Archive for Hobbies

Boredom and Shyness.

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , on October 1, 2012 by urbannight

My dad took this picture a few years ago, it is a lovely photo that I enjoy but it is also a good representation of how isolated shyness can make you feel.

Up until sometime in hight school I would say, “I’m SOOOO Bored” all the time. 

Considering my life was filled with going to movies, skating 3 nights a week, spending every day at the beach in the summer months, horse back riding, cleaning house from top to bottom before asking my parents for money to go to said movies or skating (we didn’t have an allowance or set chores, my sister and I developed this habit to make it harder for our parents to say no. After all, we did do all the work to earn it) and taking an hour walk every day. Not to mention flag team practice, games and dances, and the fact that I was a very intense book-worm.   Oh, I did crosswords and word puzzles every day and LOVED jigsaw puzzles.

When would I have time to be bored????

Oddly enough, despite all this activity, I was very shy.  So I bought a book on overcoming shyness.  There was a line in there, the only actually line I remember. 

Only boring people get bored.

But, wait, I get bored all the time!

From that moment on, anytime I started to think that phrase, “I’m bored” I would grab something.  I would grab a book, I would go to the kitchen and do dishes, I would go for a walk (that may actually be where I developed the habit of walking every night).  That habit died when I moved to Nebraska.  I would find something, anything, to do so I wouldn’t say or think those words.

I think the real meaning is that constantly complaining about boredom is boring to other people.  Instead, when you grab something else to do, you start developing more things to talk about aside from the boredom itself.

Because really, I had no cause to ever be bored with all I had going on.  Just listing it makes me wonder how I found the time for it all.

Only in these past couple of years have I started to feel that sense of boredom.  I need to do something about that.  I have tons of things to do, but I tend to let the computer eat up my time.  And half the time it isn’t that satisfying.  I love research but online research is not so fun to me.  I’ve tried using local library services, but this city doesn’t have a good library system.  I think I was spoiled by the Kootenai Shoshone Area Library system back home.  I worked here for a few years before moving and it was a fantastic county library system.  Nothing seems as good as them.  And I had access to the University of Idaho library.  This is a land-grant university, as such, it is a repository for government documents and important stuff like that. 

Maybe I’ll start forcing myself to do after dinner walks again.  I stopped because I hate the heat and humidity of a

Midwestern summer.  I miss the cooler, drier air of North Idaho.   But I need to end the boredom.  At least I don’t ever say those words.  So I don’t bore other people with it.

As for the shyness, I never really overcame it.  Every decade or so, I force myself out of it for a few years, and then things happen that remind me why I dislike humanity in general and I retreat again. 

Maybe I’m not really shy.  Maybe I really am just more misanthropic than I think.

Tardis Update and Other Pretties

Posted in Art, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by urbannight

Close up, just for the fun of it.

Tilting through time and space.

This is simple embroidery with light blue silk on crushed black velvet. I learned several things. 1. Fabric pencils will not work on velvet. 2. Crushed velvet is stretchy. 3. Even with the use of rulers, straight pins, and very carefully trying NOT to stretch the fabric, it is nearly impossible to get straight lines on velvet. Some told me to call it the Leaning Tower of Tardis. Another suggestion was the Leaning Tardis of Gallifrey. I liked the suggesting that it is the Tardis traveling, because it is always shown tilting at odd angles through space.

Needlepoint on Black Canvas

This is clearly my favorite. Okay, maybe not so clear to you. But I’m telling you it is. I am very happy how it turned out. I used variegated cotton, DMC Pearle Cotton, Silk Splendor, and metallic to give it textural interest and stitched in a couple different patterns to give it visual interest. I am very pleased with it and can’t wait to get it matted and framed.

Futurecast, incomplete

This little Teresa Wentzler free pattern is nearly done. I picked a variegated that seemed to be red, black, and white. But when I went to match colors for the stitching, it turned out to be a sort of dark, hot pink. I still would like to do one with more red.

I would also like to find a Halloween variegated that includes orange and purple and black to do a Halloween dragon. But that might be too specific. I might have to hunt around for orange and black instead.  A coworker keeps saying I need to do a blue one.  Hmmm, blue and something and silver.  I still have to decide the beads on this one.  I’m not sure if I want to use one color or three colors.  I figure I’ll not worry about it yet.  Beads go on  last anyway.

Elegant Pumpkins

As you can see, Elegant Pumpkins is coming along nicely.  I am having trouble getting two of the fibers. But I’m sure I’ll find a way to get it done.  I like how I can sit down at the coffee table and get large sections done with a good movie.  It is the largest of the items I’m currently, actively, working on. I have some that are larger that I’ve set aside for the time being.

