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New Blog – Nanowrimo, procrastination and James Bond.

It sounds like a strange 1960s team-up show, I know. But the madness of National Novel Writing Month is almost upon me. I have only two days of sanity and freedom left before November first.

Back in February I pledged to blog every Monday for a year. Some of my entries have been a bit scrappy and brief but they’ve still been there. So that won’t change but they may still be short. The word count gadget will be on the blog too. I honesty have no idea how it’s going to go this year. I have less of a plot idea than last year so I’m going to be doing even more creating on the fly than usual. My craft output may suffer I’m not really sure.

 

Speaking of which, here’s a quick shot (ie blurry pic) of my latest wip

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Ok, so it’s red and there are cables. Oh and it’s for me πŸ™‚ No idea when I’ll finish it of course…:)

I love my job, I get to speak to the most fascinating people. Today I got to chat to a security expert about James Bond. He recommended that I read some of the Fleming novels so I’m going to add Casino Royale to the ever increasing pile of books by the side of my bed.

I’m only a recent convert to Bond. Casino Royale was the first Bond film I’d ever seen at the cinema. It was a breath of fresh air. Prior to that Bond films were a sort of boring, sexist kind of stain on Bank Holiday tv schedules. Although, even that said I’ve always had a fondness for the original 1960s Bond. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is still one of my favourite films. Perhaps it’s just the Roger Moore films that I have an aversion towards?

Seeing Skyfall – and if you haven’t already, run don’t walk to see it – made me want to revisit the 60s Bond films and watch CR again. I’ve got a subscription to Sky’s NOW TV film streaming service and they have all the Bond films ready to stream so since I couldn’t find my dvd copy I tried streaming it. Awful. It was like the worst You Tube-esque copy ever. So I had to quickly give up on it and find another copy. I did stream OHMSS and that was a lot better. Watched half of Dr No and then fell asleep. I did rewatch CR – it’s still brilliant – and the quite appalling Quantum of Solace over the rest of the weekend. When Bond’s best chat up line is β€œdo you want to help me find the stationary?”, you know that it’s not really going very well…

Another issue with Quantum is that I forever associate it with these alternate theme songs by the legendary Adam & Joe.

Finished – Edinburgh Rock

I’m really pleased with how this turned out

 

Detail of the leaves

 

I’ve never blocked a scarf before but I’m tempted to block this one so that the yarn over design shows up

 

Another view

 

Unfortunately I don’t have anything new to show you this week. I’ve had to stop and start a few projects including, Wild as the Wind, where I’ve ripped everything out and changed the yarn and needles. Most of my energy this week has gone into decluttering, again. Yes, again. I seem to do this a couple of times a year. Well, I say that but what I really mean is that I take some things from one room and put them in another. This time I’ve been taking things to the tip and recycling centre instead. I have some bookcases on my landing and they used to have boxes of crap, sorry, I mean vitally important things, in front of them. They don’t anymore. This has brought the added benefit of my no longer having to do contortions in order to switch off the landing light. This is good.

My plan is to finish off the reorganising before my birthday on Saturday. I have next week off and hope to make another dress, watch a few fillums and possibly do a bit of cooking or baking. πŸ™‚

 

Oh and my friend Shea Wong has an article in the Huffington Post today.

 

 

 

Making Monday – First post of the Year

This blog, Space Craft, is ten years old this month and as part of celebrating and marking that, I’ve decided to set myself a little blogging challenge. From this week onwards I will blog every Monday for a year. It’s a challenge and a bit of a kick up the backside for me. I can always think of stuff to blog about but I rarely get around to writing it. I’m still making things but I don’t document them as often as I could. And well, I’ve had over two months off from blogging as it is πŸ˜‰ It also means that I can join in with Natalie from The Yarn Yard‘s Making Monday. πŸ™‚

I don’t know if it’s a seasonal thing but now that it’s colder I seem to be spending more of my time knitting than sewing. It could be related to a recent sewing disaster but more on that in another post. Current knitting WIPS are Rose Red by Ysolda and She’s Electric by Ann Weaver. I had intended for She’s Electric to be my Xmas project and I was going to knit as much of it as I could, possibly even finish it, over the Xmas holidays. It didn’t work out that way.

