Saturday, August 30, 2014

Crochet Collars

My crochet collars are now available in the shop! I am so excited about these, I think they are just the cutest! You can buy them here in any color!

I love wearing mine, and I plan on making a ton for gifts this Christmas. Also, if you know how to crochet I sell the tutorial as well.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Toxic Quotes

So I'm starting something new on the blog this month. It's going be about bad quotes and signs and advertisements I see around the internet. You know, those little pictures with a feel-good quote on them that everyone and your mom repins but leaves you shaking your head in disbelief? I talked about one before in my spiel about government.

Today's gem is this:

This quote is toxic for perhaps one (huge) reason:
  1. Victim Blaming. 
Because oh my gosh because people get hurt all the time. There exists in this world workplace hierarchy. Rape. Beatings. Shootings. Bullying. Death. Fear. Sometimes these things can really effect a person. Why would we then tell that person that they somehow "gave consent" to their own "inferior feelings?" Having them change how they feel does not just magically chase away their sadness or depression.

The focus should not be on the victim. I mean, I'm all for people being encouraging and loving, but telling someone it's their fault for feeling down and inferior when they are going through a hard time or depressed is perhaps not the best idea.

Whenever I see someone posting this quote I always try to tell them how toxic and corrupt it is. Plus, there is no record of Ms. Roosevelt even uttering this.

What do you think? Good, bad, or just plain wrong? Let me know in the comments down below.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Day 3 Part 3: Merienge

This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every week.

The path is so dark and foggy that I can't see Cielen.

"Mere--this way!" I hear him shout to my left. I tailor my bearing westward, hunching my shoulders and adjusting my pack. As I walk the ground underneath my feet starts to vibrate, the dead sticks wiggling with hostile magie. It seems I can't continue on this route, as some great magie creature blocks my path, his magie affecting the undergrowth and the ground.

I veer right again. Now tendrils of gray fog chill my neck, whispering past my skin like clammy, disembodied hands. I shiver as the cold condensation drips down the back of my shirt.

"Where are you?" I call out into the forest that has now become a sea. "Cielen!"

He does not answer. I hope he is not in peril. But, I remind myself, Cielen is hardy. His magie is almost as strong as mine and he always respects the forest.

I know he will be fine. He's not like me, he's cautious.

I take another step, and another. Suddenly I am standing at the edge of a great cliff, my right foot poised to step off into the expanse. I panic, teetering wildly. Cielen quickly appears from my left, his face contorted in fear. He grabs my arm but his combined weight knocks away what little balance I have. We both topple over the edge as I scream.

My head feels like it hit first. The pain in my temples gives way to the sensation of rough concrete pressed against my cheek and arms. What is concrete doing in a forest?

"Hey, are you okay?" Someone is shaking me. I blink rapidly, trying to push myself up.

"Aainn" I croak out. A sharp pain punctures my arm as I move. There is a pebble embedded into my upper forearm. I shake it loose.

"You mean Mr. Durithean?" A female voice asks again. "I'll go see if he is in his office." I hear the sound of feet moving.

"Should I call the Medics?" Another male voice asks. The world around me is blurry and my head feels like it's spinning.

"No." I say, trying to wave them away. "I'm okay, I just stood up to fast."

Someone that I can't see helps me sit on the bench again.

"You should get that checked out." The male voice says. "Could be anemia."

He sounds like he probably knows what he is taking about. Must be a medic major.

The girl comes running back. "Durithean wasn't in his office. I'm sorry." She says.

"Uh, that's okay." I say. "I just wanted to ask him a question about my, uh, paper."

"Well, you better catch him soon" she says, nudging the guy. "You know he has the next month off for his wedding."

They both turn to stare at me.

"I'm really okay." I manage, trying appear confidant. "I'm sorry." My hands are shaking so I clinch my purse. I realize I once again forgot to eat lunch, and it's probably way past noon. My stomach and my uterus both are rolling with pain.

I force a smile. Boy turns to girl and they share a glance that means something, but I don't know what. "Alright." He says. Another look between them, and the girl shrugs.

"If she says she's fine, then she's fine."

"I am fine." I say again, although my voice is shaky and my sentence ends on squeak.

I can tell they don't believe me, but they both turn and start walking away with only one backwards glance. I wait until they disappear around the corner and then I let go of my purse and press my mouth into my shoulder trying to suppress my sobs. I pull my legs in towards my body and just cry into my knees, hiding my face.

I don't care if anyone walks by, and I'm frankly to lost to notice if anyone does. I hope they just think I'm napping.

The next thing I notice is my face is sticky with dry tears and every part of my body hurts. I glance at my watch. 4:35pm. Aainn hasn't come back.

I unfold myself slowly, feeling every creak. Is this what it's like to be old? The weight of the trees seems to press on my shoulders as I stand, shaking. I feel like I can't move at all. But somehow I must. I lean against a light-post until I think I can hold my weight without fainting again.

I don't remember walking home until the steam from the shower hits me. And I'm too sad to eat. I saw Aainn and I did the very thing I said I wouldn't do: panicked. I don't deserve food anyway, even if I could eat something.