Ruffle Scarf

This is a ruffle scarf made with ruffle ‘yarn’. To be more accurate, this is machine crocheted lace acting like a yarn.  I want to find the ribbon yarn as well.  That is a ribbon with machine stitched loops running along the top that you can knit or crochet through. This was very easy to start but difficult to figure out how to end. I did it by counting the loops I needed to cast off and then cutting off the lace but leaving the top line of stitching intact, so I would have something that could be knotted and woven into the top row of the scarf.

Mysteries of a Woman’s Purse Revealed.

Posted in Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2012 by urbannight

Here I shall unveil and demystify a woman’s purse. Everything is some sort of necessity or another.

Purse and Wallet

 

 

The small wallet helps to show how small the purse really is. In the wallet are the standard wallet things as well as my cell phone. My mother got the wallet for me when she was in Hawaii. I’m so impressed. She found something with a Hawaiian theme in black and white. It there is a little grey and cream. But it is a little dingy right now and I should wash it.

Something to do.

 

Contents of ‘Something to Do’ although beeds are not shown.

I have a small stitching project for when I need something to do. I can sometimes fit a book into this purse, but not when I have all this stuff in it. Maybe I should clean it out sometime?????
The little project is actually very stuffed itself. Taking up most of the space is the small, multi-folded envelope to keep all the floss colors seperate and in order.

 

 

Pens, Pens, Pens, more Pens

 I also seem to have accumulated a rather large collection of pens in black, blue and red.  I have one mechanical pencil for my gaming night (I hate pencils, I won’t even use them for word puzzles, but it is an absolute must for pen and paper RPG’s. Even I can’t get around it then) and one highlighter for marking completed stitches.  I’m not as good at remembering where aI left off as when I was younger.  I had a huge project and HAD to use a highlighter to keep track.  But I discovered that once you start using one you can’t stop.  You can’t really go back to keeping your place by memory.  I sometimes have my checkbook.  Since I destroy the covers, I don’t use them.

Soup and Beverage, Cough Drops and Pain Killers

 I also have a couple packet of instant soup, a flavor packet to add to water, a fist full of cough drops, (I figured just a few would do for the photo) and several packets of various types of pain killers.  I figured one would do.  The soup is yummy Fish Broth soup that is more tea like than soup like.  Wonderful on cold mornings after the drive in to work.  And sometimes you just get sick of flavorless water and you need something with taste.

How I get in to Work

Nail Polish

Of course, I have to make sure I can get into work once I actually get there.

 

I’m not too sure how I ended up sith so many bottles of nail polish in my purse.  I really need to take most of those out.  I would hate to catch my purse in a door and crack one of those glass vials.

Misc Things….

And last but not least I have an assortment of miscelaneous items.  A Tide pen for accidental dribbles.  An inhailer, D&D dice so I can always find them.  A small tin that holds 6 tea bags.  A tiny flashlight. Two lip balms since I’m always losing them.  The green one is a green tea balm and much better than chapstick brand.  The white spool is actually a sparkly pearl blending fillment.  And the plug to change my USB camera cord into a wall charger.  It will not charge from the computer.  I had a tooth brush and tooth paste in there too but they actually belong in my work desk so I took them out and put them back in the drawer.

What I did when I forgot my book.

Posted in Books, Food, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by urbannight

Futurecast by Teresa Wentzler

I NEED my mental break at lunch.  I prefer to read a book.  It takes me away from the office and into another world.  This is why I prefer to read Science Fiction or Fantasy novels as well.  But I forgot my book yesterday and instead grabbed the book I had jus finished.    I also forgot my breakfast and lunch in the fridge.  At least I didn’t leave it on the counter.

But I still needed to do SOMETHING at lunch.  I hate being bored during that time.  Being bored on company time is bad enough.  Being bored on my own time is somehow worse.

It’s a good thing I had two stitching projects with me.  The down side is that I normally do something while stitching.  Watch t.v. or a dvd or chat with people.  Not an option in my cube.  (I hate the lunch room.)  So it was still a little tedious.

I worked on this little dragon.  Maybe I’ll finish it soon and can post a picture of it completed. 

I also need to update my Tardis Project.  I have two items finished.  In the stitching world there is something we call finished but not finished.  The stitching is done but it hasn’t been turned into anything yet.  I also made a good bit of progress on my Elegant Pumpkins.  I’m still having trouble tracking down two of the colors.  Once I get those photographed, I’ll be posting that update. 

