Finally feeling better, but….


As soon as I started feeling better from the IVIG, on a more aggressive schedule than usual, I got a letter about another (routine procedure) upcoming that will mean another week of disruption. It’s all good, but the timing could be better.

So yeah, my blogging has already suffered and will continue to do so, I’m sure, for another couple of weeks. Ah well.

So I am going off piste for a bit with some posts about random stuff. Today, Navidrome. From their site:

[Navidrome] is a piece of software that allows you to listen to your own digital music in the same way you would with services like Spotify, Apple Music and others. It also allows you to easily share your music and playlists with your friends and family

After a simple installation, Navidrome indexes all digital music stored in your hard drive and makes it available through a nice web player and also by using any Subsonic-API compatible mobile client. Your music becomes searchable and you can create playlists, rate and “favourite” your loved tracks, albums and artists

So the entire weekend was taken up with sorting thru our digitized music collection (which has 334703 songs in it) and making a playlist of some of my favourites. I have a long way to go but after I hit 100 songs there was a little glitch. Sorted now.

The problem is that our collections has such a weird variety of things in it. The Hubster has very eclectic taste in music. And of course the kid’s stuff is in there too. But also the collection is littered with tracks purchased for The Hubster’s many years of doing a music quiz at or local pub.

So yeah, Bob Marley shares a screen with The Best of Elmo (Sesame Street) and Naruto OST (anime) as well as PIL and The Prairie Home Companion Christmas disc and Judas Priest. Compiling a playlist (actually a master list of MY favourites then multiple playlists based on mood) will be a long job. I know not every crafter who reads my blog will find this at all interesting, but so far I gotta say I am liking it a LOT and it may bring back the oft mentioned Master Collection into daily use! I am already discovering stuff that I haven’t thought of in years (like my old Bill Hicks stand-up recordings, all ready to listen to at the drop of a hat!) and I am excited about the possibility.

At the same time, I am still working on the lavender hearts of darling daughter’s upcoming charity Bingo event. While in the process of doing that I actually tweaked the pattern in a tiny but good way (knitting 20 of something over a few days will do that) and discovered something else interesting about the pattern as well. I’ll share in the next day or so.

Sorry I am a bit boring, craft-wise, at the moment. I am hoping that will improve when things settle down a bit more.


Revisiting my Art Journal about my NAM

My diagnosis of statin-induced necrotizing Myosotis/NAM was a blow, for sure. And when I am struggling, I often go back to this journal I made From the Permission to Play class by Carolyn Dube, a few years back.

I realized that the little sheets I had folded and inserted inside the ring had never been written on! Designed as journaling inserts, but not used as such.

The idea was to write on the outside and/or the inside when I want to, and I can easily add more folded pages as or when I want! So if a quote prompts me to write, more than once, the journal will evolve with every new insertion.

Here are a few more of the quotes pages:


The quote on that orange page is a great one from Michael J. Fox, about his Parkinson’s:

I don’t have any choice whether or not I have Parkinson’s, but surrounding that non-choice is a million other choices that I can make.

I slightly altered it by substituting [what I have] for Parkinson’s.  It was too good, too inspirational, to pass up.

I should have taken photos of all the pages before adding the inserts.  Oh well.

And here is the cover:

After completing a week of treatment and feeling headache-y and wobbly it feels like a good time to revisit this idea, doesn’t it?

I still love the journal, it still inspires me and the quotes really all still speak to me. Maybe I will end up writing in it after all…..or not….


Little hearts

Sadly I have not been feeling my best so not able to do much of anything at the end of a long day of infusions but I was able to knit quite a few hearts in the car and with the cannula stuck in my arm/hand.

Only finished off a couple of them but the lavender smell is overpowering! After the photo they have to go back in the bag LOL!

I have more than memorized the pattern by now, I can knit them on autopilot! The purple one needs plumping but I am happy with them. Just need to design a card with info abut their moth-repelling properties and package them up. Let’s see how many more I can make before the bingo!

I’ll be happy when this week is over and I can start to rep the rewards of these long days stuck in the infusion suite!


WOYWW 660 – away still

A very boring desk and minimal text. I am still at the hospital for my IVIG infusions. Today is the longest day, many bottles and much time. It leaves me with a thumping headache but hopefully in a couple of weeks I will be feeling strong enough to open the tightest of pickle jars, to walk my two miles and a brisk pace on the treadmill and sit happily at my desk creating for hours on end. I have a couple of cranked-out gnomes using my Addi 22-pin machine. I am cranking gnomes and knitting hearts filled with lavender for my darling daughter’s disability social group to potentially sell at their next fundraising Bingo.

