I’ve been making some good progress on the SAL frame lately, I’m pretty confident that I can finish this before October, and if not I’ll at least be able to complete it as I work on each square during the month. I can’t believe October is so close already!
In the end this will look like a book cover, but for now it’s just a bunch of lines and squares, hehe. I can’t wait to see what little scene is revealed each day of the SAL in October.
I signed up to join in my very first ‘SAL’ – also known as stitch a long. It’s a Halloween cross stitch, where each day you get a little square to fill in and at the end of the month you have a completed piece. I’ve done a few cross stitch pieces before, but I’ve never participated in a SAL, and I’m really excited about it. The piece is also framed with cross stitch squares, which is what I’m working on in the screenshot above. We got the pattern early so that we’re ready to go when the SAL begins. I decided to splurge and I purchased a kit for this one that came with all sorts of little treats and goodies, but you can also just sign up and do it with your own items, too. It’s all about the community of crafters coming together, and that’s what I love to see.
I have a lifetime account to Lord of the Rings Online – and I played not too long ago, with Arkenor and a few other Combat Wombats. Problem is I’m a nomadic gamer, and I tend to move on before too long. Sometimes sooner than not. I wasn’t always a gamer who bounced from game to game, but as my allotted time has changed, and my gaming desires have changed, so have the games themselves. Taking a look at LotRO in specific it’s pretty easy to see what the problem in my case is.
My highest character ever was level 44. I was playing last year, but only reached level 20-22 or so. I had a house, but it expired (you have to keep paying upkeep on those). None of that is the problem though. The problem, is that the current cap to the game is 130. That’s a huge daunting number, especially when you’re only level 20. It felt like I could never catch up, could never make sense of the mechanics that were utilized in the game. Chat was basically an entire other language that I couldn’t make sense of, and my bags were overflowing with items that I had no idea how to use or what they were for.
Returning to a game that you haven’t played in a while is an incredibly daunting task. There are few games that I go back to where it actually sticks, and I am sad to say that no matter how many times I try to get back into LotRO – I just never quite succeed.
Time to continue wandering.
I have an obsessive love of miniatures. I’m not sure why, but I could spend hours looking at others creations and wandering through miniature towns – anything to do with miniatures, I love. It’s only natural that I want to combine my love of miniatures with my love of crafts. Sadly, my eyes and my MS tend to decide otherwise for me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t still give it a try!
We were recently in the city for a few days on an impromptu holiday, and I stopped in to Michaels to pick up some items to begin my miniatures journey. I have a few shadow boxes, and I wanted to make a miniature fairy village scene using the small leaf mould pictured above and clay, along with some acrylic paints. I also picked up some miniature canvas so I could do some miniature painting. What exactly do I want to paint you might ask – I have no idea. I was thinking some seasonal paintings that I could some how swap out. I have 6 miniature canvas, so maybe three Halloween and three Christmas scenes that join together to create a larger image. I might sketch out some ideas and go from there. I do know for my second shadow box I’d like to create a library with floor to ceiling bookshelves, and then print out books for those shelves. For now it’s all just ideas in my head, and I am hoping before too long to transfer some of those ideas to actual creations.
The family decided on an impromptu vacation to the city for a few days, so we’re tucked into our amazing hotel suite and I’m relaxing with one of my favourite drinks ever. EVER. I love clamato in all of its renditions.
Be safe and happy gaming! I’ll be back in a few days.
I’ve wanted a nice headphone / mic set for a little while now just for things like discord – and I FINALLY picked up a pair while we were in the city – YAY! I’m very excited about them. I admit, it’s a combination of the pink, and the kitty ears, and the RGB of it all. I already use a razer mouse and keyboard, so it just make sense to continue with them. I was a logitech user for many MANY years, but I found that their stuff was wearing out on me faster than I liked it to, so I swapped. I tried Corsair for a while but the keyboard was insane and way too loud. I know everyone has their own opinions about their gaming peripherals, but that’s mine.
Can’t wait to test these out!
Completed in August:
- I managed to finish my TAAT socks! Goal accomplished. They turned out beautiful and I am really pleased that they’re done.
- Scrap Blanket
- Cable Crush Hoodie
- I’d like to finish my Cable Crush Hoodie that I started so I can wear it for October, but I’m not sure if that’s a realistic goal or not. Maybe if it was the only thing I was working on for the entire month. I had myself on a bit of a schedule with it to start but I’ve fallen from that because I physically haven’t been able to keep up.
- I’d like to also knit two pairs of socks on my circular sock knitting machine. This should be pretty simple – in theory. I’m trying to figure out which tension is best for my socks, and that involves a little trial and error. I have a lot of sock yarn to get through and I’d love to be able to showcase it more. I think completing two socks is very do-able, but again it depends on my physical limitations and how busy the month is.
- I’d also like to start a 10 stitch blanket with my odds and ends that I’ve been collecting. I know I have the scrap yarn blanket on the go, but I’m looking for something that might be even easier for me to manage. The scrap yarn blanket is lovely, but it means a lot of weaving in ends, and a lot of little squares that are all different sizes as my tension changes. This would be an ongoing WIP, and maybe I’ll scrap the (har) scrap blanket, and make it a doll sized one for my kids to play with.
Not overly ambitious goals, but it should be enough to keep me busy!