The clock reads a blurry 8:45pm when I finally turn off the TV and pull the covers over my head. I hope I dream of Aainn. Actually, I hope I don't. Because then I'll have to wake up without him again tomorrow.

Click here for the next part.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Things I Wish My Doctor Told Me About Miscarriage

There are many things you go through when you have a miscarriage. Pain. Worry. Fear. And there was very little I was told by my physician in the emergency room. Besides being given a confirmation that I was indeed losing my baby--little more was disclosed to me. As I was discharged I was informed of "how much blood was to much" and given a suggestion to wait 3-5 months before "trying again".

I know that every experience of child loss is different. But these are some things I wish my doctor had told me about miscarriage.
  • Hair loss. Just like when you give birth, the hormones from having a miscarriage can result in hair loss. Quite a lot of hair loss. When my hair started falling out about a month after my second miscarriage, I kinda freaked out. And it also happened with my third. My hair has finally begun to grow back again (took like 3 months) I was totally unaware and unprepared for this. 
  • Depression. I was severely depressed after all my miscarriages. I couldn't get out of bed and I could not stop crying. I couldn't cook and the fact that I couldn't even provide for my husband made me even more depressed. It got to the point that I wanted to cease existing. The only way I could cope was to read books nonstop and ignore life while my hormones attempted to regain whatever "normal"was. (I am okay now, don't worry!)
  • My first period after each miscarriage was very weird. Extra heavy, extra painful, early and longer then normal. I had no idea this would happen.
  • Weight gain. After all three of my miscarriages my hormones were all sorts of whack. I gained 10 pounds in two months and my diet didn't change at all. This, as you can imagine, did not help me feel better about myself. When I had my third miscarriage I made sure to exercise a little extra for the month after but I still ended up gaining some weight. 
A miscarriage is tragic and sensitive time for all those involved. If you or someone you love is going through this please pass a long this information in a kindly manner. Knowing what to expect can take away a lot of the anxiety and the foreknowledge especially helped me practice the right kind of self-care throughout my difficult time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day 3 Part 2: Merienge

This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every week.

The walk to the college entrance was shorter then I remembered. I closed my eyes as my feet hit the campus path, willing my heart to stop thudding. It was just an ordinary walkway. I didn't have time to panic.

I forced my feet onward, ignoring my desire to flee. My heart was beating so fast--it was amazing that others couldn't hear it. And what was that ringing noise? I ignored it and kept walking all the way to the bench as fast as possible while still trying to remain nonchalant. 

Someone was sitting on it. A boy wearing headphones. I smiled at him in what I hoped was not a grimace of pain from my existing cramps and sat on the opposite corner trying not to fidget. He glanced up, and adjusted the volume on his music device up a few notches.

I was relieved he didn't want to talk. The idea of trying to make conversation while simultaneously not hurl from the churning anxiety and womanly issues I was dealing with was insurmountable. It wouldn't happen. I'd probably end up sobbing on him.

A scab on my hand started to bleed due to my nervous picking. Ouch. When had I done that?

Every few minutes one or two students would walk by, chatting about some subject while trying to balance a heavy load of course material. It would have been peaceful if every fiber in my body wasn't tense with the fact that Aainn might show up at any moment. Besides the few stragglers, the lawn and pathways were relatively empty. Must be between classes now.

I was very glad for the fact that I was sitting down. I don't think I could do anything but this right now.

Suddenly tears blurred my vision and I squeezed my palms together trying to breathe. I desperately needed a distraction. First I saw a bird. I thought how much Aainn would have liked to see it if he was here. It hopped merrily along from a tree, stopping every few hops to preen itself. Then a blond girl in a library work-study uniform met up with my bench partner and they departed, hand in hand. Her collared library shirt had a big stain of some kind on the back. I almost stopped to tell her. Aainn would have told her.

If there was one thing besides Aainn that I had missed in the forest it had been that library. I always felt at home among the books. Perhaps it was because at the orphanage we'd had such a huge one (for an orphanage, at least) and I'd been able to go there whenever I needed to escape. I'd spent many hours lost among books with tears in my eyes during my younger days.

Just thinking about the library helped me relax. I'd met most my tutoring students in the cafe lounge adjacent to the library for our study sessions. Afterwards, I'd browsed the shelves almost every day, just letting my hands run along the covers, feeling the different textures.

The section of books the East had on magie and history was larger then the entire library at my western school. I'd found out very quickly there was much to read here, even if they did ban "silly" books on feminism and religion and everything on dark magie. But this school was much more then just a magie school, unlike mine. It had majors like "theoretical law" and "quiver science". They also had a stanch mindset against women teachers, too. But I guess no school is perfect.

I'd never been bored with my selections.

With a hunger I rummaged through my purse for a book, but after "pretending" to read the same page for about half an hour I put it back in my bag. I still couldn't concentrate.

Then the door in front of me opened. I don't know what made this time any different then all the other countless times random people had walked through it--but it was.

My heart stopped. I could literally hear an orchestra of bees buzzing by my ears, so intense was my concentration. 

His hair was longer. And he looked like he hadn't been eating much.

He held the door open with one hand, his other arm clutching a pile of books and papers, his shoulder holding a cell phone to his ear.

