Shipping

Since my last post several stores have been forced to close their doors temporarily until this crisis is over.  This has slowed down their shipping, but usually not stopped it entirely.  My list is in no way comprehensive, just the stores that I have subscribed to their newsletter in the past.

Purl Soho is offering free shipping, I took advantage of this and purchased some colors of crewel wool to try since I am planning a Crewel Embroidery class in the near future at my public library.  If I post a demonstration video, like I am planning, then I will add a link here.

Jimmy Beans Wool is offering free shipping through the end of March, not long now.  I love the Wool Watcher deals for some really amazing specials.  I took advantage of both, getting the print version of the 2015 Interweave Press Folk Knitting magazine, a $14 value, for $4.  Not having to pay shipping just added to the extreme deal.

We are Knitters is offering free shipping on all of their products through March 28, so hurry on this one.

Leading Men Fiber Arts is offering free shipping on orders over $10 for the duration of the pandemic, I plan on taking advantage of this when I get my bills paid for the month and see what I have left over.

Abundant Yarn Online has free shipping for newsletter subscribers, that one expires in mid June so I suggest jumping on that bandwagon.

Harrisville Designs is offering a ton of free patterns, however no free shipping.  My mom loved making potholders from loopers so I purchased their ‘pro’ sized loom and took advantage of the download of two free pattern books.  Later on I will see if I have the dexterity to make some potholders.

Kraemer Textiles is having an automatic 20% off of orders of $20 or more and free shipping over $50.  Not unlimited free shipping but still a generous offer for a small business.

Pig of the Month BBQ is offering free shipping if you are a carnivore.

In these troubling times, I highly recommend supporting small businesses where you are able.

Until next time, Live Life a Little More Abstract.  Check on your Extroverts!

Freebies

Okay, there are plenty of things that you can do for free in these tough times.  I’m going to post some of these that are really special deals, or brand new.

JSTOR: One of the databases that many college’s rely on (and is really pricey) is JSTOR.  They have added more materials to their open content section of their database: https://about.jstor.org/oa-and-free/  Since you now, probably, have time check these resources out.

Booklist is currently offering their reviews for free.  https://www.booklistonline.com/ this is a periodical that reviews book, it is created by the American Library Association.  I hope to spend some time using this to do plenty of collection development for my libraries.

Audible has a quite a few free books for children and young adults.  I have been trying to listen to a couple of free fairy tales, you do have to have the browser tab active to listen to these.  Very neat!  https://stories.audible.com/start-listen

If you enjoyed Animorphs when you were a kid, they are offering the entire series for free as e-books.  My internet is running slow in weird places so I did not get to check on these but the link is here: https://animorphsforum.com/ebooks/

Bluprint is offering free coloring pages.  https://www.mybluprint.com/article/coloring-book-pages?cr_linkid=FBO_03192020_ColoringBook_Photo&cr_maid=112211&cr_source=facebook&cr_medium=social%20engagement&fbclid=IwAR0uLkJNJyImO-BBGMY4SzX1D5n6HMX69NlIGQ5_Z2zWrtK1UO9Ysf38FIc

If you are into gaming, Lifehacker put out this article regarding free STEAM Games: https://lifehacker.com/the-best-free-games-to-try-out-from-the-steam-game-fest-1842402486?utm_campaign=socialflow_lifehacker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow&utm_source=lifehacker_facebook&fbclid=IwAR2uV9L3NExeKXUU2TG9B5M1TcWxF_PGDTst0_JSxUvUHga6oyBBtu_rz6s

Many craft shops are also offering free shipping online, I will be posting about that later this week (along with the fact that I went a tiny bit nuts on this…but I still kept mostly within my budget.)

Until next time, Live Life a Little More Abstract.  Check on your Extroverts!

Introverts, Check on Your Extroverts

March 2020 Ramen Pandemic

This is packaged ramen with 1/2 can each green beans and carrots and the meat from 2 drumsticks.  If I would have felt fancy I might have added spices (pepper, curry, etc.).

I meant to get this post up earlier, however my workplaces (I’m a librarian) went insane.  My community college went completely online early this week (late last week), and the library has been figuring out how to support the students.  My private University still has some students on campus, if it is not too safe for them to go home & international students, as of the writing of this e-mail so the library has been figuring out how to support them.  My public library has been having limited staff on site and is currently working on online programs we can do to support our patrons.  It looks like I might be doing online video classes, however I am not going to think about that until Monday.

Only time is going to tell if we are over-reacting, under-reacting, or taking the right steps.  We can ‘fight government oppression’ once we know that we are safe again.  While we are in the middle of this, remember if you are an introvert the Extroverts in your life are not doing well with this situation.  They need you to reach out, video chat, text, and get reminders that you love them.  I’m already texting with a couple and I have a video chat planned with another sometime this weekend.