I don’t do a lot of real life posts, but this one has been in the works for a while now, so I figured there was no better time to hit that publish button than on the last day of Blaugust. It’s been a heck of a month.
For those that don’t know, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis earlier this year. It’s an autoimmune disease that shows itself through a whole lot of different ways, basically no two people are alike, and that makes it hard to diagnose. For me personally, I have the type that goes away for a bit and lures you into thinking that everything is OK, and then randomly things are very not OK. I had some of the symptoms for years, but thought “oh I’m just getting older” and thought they were normal.
It started with pain in my hands and feet. Gaming some days is almost impossible. I had a bunch of tests and bloodwork done to see if there was any inflammation and there was not. All my tests come back clear which is what makes getting an MS diagnosis so much more frustrating. The pain in my feet is worse in the mornings after sleeping, or after any length of time not moving. It’s bad enough that I have to have support to walk around my house for a bit. A lot of the time I cannot control my hands properly, it makes things like opening containers, holding cups, and other mundane tasks very difficult. I can’t prepare meals easily, I can’t use a knife, and I struggle to do the basics. Since these symptoms are not ALL of the time, but only when I relapse, I thought I might be making them up in my head.
This year cognitive issues started. I often ‘lose’ my words right in the middle of talking. I have short term memory issues where I forget what I ate for dinner even though it has only been a few hours. I get frustrated when I can’t think of a word for something that I’ve said a million times in the past.
I also started getting vision problems. On relapse days/weeks my vision blurs, I see a white haze around everything, and it looks like the house is filled with smoke. My eyes will bother me, feeling tight or heavy. I started writing down all of these things, when they would happen, and tracking them. Sometimes I’m good for a month or two, then symptoms will come back for a few weeks, and then they’ll vanish again.
To say MS is frustrating is an understatement. It’s so hard to explain to people (including doctors) what is wrong when you can’t SHOW them. That’s the main reason why I started writing symptoms down – so I would have SOMETHING to show the doctors besides me saying “well, sometimes I forget my words, sometimes I have pains, sometimes this sometimes that, but not all the time…” Anyway. I’ve had to adjust my life and make some changes. I am a lot slower than I used to be at everything. Walking. Cooking. Gaming. I need a lot of sleep and rest. I need to recognize when my body simple can’t handle any more. I need to be gentle with myself. On the plus side, it is NOT a death sentence. On the downside, it IS (at the time of this post at least) a life sentence. There are medications and things to help slow down progression but there is no cure (yet). It hinders my ability to do very basic things, like drive. On bad MS days I have difficulty taking care of my kids alone. I can’t lift them up, or play outside with them. I always have to tell them to be careful around me. Living in an isolated post makes it even more difficult. It’s frustrating and annoying – but it hasn’t stopped me. It has just slowed me down.
Any way. Why write about all of this? Just to hopefully let someone out there know that you are not alone. That things go on, that you’ll go on, and it will be OK. Maybe not right away, but eventually I found my groove and even though things are really difficult they are manageable. I’m a billion times thankful for all of the support I DO have, and I’m grateful for those days where everything goes ‘OK’ instead of brilliant. Keep trying. Keep pushing forward.
It’s just about time to wrap up another Blaugust – and it’s been a great one. I have all sorts of amazing sites to read (I tend to refresh the ones I follow during this event and discover new and amazing blogs) and I managed to keep up to the best of my abilities (I say to the best of my abilities because I post date things to fill in missed days and I don’t see anything wrong with that). This week the topic was ‘lessons learned’ – and I’ve learned my fair share of them over the years.
The main one I learned is that you care more about what other people think of your blog / content than anyone else does. What I mean by this is I used to stress that the few sponsored posts I get would affect my site and I worried that I’d lose readers, and I was concerned that my audience would leave (what little I had) and all sorts of negatives. Turns out, none of that was true, and none of it mattered. I do accept sponsored posts from time to time, it helps pay for my hosting and in good years it gave me a bit extra to put towards game subscriptions or whatever other cost I had. Aside from people asking if I had been hacked or asking if I knew I had sponsored posts, it didn’t change much of anything. I know not everyone agrees with putting ads up on their blog, but for me it’s something I no longer stress about at all. I will always be more invested in my site than anyone else, and that’s probably how it should be. Stop worrying so much about what everyone else thinks / says / does and just focus on how you conduct yourself – be true to yourself, whether that’s monetizing your blog or not.
I learned that being consistent with content is more important than what you’re blogging about, and you will find your people.
I learned that people will like what they like. That means if I spend 3 hours putting a carefully cultivated post together – chances are the post that took me 5 minutes will get more traction. I try not to care about that too much these days, but it used to really bother me.
I learned that I don’t need a different blog to encompass all of my interests, but instead I make use of categories, tags, and other tools to separate everything. Maintaining a blog can be quite a task, and when I was first writing I thought that I had to keep everything in its own little section. I still feel that way, but I can do that within the total writing space instead of creating an entirely new one. This helps me keep consistent, and shows that I’m more than just abcxyz thing. Sure, I’m a gamer, but I also knit, and I spin yarn, and I have other interests. There’s no shame in that and it took me a long time to learn that it’s OK to expand my blog to showcase those other interests.
If you’re looking to blog, it’s never too late to start. If you’ve ever wanted to there are free tools out there to help you get started, and even if you don’t stick with it at least you gave it a try. I hope my posts have given a little bit of insight, and if not, welp, that’s OK too.