They take only a few minutes to “knit” on the Addi and not a lot to sew up.

Other than that, just the If You Had To…. cards. Yeesh. I guess I would have to live with Siri as my only friend. At least she has the answers to most questions.

Happy WOYWW y’all! I will link at some point – depends on when Mr Linky pops up and where I am! I’ll get there eventually.

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Revisiting Knitting Machines

Another thing I am able to do when I am feeling a little weaker (and I am still up at the hospital, getting that sorted out today) is using my hand-cranked knitting machines. I used them quite a lot for a while, when I was well and truly in knitting mode and the most yseful things I made were Dementia Dolls ans twiddlemuffs, as you can see in the old post here.

I enjoy doing charity knitting whenever I can and an always on the look out for a new pattern. Sometimes I see something and I just have to make it, just to see if I can and this was one of those things. I had seen a video pop into my feed for a baby alien doll and it was just so cute but with a lot of elements, it just made me want to give it a go. So I did.

OK, so it has issues for sure. The main one being the head in general. I didn’t have the right weight yarn (really needs to be Aran/Worsted weight) nor the right type (only Cotton Soft DK weight rather than acrylic) nor enough to make the head a double thickness by folding a solid colour tube in on itself – you can see the oatmeal colour thru the thin green cotton yarn. And the cotton is quite soft so the ears flop a bit. The nose is a hot mess, again, because the soft cotton yarn doesn’t create a firm enough base and by that point I was kinda giving up.

I saw another of the same YouTuber’s patterns that I also had to have a go at, and this one turned out better. I love the idea of a little gnome with hats you can change with the seasons. It would be a cut craft fair item and on the 22 pin knitting machine takes literally a half hour to make:

This one is actually weighted at the bottom with US pennies! I had a bin of them in my craft room and no beans till The Hubster did some shopping LOL! But I think he is supper cute and will def. make more if Hipp!!Bones does a fundraising tabletop-sale or something like that. He needs a pompom on the top of his hat but he can keep me company near my desk till I make one.

WOYWW tomorrow and surely quite a boring post, unless I can think of a way to jazz it up since my desk has been quite neglected since Friday…


While I am away…

As I am off in the hospital for a few days getting my IVIG treatment, I won’t really be blogging. I decided for the week I will link to some old posts while perhaps tying them to my more recent work, if that makes sense.

So this post from 2009 (!) is about a project I made for myself, to document some quilts I was working on. I still have it, squirreled away in my sewing room, but not easy to lay my hands on at the moment.

At the moment, one of the things I am doing is making low as well as high-content books for the Amazon KDP program. You can see some of them in the sidebar or a few on Amazon here. It occurred to me that a quilt record book might be a possible item for the future. I already did the work for making the actual scrappy paper version so converting that into a notebook wouldn’t be terribly difficult.

I do sometimes miss quilting. One of my all time favourite ones was the tee-shirt quilt I made for my dear son:

When I am feeling a bit tired, sitting at my desk doing digital work is really the easiest thing to do. I should maybe take a leaf out of my darling daughter’s book and wrap my head around Procreate so I could work from anywhere! Maybe one day…


My No-Sew Heart knitting pattern selected for a KAL

Very exciting. Ages ago I wanted to make pairs of hearts. Some hospital or another was calling for them for either mom+baby or maybe it was family+Covid patient, I cant recall, but the idea was you had two identical hearts and one went to the person outside the hospital, the other sat by the bed of the other. I think in the case of the mom+baby, they might have exchanged them so the scent of the other was there for comfort. Anyway. I got frustrated because virtually every pattern I saw said Make one heart. Now make another… and that annoyed me to no end. So I designed a small simple heart that was made magic look, in a way that the only sewing you had to do was to close the gap in the middle after stuffing it. It was harder than making a single flat heart, but not so hard that it didn’t make up for the fact you only made one. I popped on to Ravelry for a pattern and noticed that there had been a few additions to my Designer’s Page. I popped in to the thread and turns out the poll selected my heart pattern by many votes. People had quite nice things to say about the pattern when they commented so that made me happy.

Just as a re-cap for those knitters out there, I have a few versions of this.

The original pattern

A two-at-a-time version

A textured version (which also includes a more subtle textured version that is easier to make)

Given that I haven’t really made a ton of patterns, it was really lovely for them to select my heart. It also made me miss both my knitting and my best knitting mate. We have been keeping our distance for now, with omicron spreading, but now that seems to be slowing we could maybe meet up sometime soon. THAT would make me smile!

