Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hectic Life

Wow, this last week has been hectic... I've gotten nearly none of my craft stuff done that I want to get done, I'm stressing out over some personal stuff, and I just feel like I don't have time for anything fun...

On the plus side, I have a friend who has me recolor texture files for his MMO private server, and I've finally gotten all the files I need to do that now. So I've done a fair amount of that over the last few days. It's time consuming but I really enjoy it.

Also, I was gifted a copy of Daz3d studio, and I downloaded another extension for it that allows me to create my own stuff in 3d. So I've messed with that a little too. I've only rendered a couple things, but I'm having a lot of fun with those programs.

© Rae Clark - Eidoslice

I'm still working on making a pattern for the toddler earflap hat that I did for my son last year, and it's coming along nicely. It's just a matter of being able to sit long enough to crochet right now, and I don't have the time. But this time as I'm working up the hat I am writing things down so I can share the pattern with you.

Love & Light,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sometimes, I write...

I was going through an old notebook and found this story fragment. I may expand upon it and rewrite sections at some point. Anyways, I thought it was interesting and worthy of a share. Mind you, it's pretty much a draft and has no title or real ending. 

I hope you enjoy it.

Every once in a great while, someone will have a life-altering experience. This is a story of one such time.
Allow me to elaborate.
My name is... or was... or perhaps shall be... Cassandra Evelyn Demas. I was a secretary in a law firm in Nevada. The other staff and I got along very well and often did favors for each other. We were a closely knit unit. That is, until something happened.
I was on my way to the bagel shop across town for lunch when the sun suddenly went dark and I felt a strange sensation. I seemed to be in two distinctly different places and two different bodies at once. I was, of course, Cassandra getting lunch, but I was also some sort of animal in a forest. I could feel my feet on the undergrowth, all four of my feet, and smell the wood teeming with life all around me. Then it was gone and I was left dazed. I sat for a moment to collect my senses before continuing on.
Once I got back to the office and entered my unit, I was greeted by a scene witch I will not soon forget. Every last person down to the mail carrier had been murdered, their blood smeared upon the walls and tables.
Several thoughts ran through my head at once, but above all was the mind bending urge to run. Run, or they may suspect me of this atrocity.
The next thing I fully recalled was a highway in the middle of the night. My car had run out of gas and I was forced to pull over to wait out the night. I did not sleep well, for the dreams I had were unusual and terrifying. Sometimes, I would be back at the office when the killers came and be killed myself. Other dreams were of that odd wood and my other form.
Dawn had come and gone when I awoke to a police officer tapping my window. He offered to take me to the nearest gas station some five or six miles down the road to fill my spare container. I thanked him and kindly accepted. Once I was mobile again we went our seperate ways.
I drove most of the day before coming to a town I felt comfortable staying the night in. It was smaller than the town I had left, but larger than some I had passed. I got a room at one of the hotels and, after settling in, I returned to the lobby to inquire as to where I may find a nearby clothing store.
The clerk, seeing my state of dress which was once sharp but now shabby, directed me to what he called a "high end dress shop" just a few blocks away. After thanking him, I decided to walk the short distance rather than drive.
It was a beautiful evening as I stepped out of the hotel. The air was just changing tones from balmy summer to crisp autumn. I inhaled deeply as I caught the scent of the last blooms of the season and began my short sojourn.
As I walked, I almost forgot the events of yesterday, which now seemed so long ago, and I began to daydream. In the midst of my musings I found that I was once again in that other place and form yet still myself. I stopped, closing my eyes to fully experience that strange duality. When the feeling passed I found that I was standing before an enormous wrought iron gate and fence surrounding a seemingly eldritch mansion.
I watched the overgrowth sway in the breeze that sprang up, and heard the tinkling of an old windchime. Then I saw it. A bright, almost neaon, yellow streak darted across the ground. I leaned in for a better look, curiosity getting the better of caution, and in doing so pushed the gate open. I was surprised that it was not locked, and doubly so that it swung open without a noise.
Before I knew what I was doing, I stepped onto the grounds of the mansion and made my way to the place I had seen the color. Out of the corner of my eye I saw it again, that same unnatural yellow, but this time, it was headed toward the front door. I altered my course, hoping beyond hope that I would not have to enter that gaping aperture.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I'm a hobby photographer. Which is to say that I do not consider myself to be professional in spite of the fancy camera. I have a Canon EOS Rebel XS and I love playing with it whenever I can. I'm learning the camera almost exclusively in manual mode, though I do use auto focus a fair amount.