 

About 11 rows completed on She's Electric

 

Instead I finished off the Cosmic Pluto top-down cardigan which had been on the needles for about three years, and I didn’t get a great deal further than casting on SE. Incidentally I partly knit the TDRC in some Lamb’s Pride Worsted that I bought way back in Dharma Trading in 2004 when I met Rachael Herron and Mariko for the first time! I’ve just realised that I also bought the LPW in Magenta shade that I’m using for SE at the same time! You can see it in the pic on this archive entry. The Pink skein at the top is the pink I used on the TDRC and the LP just under it is what I’m using on the SE. OMG I’ve just realised that it’s over eight years since I bought that yarn! It’s been in my stash for all that time. Ah well, at least I’m using it now πŸ˜‰

It’s not photographed that well this time in my 11 rows picture. It’s a lot more vibrant in real life and the old pic is more true to its colour. I could have knit a lot more on this than I have as asides from checking which way your increases are going, it’s mostly stocking stitch. But I bought a red coat in the sales and decided that it was time to pluck the two balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in colour 23012 out of my stash and cast on for a much promised Rose Red beret by Ysolda.

 

Rose Red Beret in progress

 

 

It doesn’t quite match my coat – the coat is more of an orangey red and the yarn is more of a blue red – but they’ll go together fine.

My new coat with my Rose Red for comparison

I’m currently wearing the coat with a scarf from Rowan Biggy Print that I made I-can’t-remember-how-long-ago but I want to make a cowl to go with the coat. I have some yarn in my stash for that but am not sure how long it’ll be before I cast on for that since I have to finish RR first!

I’ve had so many problems with RR though. It’s no fault of the pattern which is very well written, alas it’s all down to me. I have to really focus when knitting it and count my stitches every row. So far I’ve had to rip out lots of rows and in one case rip it right back to the icord start, because I’d made a mistake. I love the way the design is building, it’s gorgeous. It’s just that this isn’t tv watching knitting, at least not for me. And it’s certainly not something I can work on while watching Borgen and keep up with the subtitles! SE is perfectly suited for that but I just haven’t been picking up the needles.

Something else that can take away from crafting time is reading. Since last year I’ve really got back into it with a passion. I love Good Reads and their book reading challenge is great. This year I’ve set myself the target of reading 30 books. That’s mainly because a lot of the books I’ve been reading have been quite long and whereas I can easily whiz my way through 300 pages, it’s a bit harder when it’s over 700. I’ve just finished This Perfect day by Ira Levin which had a really big impact on me, I’ll be thinking about it for a while.

Hip news

My MRI came back clear which means that I haven’t damaged any of the soft tissue in my left hip. I’ve been having physiotherapy since November as all of the slowing down recommended by the GP has meant that my muscles had become very weak. They’re building up more now and I’ve been able to go back to my pilates classes. The impingements haven’t gone away of course, and there will still be things that I can’t do like some movements in pilates. I don’t know when I’ll have to have surgery on them, probably not for a few years anyway, but I’m seeing the surgeon again next week for the MRI follow up.

Finished!

I’m going for a lie down now…

NaNoWriMo

The word count widgets are now ready so you can see how I’ve been doing. Most days it’s just been get home, make tea and then head down writing for two hours. Some days are easier than others but I’m over the halfway point now. Just have to keep going!

Post Card from the Edge…

Wish you were here?

This is where I am at the moment, in the midst of the madness that is National Novel Writing Month. The word widgets aren’t ready yet so I can’t put up a count of my words just yet but yesterday I got up to the 11k word mark. Today the words just aren’t coming so it’s time to have a break for a bit!

In hippety hip news on Friday I had an MRI scan along with an arthrogram – basically they injected a dye into my hip joint before the mri. Not the greatest experience but at least it’s done and dusted now. Not sure when I’ll get the results but should be within six weeks. I hope.

There’s also been some knitting going on as well as some reading πŸ™‚ But more on that in a later post I think. Now, I must eat something!

 

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity…

I saw the film that was based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray, Love” last week and I didn’t like it at all. I had approached it as mindless fluff which helped while viewing it but after seeing it I immediately thought of Mark Kermode’s short review – “Eat, Pray, Love. Vomit“.

But of course that doesn’t mean that the book itself has no worth and although I’ve not read it, what I have seen of Elizabeth Gilbert herself, I’ve liked. Including this talk on creativity that she gave to the Ted Conference a couple of years ago.

It’s very funny and insightful and I like the idea of trying to manage your creativity if it descends on you at an inconvenient time. Whether that actually works though, I don’t know. I’ll tell you when I try it!

Nano No No

I really wanted to take part in NaNoWriMo this year. For those who’ve never heard of it, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and involves writing 50k of fiction in a month.It’s not quite a novel, more a novella size.