"Yes, I'm headed home. I'll be there soon." He said, letting the door fall free as he took a few steps.

"She what?" Now his tone sounded concerned. "Okay, okay...don't worry about it Mom. Grandfather will find her." His eyes met mine briefly, the only person in the courtyard.

I couldn't move.

"Uh huh." He said again. "I talk to you when I get home." His papers started to slide and he hastily adjusted his grip. "I have to go now. Headed to the car."

Tears blurred my vision. He walked past me.

I couldn't do this. I had to talk to him now. I had to hear him say he forgave me.

I stood up, feeling myself waver, dizzy. The path blurred before my eyes, my blood pounding in my ears.

Everything went black.

Click here for the next part

Monday, August 25, 2014

Maxi Dress to Skirt Tutorial

I turned this cute maxi dress into an even cuter floral skirt!

The tutorial is in video form. Enjoy!

I love altering clothes. This dress was given to me by a college friend named Blythe. Thank you Blythe!

Friday, August 22, 2014


I made another slouchy hat for a friend of mine. I love how easy these are to knit up and how amazing they look! If you want one, you can buy this hat in about any color in my shop.

I also crochet this lovely thick scarf for the oncoming fall weather. So excited about feeling a little breeze and breaking out my cardigans. This scarf is also available for purchase in my etsy shop! Both these items are made out of 100% cotton and are super soft.

I don't know what I'm making next, but I'm excited!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 3 Part 1: Merienge

This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here.

Day three greats me crusty eyed and splotchy in the bathroom mirror. Not to mention still squeezing fluid out of my uterus.

I shower and dress, making sure my glimmerspell is in place. Last night I'd been so upset I literally couldn't remember under whose face I'd walked home with. Oh well, it had been dark. If I'd dropped my guise no one would have noticed. Probably.

I start to salivate as I imagine another doughnut for breakfast. If I hurried I'd have time to run by the mall before heading to campus. After throwing on some clothes, I carefully check my glimmer spell again before heading out the door. My nervousness starts creeping in as soon as the elevator hit the ground floor. I try to shove it aside with thoughts of surgery donuts. No such luck.

Anxiety is like a vice sitting on your chest. It makes your vision go black and your heart pound. Briefly in the lobby I closed my eyes and concentrated on breathing. If I could just get this under control then I could function as a human being who isn't scared of exiting her room. Bleh.

While I walk I try to further squish the fluttering butterflies in my belly. But, today was the day where I am supposed to find Aainn. I figured I'd stalk out a bench outside his office building and pretend to read a book. If he had a class he'd have office hours.

Wow, was it really going to be this hard every day to walk around? I stopped under a tree, gripping the thin trunk with one hand. Seriously, if I couldn't stop hyperventilating over thoughts of what might happen, I was going to draw undue attention to myself. Not good. I stood there and squeezed my eyes shut again. Ok, Merienge. Whats the problem. Oh, your scared. Well stop it. You don't have time for this and You. Are. An. Adult. So calm down and go get a doughnut because it shouldn't be this hard.

Wow, I really suck at pep talks.

I picked up the pace, trying to push everything inward. I could have a breakdown later, when I was back in my room. Not right now.

The boy behind the register smiled at me as he handed me my cream filled chocolate glazed treat. I practically flung my money at him and fled to eat. Not wanting to attempt to maneuver all the sweetness into my mouth while walking, I sat at a little table outside.

The doughnut helped. Having something other then my problems and their various unknown implications to focus on was soothing in a way I'd never imagined.

Hello, doughnut. Yes, you are my shrink today. We should go for a walk in the park later.

Ooh, there was still some icing on the paper. So good. While removing said bits I wondered why I wasn't freaking out over my apparently normal conversation with my food. Or the fact that I'd asked it on a date. Meh. Weirder things had happened. The important thing now was that I didn't feel the need to curl up under my bed and pull all my hair out.

Progress. It was a good feeling.

As I begin to lick more flecks off my eyes wandered across the mall. Right across from the doughnut shop was a tattoo parlor. Strange placement, I thought.

And then I saw Mai walk by.

I froze, my tongue glued to a dollop of icing and my eyes wide. It wasn't that she was looking my way. It was what she was wearing. It was definitely her, no doubt, or at least someone spelled in her guise. And the whole time she walked her eyes never left the floor.

My heart flipped. A trap? No, there is no way anyone could know I was here yet. It had been three days. But what? Hastily I rose and dumped my trash, joining the throng of people window shopping while keeping my eyes on Mai.

As I got closer I could see that my first guess had been correct. Mai was pregnant. Very pregnant. Real? Pretend? I didn't know. 

What happened? I'd presumed she would still be at college. Last time I had talked she had said something about escaping and never returning. What was going on?

I saw her feet veer left and she suddenly disappeared into a hookah lounge. Mai, in a hookah bar? While pregnant? I followed her in to watch her weave her way into the back. Before I could go a step further a clerk stopped me.

"Can I help you?" He asked, his big black shirt effectively cutting off my view of Mai.

"No thank you." I clipped, and tried to dodge around him. He grabbed my arm.

"Let me show you some of our new scents, perhaps?" He asked. His grip on my arm was tight. I shrugged him off, staring.