This morning, I decided to take my camera out and get some pictures because it was damp and autumney outside. So I did. It was fun. You can see the larger images on my Flickr if you have a mind to, but I thought I would share some here as well. I am overall rather pleased with the set.

However, I've noticed that I tend to get more pictures of fall and winter, not many of spring and summer. I think I shall have to rectify that this coming year as the seasons change again. In any case, enjoy these photos.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Potty Chart

My four year old son is not potty trained.

Before you judge me, consider this: He was nearly pooping in the potty when he was about two and a half. The house we were living in was foreclosed and we had to pack everything, find a new place, and move within thirty days. We did this, and were getting settled into the new place. My son was just starting to get interested in the potty again, and THAT house was foreclosed on.

Due to a change in laws in the interim, we were allowed ninety days to find a place, pack, and move. Which we did. We are now in an apartment complex and have been for about a year. My son is starting to show interest in the potty again.

Even while he was not interested, we would encourage him to sit on the potty and ask him to pee in the potty. He's getting better. He's asking to sit on the potty sometimes and he's especially interested in daddy going potty, which is awesome.

At first, we were doing this incentive program my mother outlined, which did work originally. I would give my son a sticker for peeing on the potty. So many stickers accumulated would earn him a toy car. If he pooped on the potty he immediately got a toy car, but no stickers. This worked perfectly until my son found the stash of toy cars and opened them all.

Like I said, we continued to encourage interest in the potty and in going to the bathroom. However, it was slow going until I figured out a new way to do it.

Enter..... The Potty Chart!!

I have a rather small bathroom, but I figured that was the best place for the potty chart and to track my son's progress. 

I bought the chart in the "teacher" section of my local Dollar Tree store. I also got a package of over 400 foil star stickers. I had a sharpie on hand (I think most people do). My son and I picked out the space themed chart because my son likes rocket ships. Total cost for this project, $2.12 after tax.

I counted up the segments of the chart, decided how many points I want to award, and sectioned off and titled the chart and the points. 

There are 12 little squares, I have three points, or grades, I want to award for arranged in what I perceive to be the level of difficulty. 

The first four segments are "Sitting on the potty" meaning just sitting there, not going potty at all, just kinda warming up. He would not get a sticker in this section right now if he pees or poops, only for sitting there without going. This might change once he starts peeing or pooping regularly in the potty.

The next four segments are "Peeing in the potty". He would get a sticker here if he pees in the potty even a little bit. 

The final four segments are "Pooping in the potty". He would get a sticker here if he poops in the potty. I'm also thinking of picking up some pencils or something small to award also if he poops. 

After I put the chart up, I grabbed my son and had him look at it while I explained it to him. I think he understands, but we shall see when it comes time. All I can say for sure is that he likes the chart.

I'll post back after a while to let you know how it's going. I'm hoping this is just the incentive my little man needs to get out of the diapers and into big boy pants!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Crochet Journey

I'm thirty-one years old. I was taught how to crochet somewhere between fifteen and seventeen years ago and dropped it shortly thereafter due to holding the yarn wrong & causing myself considerable pain and fatigue in my hands.

Last year or the year before, I bought some crochet hooks to weave in the ends of my knitting ( I do both), and I decided that crochet was something I truly loved and decided to figure out a way to do it. Not that I like knitting any less, I just find crochet more satisfying overall, and quicker. This is important when you have a toddler, everything must be quicker and easier than before. Streamlined, if you will.

I sat down with a scrap of yarn and spent a while figuring out how to hold it so it wouldn't hurt to crochet while still maintaining tension. I landed on the way I currently hold the yarn. I then went googling for some simple patterns, then decided to try some more complicated ones. I made a lot of scarfs and samplers at first.

I went to YouTube when I didn't understand how to do a stitch, and I found a good online resource for the abbreviations. Then I found which has both knit and crochet patterns for free while I was searching for a pattern for some baby booties. Ravelry is now my go-to for patterns, and I've even contributed.

My mother-in-law sent over a big bag of some various cream, white, and brown skeins and scraps of yarn at one point with a message, "I want a throw blanket, please." And that started the first blanket I've made. I'm still working on that blanket, which I only started this past spring, but the summer was so hot, and my air conditioner was broken for part of it. I didn't want to 1) sweat all over MIL's blanket, 2) overheat. The blanket drapes over my lap now, I'm on the 2nd of 3 skeins for the main color.