For now, I’m going to take the rest of today to curl up and sleep (it’s been a busy week and my stomach is making me pay for it).  Later I hope to get some home-stuff done, but if I do not I still have most of tomorrow.  I’m supposed to be working at the Private University tomorrow from 12-5, which gives me plenty of time to do things between now and then.  I did finish my crewel embroidery piece, and due to free shipping I ordered some more linen and crewel embroidery thread to experiment with for an in-person project at the public library when we get back.

I’m going to plan several posts in the near future, probably a bit more frequently than my usual 1/week.  Until then, Keep Safe & Healthy, Check on Your Extroverts, Live Life a Little More Abstract!

 

Getting Down To It

I have been able to do a little bit of weaving, after a short amount of time my wrist begins to hurt.  Not too bad, but enough that I do not want to risk my surgery going well.  Even with that I have managed to accomplish about a quarter inch of weaving, as well as drawing part of the outline onto my warps (the ink is on the threads not the paper separator).

This has been a very busy 10 days since my last post, I started writing this post last week, however the panic/closures/uncertainty started so I had to put a pause on this post.  My needle felting class for the public library that kick started my career went well, we wound up with some very lovely critters and a class of 15 students.  I also had a needle felting class for the public library I currently work at, there were 3 students however they created lovely little landscapes, hearts, and flowers.  I have also had another critter class with 12 students that went extremely well at the first library.  One student’s creature went from a turtle, to an owl, and somehow ended up a snail.  It was a very cute snail, so I think the entire class was a success over all.

As some of you might know if you follow my book reading blog, AYearofBooksInReview.wordpress.com I have been reading a lot of materials about organization, decluttering, and making my home my own again.  Even some empowering books on feminism.  I’ve been on a read non-fiction rampage this winter.  All of these books advocate decluttering through a method of “Have I used this in X number of years?”  Usually around 5.  For most things this is working amazingly well.  Except for craft books I have not read a print fiction book in over 5 years (I’m still keeping some absolute favorites) since kindle is my favored reading method.  I have not opened the dressers in the bedrooms I am not using in over 5 years, so I can downsize to just one dresser, etc.  However I find that there is one significant exception to this rule that non-crafty organizers (or even monogamous crafty organizers) cannot comprehend.  This exception is crafty tools and complete kits.  I am NOT in any way advocating that you save every scrap of cloth/yarn/etc.  I am talking about those tools that you bought for a craft, then another craft overtook your attention, so the tools got stored away.

These tools often represent a bit of an investment, maybe not much however it might be relatively significant.  The organization/decluttering experts will tell you “Thank the item for the joy it brought, and let it go.”  I will give you two examples of why I do not often let larger tools go, one is immediately relevant the other will be in the future.  As you might know if you have been following this blog, I have a snapped ligament in my wrist, I am waiting for surgery (less than 2 weeks now) and there will be a 3 month period where my wrist is in a cast. This has severely limited my crafting options.  While doing my organization thing I came across my crewel embroidery that I started at Eastern Great Lakes Fiber Fest last year.  Then I remembered, I have an embroidery hoop thing that I can put under my leg that holds the hoop up for me, this makes stitching a one-handed craft!  I have not used that since my days of interest in embroidery, probably 2009 or so, but I knew where it was (approximately since I had been pushing it around) so now when I do not have a ton of expendable income I did not have to go hunting for it.

I have made quite a bit of progress on this little piece, I am quite proud.  In a very similar circumstance, when I was making a latch hook rug for my cousin I purchased a latch hook frame.  My cousin’s daughter, for whom the rug was intended, is now about 6.  I have not touched the frame since I finished off the rug, however I also have 3-5 other kits that I fully intend to hook someday.  The thing is, I really will hook those rugs some day.  Just like I pulled out my embroidery frame because I needed it (I do have a piece of linen that will fill the frame that I intend to use as soon as this piece is done).

What I am trying to say is, only you know yourself.  If you are a single craft type person, amazing!  You do you, stick with the craft you are best at.  Don’t be afraid to try new things if you want, but do not feel pressured either.  If you just knit there is so much to explore, lace, socks, sweaters, cables, double knit, steeking, colorwork, intarsia, etc.  If you just crochet, granny squares, those complicated granny squares, tunisian, colorwork, lace crochet, doilies, etc.  If you like needlework, I love the Fiber Talk podcast, there are so many types of needlework, cross stitch, blackwork, whitework, samplers, hand painted canvas, etc.  There is nothing wrong with that type of crafter, if you then picked up a needle tatting set and know that you will not pick it up again, then get rid of it.

