsmilk, for making soap. Thanks to all my Twitter friends who kept their guffaws silent (the more empathic amongst them merely sniggered behind their hands) when I asked 'does 100g of ice weigh the same as 100g of water ?' which was not what I actually meant. I promise I can tie my own shoelaces.

One of ''me gladdies'', as Dame Edna refers to them, and our lovely generic dahlia, chosen by DH; I've never had a dahlia before - my mother thought that they, and gladioli too, were vulgar: along with Tchaikovksy and the color purple.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Slough of Despond

Well, OK, that is a bit over-melodramatic - really what I am in is the Ditch of Ennui, or perhaps the Gutter of Jejune, but as phrases, they just don't have the same impact.

I think it's because the Blog Swap is over for me til next time, and this means I actually have to have or find something to blog about, whereas of course, with something like a swap, there is tons to crow gloat boast talk about.

I have hardly knitted anything recently: I didn't want to start anything until I'd finished Mini Diva's school cardigan, which I don't like because of the pattern and the yarn. But rather than this spurring me on to complete it in record time, it's had the opposite effect - I'd rather not knit at all than knit that. And of course lacking short 3mm needles to do the button band has prolonged the torture.

I have some great new bright colors to try from Gracefruit, and have just ordered the fragrance oils for my Christmas soaps from Jo at Sensory Perfection. I have some ideas for selling my soaps, that I need to firstly list, and then secondly, do.

You might ask, why not just do them, save time - bypass the listmaking part; but then, I wouldn't have the warming righteousness of Ticks to comfort me. Ticks for completed jobs on a list is - sadly - one of the most mentally comforting things I know of; writing a proper List is an Art in itself ( the balance between proper tasks and list-filler tasks, achievable tasks and not-in-this-life tasks, prioritizing tasks, how to use tasks to keep a List going ad infinitum - using them as one would a yoghurt starter or grafting a rose ... )

Today I had my List Ticked off by 10 a.m, except for one item which is tomorrow's List Starter. This allowed me to spend much of the rest of the day trawling the interwebs looking at soap packaging, which I persuaded myself was a beneficial and potentially productive use of my time; especially when compared with doing this:

In my next life, I really want to come back as a cat that belongs to me .....

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Blog Hub Swap: Day 6

And now, the end is near, and now I face the final curtain ....

I almost can't believe I actually managed to leave the squishy package til last. I must be finally all growed-up. It's not like all the other gifts weren't lovely - they were, absolutely; but I think most people will be itching to check out their yarn. I didn't blog about this yesterday, although it could be counted as a WIP, for rather a rather sneaky reason: when my swap partner recipient Stephcuddles received my box, she was on occasion tardy at blogging about the contents (justifiably - she was in the middle of moving house, and had no internet) and I was surpised to find out just how much I wanted to read her reactions to what I'd chosen for her.

Of course, I extrapolated from that, that everyone feels identically about it. So I thought I'd extend Mooncalf's torture and blog about it today instead. Inside the squish was this:

100g of Colinette Jitterbug in the colorway 'Ginger Cinnabar'; 100% merino superwash fingering (4ply) wool. The name is almost as good as the color; and the color is well within my palette of favorites. So I think Mooncalf might be suggesting I make Liesel using the 3.75mm Addi Lace needles and this lovely autumn-hued yarn .... the drooping elm leaf stitch pattern it involves will certainly suit it nicely.

Thanks so much, Mooncalf, for being a thoughtful swap partner, and for all the lovely gifts.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

WIP Wednesday 5

Today, it's all about me, dahlink. You can find normal programming of WIPWs at Tami's blog.

Those who know me, know already that I'm an optimist: I firmly and strongly believe that there is a good side or aspect (silver lining) to everything; sometimes it's a challenge to find it, but it is always there.

Recently, I posted about weight gain: sometime during the past year or so, I have put on 14 lbs; in spite of expanding by pretty much 2 dress sizes so that only one pair of my jeans still fits, I still count as healthy and not overweight. The jeans that fit me are the ones DH bought me for doing cellar work when I returned to paid employment 5 months after having Destructo Boy (I weighed 147 lbs at the end of the pregnancy), and I weighed about 132 lbs or so. I dropped it all and was back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 115 lbs within 6 weeks: smoking again and stress do serve a purpose.

Thing is, that time I didn't know if the weight gain was because I stopped smoking or from being pregnant (both happened at the same time). I've stopped smoking again (see my counter in my sidebar) and am definitely not pregnant, plus the weight gain happened before I stopped smoking. So why do I feel like a walrus ?

such a small mouth for such a large animal

I think it may be because I have never had to consider my weight before: I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and stayed the same; bar the indigestion, of course. And of course, pregnancy changes the shape of your body irretrievably, but I'd adjusted to that eventually. Age also changes your body - and more importantly, your metabolism: this is what I'm ascribing it to, since I am physically active and take regular exercise (brisk walks, 40 minutes a day minimum).