Between starting the blanket and now, I've made several headbands, several barrettes and bobbie pins, a few pairs of slippers (another pair on order), and two sets of matching hat and boot sets for a couple gals at work who are expecting. Not to mention I have an order for about 15 wash rags that a friend wants to give out as gifts.

It's been a fun journey and I hope to continue to grow and learn. I've found I have a real knack for this yarn work. I've been able to fudge an ear flap hat without a pattern just by having a picture in my head and trying the thing for fit on my son every so often to make sure I was getting it right.
**crappy cell pic**

After learning how to properly decrease in single crochet, I learned that I did my decreases all wrong in this hat, but hey, it works. And my son loves it. That's the fun thing about crochet, You can end up doing things a little wrong as far as is generally accepted and still turn out an awesome product. 

I get a lot of compliments on some of my products that I wear. Sometimes I've been asked where I bought the item. Not often, but sometimes. It's rather satisfying to be able to say, "I made this." when given a compliment.

I hope to be able to continue crochet and other crafts for a long time. Maybe at some point, I'll open a store online, but until then, I do it just for the fun of it and the joy of sharing something I enjoy with other people.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another Autumn post

I love this time of year, the smells, the crispness in the air, the colors. Autumn is my second favourite season, next to Spring.

I wrote this poem a while ago as a challenge in an online group. I hope you enjoy it.

Autumn Thoughts

I sit below the tree and think
Of ancient lives and ancient times.
I sit and count the leaves as they fall.
A coverlet of ruddy hues
That turn to brown
And crumble to dust
As Winter makes her call.

I fly above the trees and hills.
I fill them with my wind.
I blow the leaves from off the trees:
A cloud of red and gold and brown
That swirl a bit
And float away.
My Autum-nary gown.

I finally feel my time is gone,
My playfulness dwindles.
My sister comes to take the night.
Her frosty breath does touch the land.
It freezes all.
It numbs the earth.
Winter is at hand.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


The end of last spring, I started an afghan for my mother in law. I have yet to finish it, but I took a little break from it over the summer because it was so hot out. It's a zigzag afghan, and I'm working it in blocks of color instead of stripes. 

Right now I only have some crappy cell pics of it, but it's cream, then white, then grey tweed. The end will be white then cream again.

Starting out

I have about three feet of it done now, and I'm just at the end of my second skein of grey. I'm going to add one more skein of grey then finish off the end. I hope to have it all done before it gets too terribly cold out so my mother in law can snuggle up with it this winter. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Aviator Scarf - Finished

So, a previous post had me starting an aviator style scarf for a friend of mine. I'm happy to say, it didn't take terribly long and it's all finished now. Including that horrid tassel fringe.

I hate tassels. But, for Rachael, I did them!

I hope the scarf looks good with her super sexy leather jacket.

Here are all finished pics:

The whole scarf.

Fringe detail.

Stitch detail.
Right side                                      Wrong side

Over all, I had a great time with this pattern. I did make some changes though. 
This was the original pattern:

Ch 90 turn
r1: Sc ea st across, ch1 turn
r2: hdc ea st across, ch1 turn
r3: sc in back loops only across, ch1 turn
Repeat r2&3 until scarf is about 5in wide, finish off & weave in
Add tassels to each end of the scarf
I found that a chain of 90sts was a little short, so I upped that to 151sts. I followed the pattern till my piece was just shy of 5in wide, then did one more row of plain old single crochet. (What can I say, I like symmetry!)

Then I made & attached the tassels after weaving in the ends of my work.

I really hope she likes it!

She loved it!! I'm so happy. It looks amazing with her leather jacket, too.

Tunisian stitch washcloths

I learned this stitch called the Tunisian or Afghan stitch. I rather like it for making washcloths. They are thick, knobby on one side and smooth on the other.

My babysitter wants me to make a bunch of them for her to give as gifts.

I was told by a coworker who knits that his mother used to do a knit stitch that ended up looking like this in a solid color, then cross stitching a design over top. Sounds like that could be pretty. I may try to do that at some point for a decorative piece, or perhaps a pot holder (extra thickness you know).

These wash cloths were done with an afghan hook using 30sts across x 27-30sts long. The yellow and red one is larger than the pink and white one. Also, I block them by getting them soaking wet in hot water then hanging them to dry.

I used Lily Cotton Sugar and Cream yarn. The edges on the pink one are single crochet, the red and yellow one are crab stitch (reverse single crochet).