But in the meantime, here is a sample of the little dragon.  The pattern is called Futurecast and it is by Teresa Wentzler.  A lot of people hate Wentzler patterns because they tend to be ‘advanced’.  They make massive use of blending two different colors and they use tons of partial cross stitches. 

This is a free pattern on her website.  It is designed so the stitcher can easily alter the color scheme to whatever he or she wants.  I’m not blending two colors for every symbol.  I’m just using one.  So there is a little less subtlety.  I may do so if I stitch it again.  It’s not too big and the ease of swapping colors makes it a great pattern for stitching gifts.  It is a good introduction on how to change colors on patterns and the partial stitches are kept to a minimum so it is also a good introduction to Teresa Wentzler patterns in general.

I’ve been Nominated!

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by urbannight

The blogger I’m most likely to repost,  Storiesbywilliams, has nominated me for the Versatile blogger award!  There is truth in that. I don’t have one single focus. I blog about books, movies, hobbies, and food with an occasional smattering of politics or whatever is in the news that trips my trigger.  All from the point of a middle-aged, sci-fi fan, cosplay, gamer, goth girl. 

So, you want to know 7 things about me?

1.  I have to many hobbies and not enough time.  I need to find someone who wants to fund my hobby addiction and support me while I work on needle crafts, read LOTS of books, watch tons of movies, spend hours gaming (PC or Real World), and help me lose weight to I can properly indulge in my costuming desires.

2. I love ethnic food.  Thai, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, being my top favorites.  I love spicy food and use cayenne in most things I cook just for myself.

3. I would like to write the next great Vampire Novel, but that is not going well.  More on that later.  It was my topic for today.

4. My ideal home would be a cave in the woods.  So long as it has a good bathroom with a spa tub, a great kitchen, electricity, a reliable internet connection, and a steady supply of books and computer games.  Hermitting in Style.

5. I’m a misanthrope.  I like some people but think that humanity in general is a lost cause.  I often get extremely angry with humanity and the older I get the more I think that trying to make humanity better is a losing fight not worth the time and energy.  Maybe that is bad of me and it means I’m not a good person.  I guess I’m just not the type to go tilting at windmills.

6. I’m a bit weird.  I don’t really fit in any mold or category.  As a result, I’ve never really fit in anywhere.  So I’ve made my own niche of other weird people who don’t fit in for various reasons.  I’m not quite goth enough for a lot of the Goths.  (But it is still the closest descriptor to use) I’m not a hard-core enough gamer for some people (I’m not willing to spend a month trying to solve one thing in order to move on in a game, I’ll look it up).  I guess I’m not ‘enough’ of anything for most groups of people to truly accept me.  I guess it might go back to the point of having to many hobbies and to many passions and not enough time.

7. If I had the money, I’d spend my life in school studying everything I want to know.  History, Archeology, Sociology, Anthropology, Religion.  I’m interested in Psychology but I left it out because in many ways, it relies to heavily on the agreed upon societal norms inside particular cultures.  I think some of the things work across the board but others are group based and don’t work as well when you are trying to analyze people and cultures within the culture or by comparison with similar culture groupings.  I’m really interested in the connection between the physical environment on how culture and religion developed differently in different parts of the world as well as the interconnectedness of underlying religious themes across cultures despite the differences in form and structure in the actual practice.  I want to know where people come from, not in the physical sense, but in the cultural identity sense.

I’m supposed to nominate another 7 people.  Oh, how to pick? More importantly, I never learned how to hide a link under a name.  But I may have figured it out!

Madame Guillotine  This historical blogger covers a wide range of topics.  From Napoleonic France to Jack the Ripper’s London, she also touches on movies, books (mostly historical), personal relationships, interesting things from her life, and wonderful dodads and geegaws that would appeal to most Goths, Steampunks, and neo-Victorians.

Gin and Lemonade This personal blogger writes delightful blogs about her life from her unique perspective.  She manages to laugh at things that would make me rage.  She also blogs writes about books she is reading and coffee. 

Fluffy Bunnies This is basically a mommy blog.  It is a wonderful blog that I enjoyed before they moved to Romania and loved even more after.  One day a week she writes a regular blog.  One day a week she does a photo blog.  One day a week she does a Haiku blog.  Most every day, she poses a question or two at the end of her blog.  While I have no children myself, I find that I really relate to her and it often reminds me of my childhood or my interactions with my friends who have families. 