If you are like me and you fully intend to try every craft that catches your interest and at least get decent at it, then do not worry about your supplies. (Unless we are talking hoarder where you do not have room to move in your house).  I’ve picked up a couple of crafts I did not have time for previously, I’m also working on more paper based projects.  This works for me, I go in bursts, do whatever works for you.  Do NOT Allow Anyone to Stash Shame You! Especially if they do not craft themselves.  Admittedly if you have two huge rooms of sock yarn and you only knit using worsted, then you might have to rethink a few things.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Where There is a Will

284CE9FD-B949-4CE7-8497-FA288AAF950C

I adore my mirrix weaving loom.  Due to my earlier sampling efforts with handspun yarn my mirrix tapestry loom was already warped and ready to go.  I created a line to keep my weft from slipping too far down my warp, and started weaving away.  My first few picks were created using a paperclip and my weft yarn, then I went looking for tapestry bobbins.  Unfortunately for me, and my budget, tapestry bobbins are about $20 for three wooden ones.  Balancing my desire to not purchase any more plastic than absolutely essential, and my want for several bobbins to create my multi-colored tapestry, I was concerned that my budget was going to go out the window.  One persistent search later and I discovered that some enterprising individuals discovered that they can use 4-inch golf tees as tapestry bobbins.  They work well, I have to be careful because the weft can slip off of the point creating a bit of a tangle.  It is with great shock that I discovered passing these bobbins back and forth under the warps does not seem to bother my wrist at all.  I firmly believe that this is due to the amazing shedding device on the mirrix.

The other major crafting that I am doing this week involves needle felting.  I have to admit I adore stabbing something a few hundred times with a piece of art or other useful object as a result.  IMG_2777

With less than an hour’s work I managed to create these two pouches, I believe that they will be useful for small objects such as tapestry bobbins on the go.  I will be teaching two needle felting classes in the next two weeks, one will involve creating coasters while the other focuses on sculptures.   I am really looking forward to both of these classes, I also hope to incorporate a very small amount of the slow fashion/slow cloth movement by mentioning that you can create your own decorative patches for repairing clothing using needle felting.

Have a great week and remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract.

Dyeing to be Crafting Again

IMG_2756

Not even torn ligaments are going to keep me from my crafting.  To be honest, I’ve had fun exploring the different crafts that I can accomplish with just one hand.  Another fun discovery is that I can still dye up some tapestry wool I purchased from Purl Soho last year.  I had pre-mordanted the fiber using alum and let it thoroughly dry.  To reactive the mordant I wet the fiber, and added a touch of vinegar for good luck.  The fibers pictured above are dyed with some food coloring, 30 seconds in the microwave to set.  I’m planning on having some fun simmering fibers on the stove over the next week.  Hopefully I will have results to post next weekend.

I have also discovered that I can do some little bits of weaving on my Mirrix with just one hand, I’m using a paperclip as a shuttle since I want to use several small colors at a time.  I really would like to get a few tapestry bobbins, however they are about $20 for 3.  I’m still trying to keep within my budget, so it is going to depend on my next couple of pay periods.  (I had to buy a new pair of shoes, my last ones were good for about 9 months, so if I can get that out of these I will be pleased).

In my week, I have a lead on a potential full-time job relatively locally.  I hope to hear back from them this week for an interview.  Should this job pan out I will be able to make a big difference in a nearby community, live in Pennsylvania (be closer to my sibling), and purchase a house to set up just the way I want it to be.  I am very excited for this opportunity to make a fresh start and concentrate my attention on the intricacies of a single job rather than juggling three.

Have a great week and Live Life A Little More Abstract!

Planning for Spring

The beginning of this year has afforded me a lot of opportunity to think about my future, both immediate and long term.  What I want out of my life immediately, in the near future, and in the distant future.  There are some things that are abstract, and others that are concrete.  I am not going to detail these things here, however one aspect is organization.  Right now I am working on sorting and organizing all of my craft supplies.  The current job, since yarn, periodicals/patterns, and fiber are finished, is my weaving supplies.  I have a great rolling laundry basket I had purchased last year, and it occurred to me that the 8/2 cotton I have for weaving towels would do great in cloth boxes in the bottom of the laundry hamper, then if I put another cloth box on top I can put reeds, shuttles, etc, in that box.  I believe some of my supplies like the sticks to hold crosses and rag shuttles are going to have to be stored upright beside or behind the boxes.  I will get photographs to show you how well this does/does not work out. I have a plastic box I am using for bobbins, spare parts, oils, etc. for my Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel.  I am not sure if I want to find something different or not.  My Spinolution Firefly is a little more difficult to store as I have two flyer heads for it (one quite large).  I had hoped to be able to at least continue my gigantic plying project, however upon further reflection there is no need to risk further damage to my wrist.

In the midst of all of this organizing I was thinking about my home.  When I get a full-time job I fully intend to move to where I will be working and purchase a house.  If it is possible for me to commute for a few years that would be ideal, I can save up to put a good down-payment on a house, find the precise property I want, and organize everything for moving.  It has also become apparent that the large pieces of furniture in my home might become refreshed with a simple change in color scheme.  Right now everything is either stark white or very dark.  I am planning on getting some paint chips to change this.

This week, in addition to my usual workload, I intend to corral my weaving supplies as well as my spinning supplies.   My final crafty home related task is to pick up some paint chips to tape to my furniture.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!