making and making...
For a post that's all about creating, this has a rather down start. Job prospect did not pan out. I don’t know whether they just decided I was overqualified or what. I certainly didn’t ask for a super high salary; what they offered was fine with me, considering how awesome state benefits are. Whatever the reasoning, they went with somebody else, even with my cousin hopefully going to bat for me. Once I got over the disappointment, I figured there's probably something about the position that would have made it not-right for me. I don't believe in coincidence.
And on the other hand, after that wound up, said cousin did offer to beta read Song for the Seacrossing for me, and he has a great brain and a sharp eye, so I’m looking forward to hearing his thoughts, while I await word from the publisher I queried.
Numerous publishers have a presence at Dragon Con, so I’m planning to ask around there and maybe line up a bit more interest in case the first submission doesn’t click. So excited! Starting to pack, reviewing maps, printing off info and hotel directions and such, and finalizing my planned schedule. There are a ton of cool panels, plus some parties, and of course, shopping (hello Kali, I missed your message, please PM me on facebook about the BPAL?).
Dragon Con is run by fans for fans, which makes it even more special than the more corporate cons. It includes all sorts of activities that aren’t strictly speaking fandom-related; they feature workshops on everything from self-defense to beading and origami. I even signed up for a tai chi class! I’ve always wanted to learn the basics, plus it’s being taught by one of my childhood heroines…and well, y’all know how I am about a deal, and if I can get into a class that normally costs $120 for 20 bucks as a con member, I’m all about that. LOL
Called done on my pygmy puffs for giving away, after making 70. (I think only 50 or so are posing here)
The crafts I’ve sold recently gave me a few extra dollars to spend at the con, although some of those dollars ended up going to the local car dealership to service my ride so I can be secure in getting there and back again. And, I have to confess, I spent a bit more at the flea market this weekend than I intended to, but again, deals...
Here’s what happened: A lady who normally just sells pocketbooks and old furniture had a basket in the front of her booth yesterday, piled full of gorgeous skeins of yarn, with a tag that said ‘merino wool $5’. When I began to pore through it, I knew that had to be a mistake, because some of those skeins were some of the best known and loved brands in indie yarn! Names like Miss Babs and Blue Moon, and Wollmeise, which is a German brand people used to stay up half the night to snag (literally).
But when I asked, yes, $5 a skein was exactly what she meant. Her husband had run across It all at a yard sale or the like, I think, and scooped it up for a bit of nothing. I suspect a knitter had passed away and their ignorant family just wanted to unload it. The seller said she went to get lunch the other day, and some ladies were sitting in the sandwich shop knitting, and she almost just went up to them and asked if they wanted to buy the whole batch. I assured her that if she had, the lot would have been gone in 3 minutes or so. One person might have bought it all. Fistfights might have broken out.
Anyway, I brought these hand-dyed beauties home, which I guesstimated (rightly, as I found when I googled them later) would have cost around $200 if bought at retail.
You can’t see how soft they are, but I promise, they are. (hugs and pets yarn)
Dragon Con also has a crafting get-together or two scheduled, so, before I made this major yarn score, I visited my LYS (local yarn store) and found a lovely skein of hand-dyed sock yarn on sale (of course, even sale yarn from a shop cost about what half of those flea market finds would later cost me. Darn crystal ball wasn’t working, hehe) When I attend an event, I try to take something light weight and small, and that’s pretty much brainless to work on. So I cast on a slouchy hat that’ll just be a foot or so of around and around stockinette stitch. I can work on it while I finish my last couple of continuing ed videos, and the stuff I want to binge and haven’t had time to yet, after the con.
Pretty…The dyer lived in northern California and lost nearly everything in the wildfires last year, so this is probably one of the last skeins of her work for quite a while, since her facebook page says she is moving and resettling. And yes, if you read the label, the colorway is named after one of the funniest movies ever, Tropic Thunder.
I finished one pair of the fingerless gloves I mentioned last time. These use the same pattern as the Iron Man inspired ones I made last winter, but the colors come from another Marvel character, Rescue (aka Pepper Potts, Mrs. Iron Man/Tony Stark)
In other making news: have you heard of kombucha? It’s basically fermented sweet tea, and you can buy it at most groceries. It’s very low in sugar, because the culture eats most of it, but it has a lightly sweet-tart taste and a little natural carbonation that develops during the brewing process. It comes in many flavors, since most brewers add fruit, spices and so forth, is low in calories, and the culture is said to be very good for your digestion, immune system, and general health. I tried it a couple of years ago, but it didn’t click with me. After a friend in chat mentioned they had a friend who made it, I decided to give it another whirl, and found some I really liked.
Fresh from that, I thought, since I can actually leave the house to buy supplies for stuff now, I would try making my own! It’s simple: brew a batch of strong sweet tea, pour it into a big jar with a bottle of organic raw unflavored kombucha (booch for short) from the store, cover it with a clean cloth and rubber band, and let it sit somewhere warm and out of direct sunlight for a week or so. This weird rubbery skin forms over it, but it contains much of the culture and protects the brewing booch.
After a week, no mold had formed (despite the fact that for the first couple of days I kept lifting the cloth to peer in and worry) and when I tasted it—it was good! It had that same tartness I liked about the store brands. So, I poured it up into several well-scrubbed empty store bottles and added some flavoring.
It’s been 3 days since that, so today I’m going to dare open one and taste test. Stay tuned for reports, assuming it hasn’t built up so much carbonation it blows up on me. (it won’t; I’m told first batches don’t build much fizz, sadly, but I have hope for the future!)
AND my fig tree is bearing great guns. I made a jar of jam the other day, and plan to break it out tonight with a breakfast-supper. A few of them are in one of those bottles of booch, too. The other two bottles have blueberries and lemon, and apples and ginger.
I was about to sign off here, but while uploading pix to this post, I saw a photo of the earrings I made to wear to the con, and I realized…I don’t think I ever shared the legend of the Marriott Carpet, did I?
Here are my earrings, made from a graphic a fellow fan created. The Atlanta Marriott, one of the host hotels for Dragon Con, used to have this really striking carpet, and one year (2013 to be exact) some cosplayers made soldier outfits, but instead of camo, they used the carpet pattern. It was hilarious…until Marriott sued them for copyright infringement. Um, what? As my cousin Rudy said when I told him, did they want to make it a Thing? Because that is how you make something a Thing.
The carpet immediately became, as said, a Thing. When Marriott replaced it (with an even crappier pattern—this one isn’t even interesting, it’s just boring) people went dumpster diving to save pieces. And the design has become identified with Dragon Con now. Folks put it on everything from Hawaiian shirts to their cars! Most of them tweak it slightly, so as not to get attacked by corporate suits, and/or don’t sell it.
So, my crafty fingers are busy, and I'm itching for a road trip. Talk to y'all when I get back! (waves)
(PS, I'm so sorry for y'all who have posted comments here that I have not responded to. Some setting got borked up and I did not see them! I love you all and thank you for your feedback.)