Now I am on a quest for acceptance. My own acceptance of this change. It's going to be permanent, that I know, since I am definitely not high maintenance enough (and also physically a coward when it comes to pain and doctors) to demand my DH sells his soul or body - whichever would bring most financial reward - to pay for liposuction; and oh-soooo-certainly I am WAY too lazy to go the gym. Even if I could find it, and then work out what the equipment in there is for and how it works.

DH, bless his little cotton socks, has been great: he has tottered, wobbled and teetered on that super-sensitive and spiderweb-thin fine line and managed to retain not only his balance, but also to remain unstabbed.

But to return to my original point: the silver lining. For the only time in my life apart from pregnancy, I'm now a D cup.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Blog Hub Swap: Day 5

It really is an autumnal day here: raining, grey and windy, so I was glad to have something to open to cheer me up. Today it was this:

And just to emphasize Mooncalf's attention to detail, look at the reverse of the envelope:

a little blue dog

and inside the envelope were these:

3.75 mm Addi Lace needles on 80cm cables, and the pattern for Liesel. I love lace knitting, so this was brilliant, since I've been desirous of trying out a pair of Addis for a while now; I had Liesel already, but by including it in my package, Mooncalf has unknowingly gently prodded me into at least considering finding a niche in my planned project timeline to make it ...

And someone seems to have found a perch:

A close-up of my handsome chappie dangling rakishly from my besom:

I have another, so he can stay there safely. And Christopher has a brother - not so good-looking, of course, but still a pretty boy.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Blog Hub Swap: Day 4

Monday again, and my carer for the last week, Auntie Fashion, suitably refreshed and relaxed by her visit with me, has left to return to the insanity that is her own home life: infested by teens and their dramas.

So with Housework Hits on the TV, a cup of milky weak coffee and a home-made choc-chip muffin (don't even ask if I made it, you know me better than that) I can turn my attention to my Blog Hub Swap parcel for today:

Mooncalf's packaging of the mini-parcels has been delicious, I'm sure you will agree: I love pretty paper bags, and these are so dinky ! And I shall even find a use for the decorative yet functional mini-clothespeg. Inside these bags were these:

The mini-owl broach was in the owl paper bag, and the bronzey beads and baby sparklers in the bag labelled 'Sparkles & Sparklers'. I have been thinking about attempting some beading in my knitting, so having these gives me less excuse not to give it a go. The colors of the owl and the beads is just what I like too.

And I think there is a bit of a theme emerging ... and it is 'Of the Night'

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Blog Hub Swap: Day 3

Well, whatever choice I made today was going to be a winner, since good surprises are always winners. So I did't choose - Mini-Diva did.

She chose a small, intriguing package:

And inside was this fine fellow, who looks like me when I'm cold and huddled up for the winter, except for I have no color and he is a ruby-red blood color; perhaps he has sucked me dry ?

I thought this was both clever and witty, escpecially how his wings are done up with a heart. Here he is having a stretch:

I am becoming increasingly curious as to how Mooncalf chose these items as relevant to me - I need to grab the caboose on her train of thought ...

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Blog Hub Swap: Day 2

In between running to the post office to send off my first few orders received through my Folksy shop and Twitter (yes, I am bragging, showing off and blushing self-consciously all at the same time) and setting up my Misi shop - link also in the sidebar - I squished in time to open my second parcel of the Blog Hub Swap, from my swap partner Mooncalf.

Since there were no instructions about the sequence after No.1, today I chose to open the golden-leafed envelope entitled 'Need a Break ?' This is what was inside:

The card said it was to keep me refreshed. Upon opening the cupcake-motifed cloth wallet, there was part of an English person's Zombie survival kit:

ie. tea. And not just any old Blue Stripe teabags filled up with the dusty broken little twigs and floor-sweepings from behind the door of the packing room, this is the good stuff: Keemun from Twinings. And when the tea is used up, I have the perfect use for this cute little wallet - watch this space in about ... umm ... 2 weeks time.

Now I have to go explore why cupcakes suddenly seem to be the 'It' item/theme/trend of the moment holidays to Scotland - a miserable bleak, grey, wet and cold place - were the 'in' thing amongst my friends this summer.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Blog Hub Swap: 1st Day

Well, yesterday I found out who has been cyberstalking me, because my lovely early morning parcel postman brought me this:

In a millisecond, it looked like this:

And then I discovered this:

which instructed me to open this:

to reveal this:

And as she said, a swap classic: a cute handbag-sized notebook for writing down all those inspired genius ideas that will make your fortune, before you forget them.

It is taking every ounce of self-control I have to not just rip everything open NOW in an orgy of instant gratification ....

Thank you so much, Mooncalf. I'll be posting about each item as I open it, and rating how successful your stalking has been .....

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

WIP Wednesday 4: New Venture

Well, I finally kind of got it all together, with the generous help of some of Mah Gurls (Alison, Halcyon and Mimi, I lurves you) and so I can now unveil my latest Work In Progress - but if shameless self-promotion bothers you, look away now .....

And they are now all available from here:

There's a permanent link in my sidebar as well , so don't worry, you can always find it ....

Thanks again to Tami, for promoting the WIP Wednesdays ....