"Oh, sorry." He said. "Guess your not interested." He turned and walked back towards the counter while I stood and blinked at him. My arm throbbed from where he had squeezed. What?

I arrived at the back of the store just in time to see Mai drop a little white package into her purse. She was leaning against a wall and some hookah lounge employee was currently pressed against her. Their lips made a loud smacking sound as I rounded the corner. As I wove into another isle I heard them pull apart.

"Are you sure this will work?" She asked.

"Yeah, I'm sure." A low male voice responded. I could only assume it belonged to her tonsil swapping partner. "Remember, don't take it all at once."

I glanced back over my shoulder but couldn't see anything, blocked by a whole row of brightly colored hookahs. Mai mumbled something and I catch the word "side effects." I try to edge closer.

"Shh, there is someone else in the store." I hear the male hiss.

And then Mai walked right into me.

"Oh, sorry." She said, as I picked myself up off the floor. I'd been standing right on the edge of the isle pretending to examine some hookah nozzles.

"Oh, I'm fine." I said. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah." She muttered, her eyes already flitting past me, towards the door. "Uh, sorry."

She fled. But she was smiling.

As I watched her head north out of the corner of my eye, I pick up two hookah scents-- one called "bloody mary" and another labeled "sin" realizing that I'd have to buy something or I really would look crazy.

"So you were looking." The clerk in the black shirt said, grinning at me.

"Not really." I said, then changed my mind. "I mean, I'm new here. If my parents found out..."

"Mums the word, dear." He said as I handed him my money. "Smoke away."

As I turned to leave he called out over my shoulder, "If your new, and interested, a bunch of us party every Friday after work. We meet here at 9."

I didn't turn around to answer but wondered if Mai went to these parties. Friday was a few days away but his offer was tempting if it meant I might be able to talk to her.

Once out the door I look at my watch (that I'd actually remembered to wear today). I'd lost a little over an hour. If Aainn had a morning class I would miss him entering his office even if I ran to college. If I hurried I might be able to make it to see him leave, through.

For sake of appearances I head off the opposite direction from Mai. It's clear to me that Mr. Black Shirt Hookah Worker was trying to detain me from accidentally viewing some type of more-than-likely illegal transaction between him and Mai. And since I'd rushed into the store literally seconds after her it was not a far cry to logically assume I had been following her.

I need to be more careful.

With that in mind, I head towards the mall exit.

Click here for the next part.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lace Boot Cuffs

I created a cute little crochet boot cuff pattern! You can check out the written pattern here if you want to crochet your own, or buy a pair in any color from my etsy shop for $15.

I really love these and I hope to sell a lot!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day 2: Merienge

This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every week.

There are so many people smiling and laughing around me. Couples with their hands clasped, their eyes lingering on each other. Mothers with babies, fathers with toddlers. I feel like I'm in a bubble. Or a zoo.

My heart hurts to see them as they saunter around the mall with wide-eyed gazes dancing from one shiny babble to the next. I realize I'm some kind of foreign object here, a silent observer cut off from all the color.

I came here to work up the nerve to go there. The college. Two blocks down. My heart is hammering just thinking about it. I'm supposed to be walking around campus right now. I'm supposed to be planning.

But the idea of going to that campus almost sends me into a panic attack. What will I do if I see Aainn? What if I don't see him?

I feel painfully conspicuous sitting here on this mall bench fidgeting and biting my lip. Two hours ago I'd confidently left my hotel room...only to find my feet turning north instead of south. Now I sit here actually paralyzed with fear, almost unable to move.

I try to take a deep, calming breath. It's okay. I'm okay. No expectations. It was unlikely I'd see Aainn this first day anyway due to it being summer. Last summer he'd taught only two classes, three days a week. If I did see him, that was okay too. I mean I am here to see him I remind myself, taking another shaky breath and letting it out slowly.

I stand finally, my legs wobbly and my vision blurring. I need to eat something. All this stress must be affecting my blood sugar. Or perhaps it had been a bad idea to skip breakfast. I lean against a nearby pillar trying to let my heart stabilize. What time is it? I'd left my watch at home, but based on the sun and my hunger pains it must be nearing noon. Belatedly I wished I'd brought a cell phone but since I had recently been exploring uncharted wilderness where the wild magie blocked those sorts of useful signals that luxury had not seemed all that important at the time. What did I need with a phone knee deep in trees? And before, as an orphan--a cell phone would have still been out of my purchase range. I mean, Aainn had one, but he had hardly used it and I didn't even know the number. There had been no need; he had always come home.

With this thought I feel my eyes start to water. I try to reorder my thoughts. Something about being here, being so close to Aainn makes my suppressed emotions very volatile. The distance I had put between us when I'd run north had locked all these feelings away under a careful guise of work and, well, learning to survive in a dangerous jungle. I'd misjudged myself thinking I'd dealt with it all. Being back here gave me to much time with my own damn thoughts. 

And I'd thought I was ready for this.

People. Children. Walking. With their bags, swinging their arms to their mother's long strides. Adults, on cell phones, with animated voices and happy smiles blithely walked past me.