Now, I’ve written fiction for years and always have lots of ideas for stories but I’ve never really ever written more than a few pages of anything. I usually just lose interest or become highly critical of my work. As a result, nothing gets done. So Nano which is more about quantity than quality is the ultimate in losing your creative writing inhibitions.

When I interviewed Rachel Herron for KnitCast in March this year we spoke extensively about Nano and I said that I’d meant to do it one year and I think I even committed to doing it this year.

So, why aren’t I doing it? Well, writing 50k of words over 30 days even if you’re not getting caught up in editing them is a big commitment when you have other things that you also need to get done. I’ve been organising my house since last month, sorting things and getting rid of stuff that I don’t want or need anymore. Since I moved some years ago from a three storey house to a smaller one I’ve simply had too much stuff and I’ve not been able to enjoy my house or have people ’round because it’s been too full of stuff.

My craft room was finished this month and it’s been an amazing feeling just to go in there withoutΒ  having to clamber over loads of junk. My walk-in-wardrobe aka the box room is now nearly done – about 8 bin bags full of stuff for charity from that room alone – then it’s onto the bedroom and then the rest of the house. So I want/need to keep that momentum going so that it’ll be done before Christmas and so that I can actually enjoy my home instead of being annoyed at not being able to find things/get into rooms/not have friends over/not be able to relax because of the mess etc.

So this month I will take part in Nanoroomo whereby I commit to finishing tidying my house by the end of November. This will be quite a challenge since one of the rooms, my study, is quite bad indeed. It’s not got boxes up to the ceiling as my craft room did but it’s still quite full. I think you’ll understand that I can’t do that and take part in Nanowrimo as well. It still doesn’t stop me wishing that I could do it this year especially since my friend Shalene in London is doing it as well.

So, November will be busy and I’m afraid that there’s no KnitCast for the month either. I went to the dentist with toothache last week and it turns out that the root of my teeth is infected and needs to be removed. I’ve been dosed up on antibiotics and painkillers and couldn’t combine that with editing the podcast. I need to be in full health for that since it’s a lot of work. But the tooth should be removed sometime this week and then I can get back to working on the house and everything else. And then next year I will be doing NaNoWriMo! πŸ™‚

My Blue Arbour

I love the colour blue in a garden and when Doug said he wanted to get me an arbour for my birthday, I knew exactly what colour I would paint it.

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It’s been a work in progress for a while. The staining, with one of Cuprinol’s garden shades, took ages and we still missed little bits. It also didn’t help that just as we were getting to the last of the painting, the heavens opened and it poured down with rain. Rain that washed sections of blue off πŸ™

We hoped to assemble it the same weekend but yet again, the weather went against us. The wind was pretty bad and it would have been a nightmare to errect. But yesterday it all went together. It took a few hours and was hard work, even though Doug did the really hard bits and I held things in place.

It still needs more stain and to have some grass brushed off it and then a base to stand on but aside from all that I think it’s beautiful. I did a double take when I looked out of my window and saw it this morning while making tea. πŸ™‚ It’s going to be the perfect place to relax, knit, read or surf on my netbook. I expect my cat Emma will be fond of it too πŸ™‚

KnitCast – episode 32 where I meet Mags Kandis and chat about her new book Gifted, the love of making stuff, colour and Frieda Kahlo is now online. I’m also giving away a copy of Gifted. For the info head on over to Knitcast.com πŸ™‚

Wonder Woman 600

First thoughts on reading the Wonder Woman reboot.

I was surprised to find that this was a collection of stories and art work with an article on the new costume and an introduction by Lynda Carter. Really surprised since I was expecting it to just launch into the new story.

The stories appeared to be all new, although I regularly get my comics subscriptions I haven’t been able to read them for a while hence why I assume they’re new. The first seemed to involve all of DC’s superheroines and showed how they felt about her which was quite interesting but I had a soft spot for the story featuring Power Girl (rolls eyebrows at her costume, yet again) since it was quite funny. There was an adventure with Superman which featured a bad guy that I think I remember from my early days of reading WW during the seventies. Before I forget the first story also featured the Kapatelis. I hadn’t realised those characters were introduced way back in 1986, hadn’t realised it was so long ago! Reminds me that around that time they tried to pitch a WW tv show with those characters as a sort of soap. Some of the full page artwork in 600 was just gorgeous. I wonder if they’ll release some of them as posters?

Anyway, I digress. By the time I reached the reboot there weren’t many pages left which was unsatisfying as although I still don’t like the new outfit – her leggings are very tight, so much for trying to make the outfit more acceptable – I still was intrigued enough by the story to want to know more. So this issue just felt like a big tease really. Hope I can get my hands on the next one soon.