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Coloured pencil neurographic art…

To quote one of my favourite podcast hosts, “It’s not great, Dan.” {sigh}

Perhaps part of it is due to the widely varied pencils I have – Prismacolur, EK success, Crayola, some LIDL ones… Not sure how they all should work together. Additionally, I am doing the colouring on some quite old, slightly fragile book paper. And my skill level is quite low. I am not sure if this is something I am likely to explore further, honestly. Like I said, I get no joy out of it. Like Zentangling. It’s OK, mine always look a bit crap, and in the end I feel the pressure to make “good” art and can’t. Don’t need the stress, honestly. BUT I did want to have a go on some of the watercolour paper with the ball point pen neuroart on it. Just to see if I liked either the process or the results better. Not sure:

I’m still not very good at it, although I do quite like the blend in the middle circle ok. At the end of the day, I feel like the watercolour versions are way better and (certainly for me) far easier to achieve!

I have to admit I was slightly tempted to buy pencils – I have this bad habit of thinking that better supplies will create better art. But really even cheap supplies in the right hands can create a masterpiece. My hands are not those hands LOL! As a side note, I’ve never really gotten on well with watercolour pencils either. I’m pretty OK with actual watercolours, a bit better with the watercolour markers, but the pencils never blend out as well as I would like. It was a worthwhile experiment and it did make me drag out and assess an old supply.

I am having a thought…. It might be worth taking all the things I don’t really use much anymore (coloured pencils, Radiant Rain glimmer mist, pan pastels…) and label them and put them in a box. So keep them (cause I always dip back in at some point) but get them out of my space to make more room. Not sure. If it is too much work to resurrect them I might not bother.


Veering off in a different direction tomorrow….


WOYWW 659 – old supplies with a new technique

Hello WOYWWers! I am still enthralled with neurographic art and still exploring the technique. I dragged out some old supplies, coloured pencils, and am in the process of giving that a go. My desk is quite the mess, as I lost yesterday to the hospital visit. More on that later. This is what you are here for:

I have never been very good with coloured pencils. I am seeing I haven’t miraculously improved with time (but no practice) and I think at this point I am not likely too. I just find the whole process quite tedious. I’ll share this when it’s done, but I can’t say I’m feeling the joy in creating. Hats off to true pencil wizards. But, yeah…Nope. Not for me.

I also played about with some Stabilo pens (ball point pens but seemingly permanent ink) and that was interesting too! Actually the top larger one was a different set of pens and that one was NOT waterproof as the colour bleeding was all from the pens. Still quite mesmerized by the circles.

My other desk is kinda clean, as I was tidying up in advance of trying some gel printing techniques but never got around to them. All that is there is the If you HAD to ... cards. I should clarify something. The game is played by each person playing a card and then justifying why their one is the WORST choice, not by picking the better of the two. I tend to try to figure out which one I could live with, but more often than not both of them suck!

I could maybe live with #163, because it is pretty rare for me to watch TV that has any kind of advert on it, and we have YouTube Premium so no ads there. I rarely read magazine anymore so I don’t see ads there, but the rest of the internet might be tough to avoid. In MY current physical state as a running back I expect I’d last one play then be in hospital for the rest of the season – or sit on the bench all season so maybe I would survive that. So yeah, either one might be OK-ish.

And on that hospital note…I will be off to the hospital for another 4-day round of IVIG. Feeling optimistic as my rheumatologist seems to be thinking that we will settle in to an every 6-months schedule AND reduce my steroids, but v e r y s l o w l y. Yippee

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Not sure what to make of this – Neuroart and Circle stamps?

I gathered up a bunch of my circle stamps to have a play with an idea that was buzzing about in my brain. I stamped some of them on a bit of cardstock

And then added the neurolines around and thru them

and added the rounded intersections as well as more stamped circles where they fit in

It’s an interesting process but feels slightly … out of control maybe? Not sure how I feel about the final piece

I had a play with another version, where I stamped and masked bits so the circles overlapped initially and I think I like that a bit better

I think the issue is you have to plan. With both if you just carry on willy nilly it all looks a bit of a mess. I think there is some merit in it, but I’ve yet to work out the best method. I’ll think on it a bit more. WOYWW tomorrow and I’m be at the hospital for my Rheumatology appointment today. Hopefully some good news for tomorrow…..