Now that I had successfully distracted myself from having a complete and utter breakdown in public, I better find something to eat, I reminded myself again. My belly rumbled so I pulled out my mall map from my back pocket. The food court was two floors down and had a cheep doughnut shop.

I'd already resigned myself to eating cup noodles every night for dinner. But a doughnut would do for lunch.

After lunch I made my way back to the hotel to discover I'd started my period. Oh, joy, another thing I'd forgotten about dealing with. I'd been just about to keep walking, turning the corner to campus when my uterus had decided to explode. Sharp cramps had notified me of the impending doom when I'd boarded the elevator, their pangs worsening when I finally stumbled to my room. Yet part of me strangely felt relief--I didn't have to face the college yet.

All the modern medicine and magie but doctors still couldn't cure this curse. The irony. I would have laughed if I wasn't already curled up in bed trying not to cry. I mean, I was supposed to take medicine...but it had to be taken at least three hours before the onset of my monthly cycle. I was three hours to late.

The deepening shadows woke me up--or was it the hunger? For a second I was disoriented, sprawled half in, half out of the bed, my covers flung everywhere. Where was I? Oh, the hotel. I checked the clock, it was now half past six, and I busied myself heating up some cup noodles for dinner. The salty smell made my mouth water even as my brain was reminding me how much I hated these things.

After gobbling them down, my insides felt better. Maybe my medicine had kicked in. Maybe fate had decided to be kind to me this evening. Or maybe cup noodles were the cure for cramps. Whatever the cause after I finished collecting myself mentally, I needed to finally explore campus. I had an agenda. And I couldn't let my personal feelings get in the way this time.

Once I stepped foot on the campus I was surprised to find my heart rate slow to normal. My emotions eased, and breathing became easier. It was almost like my body had excepted to be emotionally electrocuted on contact with the campus grounds, and once finding that to not be the case they had decided to go chill. Somewhere. I allowed myself a few moments of confused introspection: nope, I was fine, all the signs of my impeding panic were gone. I guess it wasn't as bad as what I thought it would be.

My goal today was to find Aainn's office. I needed to know where he might be so that I could follow him on a different occasion before springing my attack. Starting with his office while familiarizing myself with the campus was a great place to begin my plans.

I meandered the quiet college paths passing only a few students who all seemed in a hurry. Dusk was falling and the shadows were lengthening. I couldn't see very well in the dark, but I still knew I would know Aainn if I saw him.

I walked towards the magie buildings. Aainn had told me where his office was, describing it for me when I'd asked last fall. He'd been so excited to start teaching. While I had been to campus several times for my tutoring sessions, I'd only gone to his office once when, oddly, our commutes home had coincided.

There was no one in the hallway. I gulped and tried to walk normal, my anxiety mounting again.

Yup, his office was in the same place. I ran my fingers over his name plate. Aainn Durithean it read in sunken letters. I marveled as my fingers caressed it's smooth surface.

I've almost found you, I thought.

I continued walking down the hallway, my hand throbbing. So close.

As I made my way back to my hotel I remembered our pairing. I had wanted to take your name after marriage, but you had persisted I keep my own.

"It's the only tie to your family." You told me. "You might find them one day."

To me my last name was meaningless. A reminder I'd been abandoned because of magic. A reminder that I had no parents, no home, no family. I'd wanted your name because you are my family. 

But the fact that you loved me enough to let me keep my own name meant something as well. 

"If you still want to change names in a few years, you can" You'd said. "Just don't make a hasty decision. You are not flawed--and you don't have to take my name in order to prove anything."

And once again I'd cried in your arms because you just wanted me to let me know that you loved me for me. And I didn't need your name for that. 

Oh, Aainn, I think to myself, unable to hold back the tears any longer...where are you? 

Click here for the next part

Monday, August 18, 2014

Thanks For Knitting Me

I've been creating knitting and crochet tutorials for almost eight months now. It's been rewarding and stressful and as you can imagine I'm head over heals in LOVE!

Today I wanted to show you things others have knit using my patterns.

PrettyPinkZebra knit my Pool Gloves. I absolutely adore the colors and yarn she chose.

100creations knit my Woodland Mitts. Her choice of yarn looks like streams or rivers!

Sandyvar knit my Geometric Gloves using three colors instead of two. I love the contrast it creates!

Also LisaCinFl knit my Wilderness Hat. Her hand-spun royal purple yarn is beyond gorgeous.

It's really rewarding to see people knit something I made. I love to see how they make it their own. Thank you to all the people who have chosen to knit my designs! Every one of you make me smile.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Purple Hair

I love lavender. Probably one of my favorite colors. I just know I'm going to wear this wig at least once a week. I absolutely can't wait until fall because wigs are in summer.

Yup. I'm in love with these wigs.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Aainn 1

This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every week.

Clouds in my head. Like a symphony, like an orchestra of bees. Whispering, waving, not quite one thing but not another.

When I close my eyes they are there. Obscuring, covering. Thwarting my thoughts, muddling my magie, slowing me down.

They were there when I was in the hospital last year. The year I had a meltdown, or so they tell me. All I can remember is that everything was gray. Gray walls, gray bedspread. Slightly less gray hallways. And the dimmed lights, dimmed like the whispers of grandfather and my parents whose hushed, soft voices drifted from beyond my cloud cocoon to toss me with their guttural syllables.