Sweet Mother This humorist blogger writes on topics all across the board from a very definite point of view with a unique voice.  It’s really hard to describe her so I recommend you just read her.

I can only come up with four.  There are many other bloggers that I really love.  But their focus is pretty specific.  Food writers that really stay focused on food and food prep, writing blogs that really stay focused on the author’s writing, and so on.   I could add them but I don’t think it would be staying true to the intent  of versatility.  I also decided not to include people who suddenly dropped of the face of the earth.  Of course, maybe I should.  Maybe it will get them to start blogging again?

The Monday Blahs

Posted in Art, Books, Education, Gaming, Life, Movies and Theatre, Tea, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2012 by urbannight

I’m feeling particularly Blahish today.  I was up too late playing SW’TOR.  I hoped to get my Sith Inquisitor up to lvl 16 and on her ship.  Her first companion would be a freaky looking, non-romanceble monster.  But that is my Dark Path character and he is a good guide for convo options that lead farther down the dark path.  I plan to play a Light Path Sith and a Dark Path Jedi as well to see what happens. 

Shadowrun is on hiatus for 6 weeks.  The GM’s creative writing course is ‘kicking him in the ass’ and he feels he can’t do both right now.  He is up to still getting together on Mondays, just so long as it isn’t a game he has to run and put time, effort, and energy into.  I know I shouldn’t end a sentence that way, but my brain just isn’t up to rewriting the sentence.  I think it goes back to staying up way to late on a Sunday night. 

But there will be NO Monday meeting tonight.  I do have a dinner tonight with my stitching group.  Petrow’s.  Yummy food.  Reasonable prices.  Good conversation.  And I get to give a scarf away.  If I finish it at lunch.  I should.  There is only a small amount of yarn left and then I just have to stitch up the tails.

I also got a Tardis all drawn out.  I may stop at the fabric store and try to pick something out.  I think I’ll make it up into a throw pillow.  I’ve pretty much decided on two forms right now.  A bluework piece on black and a blackwork piece.  The advantage is that I can use the same basic outline.  I’ll do the easier one first.  I’m leaning towards doing it on black silk, black velvet, or black crushed velvet.  Not sure yet.  I’ll have to take a look at the fabric first.

The morning is passing in extreme tedium and I’m dying here.  I’ve planned, plotted, and toyed with all sorts of ideas.  I re-organized all the desk top icons.  I read an article last week on why John Carter tanked at the box office and am thinking about writing a blog discussing those points and explaining why it was actually a good movie and people really ought to go see it.  But then my brain reminds me that it won’t be properly awake for a while longer and that is too much work right now. 

I would be so much happier if the phone were ringing off the hook with new claim calls.  I love busy days.  Well, sometimes I hate them.  But I always love how fast they make the day pass.

I’m trying to work out my plans for Saturday.  I have a wedding shower to attend and an Austinian tea party to attend.  Thankfully, it is not on Sunday.  I have a stitching group that day.  It would have been too much to juggle.  I don’t have appropriate period dress, but that is okay.  If I have fun, I can always make something up.  The hostess is short and large chested as well and has patterns she figured out for dealing with that issue.  I mean Austinian as in a Jane Austin recreationist group.  Just in case people didn’t figure that one out.

I’ve known for years that I have too many hobbies.  I wish days were longer but people still only needed the same amount of sleep.  Then I might find time to do more of them.  Or keep them all caught up at the same time.  I suppose I better focus.  Maybe some serious caffeine will help.

Tardis and Creativity

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2012 by urbannight

Small Tardis Sample

*Samples are not my own and I take no credit for them.

 

I do needlework.  I cross stitch, embroider, do needlework/canvaswork, have done some blackwork (although sometimes I cheat and just do it backstitching) and have done some hardanger.

I love science fiction and like all good little sci-fi fans, I love Doctor Who.  I want to stitch up a Tardis.  But I realize there are more options than just looking at pictures and drawing one up.

Redwork Sample

I could draw one on a tightly woven fabric and embroider it.  Either just outlining it like red or white work, but in blue or filling it in with satin stitches.

Blackwork Sample

I could put it on a grid and stitch it on something like Hardanger fabric and fill the spaces with blackwork fill patterns.

I could put it on canvas and use different needlework stitches to fill the spaces.

Needlepoint sample

I could make a full color, counted cross stitch pattern, which is usually my default.

Cross Stitch sample

I know which way would be fastest to stitch up.  But maybe I should try out something more creative.  I can’t seem to make up my mind.  I would like to do something elaborate but at the same time I don’t want to do something that ends up too time consuming.