I remember a hand, a dry hand, and another voice. One I know belongs to a girl. A girl named Wveinia. Wvei. Why does the sound of her voice fill me with sadness? Why does the sound of her voice and her caress make me feel so empty? She's wrong, I know she's wrong but I don't know how to say so.

They say my magie caused a meltdown. They say it's okay, its okay to be confused. It's okay that I can't remember. It's okay that everything is weird and strange and twisted.

But it really isn't okay.

A few days later I left the gray room with it's perpetual rotation of nurses and family. The sun hurt my eyes. My sister was strange and cold. The food was tasteless. My family seemed both attentive and yet very aloof. Time passed.

And then it was like one day I just woke up again. I remember the hour. It was warm and Wvei was going to come over because it had been two months since our engagement. And I remember feeling...happy. And then I remember feeling surprised. All that evening before she came over I sat in my room and just felt.

And it was good. I could feel again. I could smile again. I could breathe again.

The clouds had lifted.

I was alive again.

It seemed from that point on life started to woosh past with amazing clarity. I could remember bits and pieces of college, bits and pieces of coming back to my hometown. But never the whole thing. Oh, my life before college was crystal clear. The accident seemed to have damaged only my most recent memories.

After awhile it stopped bothering me. You learn to cope, my doctor tells me. And I have. Everyone says I'm back to my old self now, even if I still feel a bit odd now and then.

Mother is very excited about the wedding. Today it's only three weeks away. I still think it's too soon, but grandfather assures me I just have cold feet. It just feels like everything is happening so fast. Perhaps after everything will slow down again.

That is the main reason I started this diary. For one, I don't want to forget anything, ever again. I didn't like feeling like an alien in my own skin. And another--it just feels important. I guess because sometimes when I'm home I feel like I'm drowning. Mother and Father love me very much, I know, but they can be very controlling. And Wvia is a nice girl, but I know she is hiding something from me. And I have so much work to do with school and students that I never have time to think about it at all. I need a place to think. Half a blank sheet of paper seems like a great place to do that.

Not to mention that Mai gets out of rehab next week. I don't even know how to feel about that. Or the scandal it created in the papers. Or the fact that she had to drop out of school. I guess it will be over soon, since she only has two more months, then I suppose she can forget about it. I don't know, I don't understand.

And I still can't think of what to say to her. She told so many lies.

Click here for the next part.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Favorite Coffee Shop

I've been coming to The Muse Coffee and Roastery since they opened their doors in Lynchburg, VA. First I visited as a hesitant college student with only the funds to buy a small cup of tea. Now I'm a much older, financially stable adult who loves to support local businesses with my personal money--but still I find myself drawn here.

I cannot count the ways the Muse has really been there for me through the years. Three boyfriends, two breakups--all weathered with strong cups of coffee from their roastery. I've bought an unimaginable number of shared drinks with friends as we met to swap stories of lost love, broken hearts and tentative hopes.

And, of course, let's not forget the one marriage, celebrated with Muse milkshakes after our honeymoon when love was still new and doe-eyed and we couldn't stop staring at each other over the rims of our chosen beverages, our eyes speaking of our haste to get on with the life we were starting together. Yeah, we were that couple. Two years later we still frequent here with books and pens to dream our dreams of such a life and chart it's growth.

The muse has been with me for this and so much more. From the time I announced my pregnancy to a friendly cashier, only to sadly tell her a few short weeks later that I had miscarried. She gave me a free drink and a big hug when I started to cry.

To the first year of marriage where my husband and I chose to live without internet the muse was my hub. I did all my blogging, writing and uploading within their coffee-flavored halls.

Not only a place to catch up with friends, the Muse has also provided me with a safe haven to meet for Facebook Yardsale swaps, exchanging purses or shoes over a much-sugared cup of black coffee.

In a city where there is a kids play-place and park on every corner, it's nice to have a lounge that caters to adults without all the fluff, where as an grown women I can enjoy an uninterpreted board game with my husband or a long, serious talk with a girlfriend. There aren't many establishments where the atmosphere feels as it does here. Open, relaxed, with a hint of espresso mixed in somewhere. Stress free, unbothersome--and always welcome.

Especially as an women who works at home now, I know I can come to the muse when I need a bit of socialization. I'm an extrovert and I've found the Muse customers and staff to be very chatty. Sure there are people who don't want to be bothered, but whenever I visit alone I always seem to find that other lost soul who wants a good chat.

I've even done a full photoshoot (with permission, of course) for my blog at the Muse! I asked the manager when the least busy time was and came wearing a pink wig and a lace blue dress and took pictures of myself shamelessly. It was fun.

I know that as a business many people will say those from the Muse are just doing their job. And they are. But they are doing so much more then that. There are certainly other coffee shops in and around Lynchburg, but this place is the only place where I feel like my presence is enjoyed by the staff and I feel known by them. I love this little local coffee shop and will continue to support them. Even more then serving coffee I can tell those who work at the Muse love their customers. They work hard to bring a personal touch to everything they do. And that means a lot to me.

If you are ever in the vicinity of good old Lynchburg please give them a visit! They've certainly gone above and beyond. Thank you.

And that's my favorite coffee shop.

Boot Cuffs

I created a simple boot cuff pattern. This pattern used both knitting in the round and crochet skills to create a cute boot topper for your favorite fall shoe!

Pattern is free! Download the PDF here, and don't forget to watch the Youtube tutorial as well.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Day One

This is part of my novel, "What Losing You Did to Me". To start at the beginning, click here. Right now a new section of my book posts every week. I wanted to wait until it was all written and then release it as an e-book, guys, but I am SO not motivated. Posting every week is going to help.

Wow, that drive was long. My head is still swimming from the dizzying amount of farmland I'd seen in the last 12 hours.

But now that I'm here I can see that this town hasn't changed in the past year at all. I don't know if I should be surprised. I guess I'm to busy looking everywhere I walk for signs of Aainn to notice much, anyway. I have a crazy thought that somehow a billboard will appear pointing right at him. Like: Lost love, go this way. Man-crush, here! Hah. As if.

As I walk towards the hotel from my bus stop, I can't stop thinking about my plan, all laid out like the carefully starched shirts in my suitcase. Is there a flaw? Will it work? It's dangerous, for sure. But it has to work. It has to.

I switch my case to my other hand, pulling at the hotel door. The Hotel De Mur—the place where your wedding will be held in just three short weeks. Of course I'm staying here, even if it did cost me almost 6 months of wages. Anything to be closer to Aainn. And of course being a hotel resident gives me the run to snoop around.

I'm glimmer-spelled, some rich kids daughter in for summer to check out the college. Fake name, fake generated passport; the purchase thereof my other 6 months of wages procured. I wish I could just glimmer-spell my passport. But they know how to check for that sort of thing.

Pretty soon I'm all locked up in my room showering off the last remnants of the North. It's like watching the last year of my life disappear down the drain.

The water pools around the floor while I'm searching for a towel. Five minutes later I'm air drying my hair on the plush pillows and flicking through the Air Tube channels. It's so nice being in a bed. Out north we sleep in hammocks strung from trees when it's warm or in a tent in the colder months. When we return to KI there are dorms where we might stay a night or two if waiting on instructions—but mostly we just turn in our samples and head back out.

I never realized how much I owned until I started backpacking. Or how little I could survive off of.

As I start to doze off I'm remembering the first time I told Cielen about Aainn. We'd been traveling together for six weeks at that point. It was night, and we were sitting around a campfire trying to stay warm. He'd said something about love. I can't remember if it was about his sister or his mom or about the fact that his dad had left them a long time ago. I hadn't spoken much at that point. I think part of me was still in shock from running. I was afraid talking about it would make it more real.

But I knew I'd have to anyway. Over the next few weeks my story, from orphanage to college, from college to love---it all fell out of me. Sometimes I cried but mostly I just talked. And it felt so good. Looking back now I can see that those journeys started the healing process—the healing process that has lead me to this day and provided the courage to return.

I'd never seen Cielen so livid as the night when I finally spoke of your grandfather's deception. It's funny—I know how much my heart was broken by that man, and I know the depths of despair I suffered. But I didn't think how it might affect others. I think that was the first time I realized I wasn't alone anymore.

I'm not alone anymore.

And neither are you Aainn. Neither are you.

Click here for the next part.

Picture credit here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wilderness Hat

I made a new pattern! This one is for a slouchy fall knit hat. I'm in love! You can purchase this pattern here for $3.99. I plan on making a lot of these for presents this Christmas.

This pattern uses bulky thick thin yarn. You only need 120 yards to create this hat! 

All my patterns have been professionally tested and any items made using my tutorials can be sold.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Blogging Fails

I'm here today to tell you about two awkward and hilarious blogging fails I've made. In these two instances my blog has flown in unannounced and turned my personal life upside down. Now, I know I shouldn't publish anything I wouldn't mind the whole world reading--but sometimes people really take things the wrong way. And nothing you can say can make them understand that you really were not saying what they think you were saying.

Blogging Fail One:

When I lived at home with my parents in the brief months between my breakup with last boyfriend and meeting my husband I was still blogging. One day I took a bunch of photos of snow in our yard for my blog. The sun was shining, everything was frosty and frozen. It was beautiful. I titled the post "Snowy Picture Dump".

And that was when the fight started. My family was convinced beyond a doubt that I was calling their yard a dump. My mom called me when I was out with some friends demanding I take down the photos, furious that I would refer to their yard with that sort of language. I, on the other hand, was completely baffled. What was she talking about?! I would never say the yard was a dump! I was referring to the major load of pictures I'd unleashed upon the internet. A dump of pictures. As in, beware, there are a lot of pictures here.

To this day she still thinks I was trying to be insulting.

Blogging Fail Two:

Shortly after marriage, I posted a funny story on my blog where I made a your mom joke. (I bet you can see where this is going). It was awesome and I chuckled all the way through the story, knowing my readers would enjoy it as much as I. Well, unbeknown to me my mother in law had found and been reading my blog this entire time. She was immediately scandalized that I would make fun of her in this manner and one day over dinner brought it up and asked me to take it down. I believe I choked on my pie at even the mention of my blog, because I had no idea she even read it or knew of it's existence. I then attempted to explain what a your mom joke was to the utter confusion and disbelief of said mother in law. She didn't believe me.  

Both these posts that I refer to have been removed from my blog, but it just goes to show you that not everyone has the same understanding of the English language. Hah!

Have you ever made a blogging fail? What happened? Please do tell!

Stock desk photo from here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Not Bitter

I'm not bitter over the fact that I'm struggling with infertility. There, I said it. And I feel kind of odd because a lot of the blogs I read on this subject sound so bitter. I can't report on their actual feelings, since, you know, I'm not them, but that is the general vibe I get: one of bitterness and anger.

And truly, I can understand why someone going through this might feel that way. It isn't fair when you are finally in a position where financially and emotionally and physically you are ready to become a mom and it seems like the entire universe and your own body is suddenly against you. It isn't fair or fun when everyone around you is having their second or third baby and you are still waiting for your first. And it hurts when well meaning people who don't understand or know ask you when you are going to start popping them out.

But bitterness destroys.

Truly, I hurt and grieve over my unfulfilled dreams and the miscarriages I have suffered. But I'm not bitter.

I've been bitter before. I've been so bitter I've hated myself and others. I've almost destroyed my life, and bitterness has lead to the destruction of a previous relationship I was in. When I gained some distance from that relationship and realized the state of my own heart, I resolved never to give into the lies of bitterness. Because it takes away all the happiness in my life and causes me to only focus on the one thing that I don't have, when I have so much.

The lies of bitterness tell me: I'm hurting, no sense in trying to even have a good day. Why is everyone smiling when I'm hurting so much? I hate my body, it won't do what I want. I can never be a good wife if I can't give my husband a kid. I can't do anything today because everything is worthless without kids. They have it, so I deserve it as well. If I can't have it, I'll never be happy.

Bitterness sows hate into my heart. With God, there is no room for this kind of hate. You know what, I do hurt. And that's okay. But I still have good days. And people smile because they are happy! I can still be happy too even if I don't ever become pregnant. People deserve their own happiness, they don't need to be a sad just because I am. And their joy is not a slap in my face.

If my body has a medical problem, well, that's no reason to hate it! I love my body and the way I look. I enjoy having sex with my husband and dressing up. I don't need to feel shame or guilt over the fact that I have a medical problem. Sure, I'm sad. I'll probably always mourn. But I don't hate myself. There is still beauty in my body even if it is broken.

And lastly, a life without kids is far from worthless. This is a lie society tells us--that marriage without kids is somehow sub-par. Yes, children are wonderful and amazing gifts from God. But they are not the only gift God gives, nor the greatest. God has given me so many great gifts, and I am so thankful to him. The role of marriage and kids is one that fits many people. But not every person is called to have kids. For some, life has just worked out that way and the kids come easily. But for others this is not the case and that is where grief and bitterness can come in. I don't think grief is a sign of faithlessness, but instead the collision of a good desire with a broken world. Bitterness is just a choice I am choosing not to make.

Yes, God calls us to live obediently in our brokenness, but I know his heart is aching right along with mine. And I will honor him with my desires, unmet or otherwise.

I've learned so much in the wonderful motherhood grief support meetings I've been attending in my town.  It's been a true blessing to see each woman grapple with infertility, miscarriage and child loss and to know that I am not alone. I see strength and determination in these women, along with sadness and mourning. Sometimes this road we ride is a roller coaster of emotions. The things we struggle with are hard. But you know what I don't see? Bitterness and anger.  Oh, I'm sure we've all dealt with it. But it's so amazing when we can all come together in fellowship and grieve together. I hope I can one day be there for them the way they are here for me.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Haruka Mekakucity Actors Crochet Cowl Tutorial

This is how I crochet Haruka's cowl from the anime Mekakucity Actors.

I used worsted weight cotton yarn for drape. For the main cowl, I used a 5.5 mm crochet hook, and to make the arrows I used a 4.5mm hook.

For Cowl Body:

1) Chain 22. skip first chain and hdc into every chain for 21 hdc.
2) Chain one and turn. hdc until end. (21 sts)

repeat row 2 until cowl can wrap around neck to desired thickness.

3) sew ends together to create a tube.

Crochet Arrows: (make two)

1) chain two
2) skip chain and sc 3 times into second chain from hook (3 sts)
3) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, sc 2 times into first st, 1 sc, sc 2 times into last st. (5 sts)
4) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, sc 2 times into first st, 3 sc, sc 2 times into last st. (7 sts)
5) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, 7 sc. (7 sts)
6) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, 7sc (7sts)
7) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, sc 2 times into first st, 5 sc, sc 2 times into last st. (9 sts)
8) chain 1 and turn, skip chain, 9 sc. (9 sts)
9) cut yarn pull through. it should look like this:

Now we will make the shaft for the arrow. In third stitch from edge (does not matter what edge you start from) pull up a loop.

1) 3 sc. chain one and turn

repeat row one 8 times.

Sew arrow to cowl, one on each side. Done!

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