Floating Around in My Head

Some days thoughts just float around in their for so long and I can't get rid of them. Today specifically one of my old stories popped back into my mind and didn't go away. I think I posted about it some time ago, but I can't remember. But I figure if I didn't, at least I would get it out and maybe get around to doing something with it one day.

I really work well in the fantasy genre since I can just make it all up as I go. This one in particular is about a man who is a former adventurer but settled down to take over a keep and protect the town that had sprung up around it. Not long after settling down, he married a young woman from the town. She was pretty and young and very kind. Everyone loved her. Especially the new Lord of the keep. They were married for two years before she came with child. They were both very excited. But things were doomed. Mother and child died in childbirth. The Lord of the Keep was devastated. His entire life was over. It all seemed so meaningless to him.

He sat in his keep moping about his loss. Sure it was terrible, but after another year of mourning, he should have gotten past it. But he hadn't. The servants and his adviser felt that he needed to move on. Either marry or find something else to occupy his time. Sitting around and feeling sorry for himself was not going to make her or the child return, nor would it make him feel any better. The Lord agreed with this and did what he could to become more involved. It was hard, especially when his adviser started parading young woman at him for prospective wives.

One night, the Lord made up his mind. He could no longer stay at the Keep he'd worked so hard at building back up. There were too many memories there and he was tired of them trying to run his life. So in the dark of night, he crept out with only the barest of possessions and his steed. He rode in the darkness to a nearby town where he got provisions before riding on. After a few days he came to a city (that as of yet does not have a name). This city was not large, but it definitely had everything an adventurer could want. Suddenly, the Lord realized that he was on his way to becoming an adventurer again and wandered if that was the path for him. He sat in a tavern, drinking his ale and thinking back on his life and wandering what was ahead for him. Without an invitation, a pretty dark haired woman seated herself at his table and started up a conversation with him. She seemed confident and not at all like the kind of woman he would associate himself with. That didn't stop her.

Eventually, he left the tavern and started on his way to the nearby inn. His mood had not lightened any and in fact seemed a little darker. That was when he realized that he was being followed. And by the dark haired woman no less. His skills returned in a flood and he spun on her, catching her off guard. He confronted her and they had a minor battle, mostly of words. Steel clashed and he disarmed her. Feeling confident, he stepped to her and questioned her loudly. She confessed that she was following him, but only to find out exactly what his intentions were. (Maybe not intentions. That may not be the word that I am looking for. I can't really keep it straight.)

They end up at another tavern, this one somewhat seedier. She tells him that she had a feeling about him the moment that she saw him. This made him chuckle. He was pretty sure that he'd used that line before. After some conversation, she admits that she's gathering adventurers to go on an excursion to the north to look for some long lost tomb and a great item there. (Not sure what either of those are at the moment) He tells her that he's not interested, but she cons him into it after some serious persuasion.

Ok - well, that's as far as I have gotten. I know, not much, but I can't seem to get past that part. I definitely can't think of what the tomb or the item in question would be. I keep thinking an orb, but I don't want to use that. They seem over used. Not really wanting a sword or armor. More something unusual. As for the tomb, probably a king or warrior of the past.

Time to go tuck in the child.

Have a Happy New Year!

Gift Cards are the Best Christmas Present Ever!

There is something so very satisfying about going shopping and spending very little money of your own.

We had a big day out yesterday and Lily had a good time, though she did pitch a fit in one of the stores. I think she was overstimulated. We hit up Joann Fabrics and I got some stuff for my polymer clay work. But unfortunately, the leaf I worked so very hard on broke. I was rather heart broken cause I worked on that one leaf for close to an hour. I will sit down and work on it again later. Not sure if I could fix the broken part or if I need to start over. At least I have the mica powders for it now, so I can make it shiny. Picked up some robot rubber stamps for Doc at Michaels Crafts. Lily thought they were quite funny and so did Doc.

Picked up Doc at work and had a good lunch at Casa Brava - a great Mexican restaurant in town. We have been there often enough that all of the waiters know us. Kind of scary when you think about it. After lunch, Lily and I headed off to spend her gift cards at the mall. We made a side stop at Borders Books. Unfortunately, ours is going out of business in the next week or so. Fortunately, they had all of their blue tag bargain books at 75% off. I got some fantasy romance books (at least I think that's what they are), a historical romance, and another one that I am really not sure what it would be classified as. I think it's called "Monster 1959" and I thought Doc might like it, but I will most likely read it, too. All of their regular books were 40% off. I got a couple of Forgotten Realms books, "The God Catcher" and "The Wrath of the Blue Lady". There wasn't much left. Only a couple of shelves of SciFi/Fantasy. The kids books were almost non-existent. They had a few blue tag bargain books left. Lily got all of the WITCH books. I don't know much about them, but they were 50c and she likes them. They are part chapter book and part comic book. She got 10 books I think for a little over $4.00. She was very excited.

On to the mall after that. Build-A-Bear was our first stop. She got a pink outfit for her bear. After that was Justice, where we had our little fit about things. She got a couple of sweaters and lip gloss. But she spent all of her gift card on the sweaters and then wanted to look at accessories. I told her that the sweaters took up all of her money and started to say but we could look at the accessories anyway - when the crying and grumping started. She calmed down after a few minutes, but still, it was unnecessary on her part. After that was Target, and a better mood. She got some Polly Pockets and we picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It was $5.99. I heard that it wasn't that great, but for that price I can handle not really liking it that much.

Barnes and Nobles was out next stop. We had to order some stuff for Doc. After the failed attempt at the website - it wouldn't discount with the member number and that was just annoying. We ordered him some Jean Luc Ponty CDs and the Cubicle Seven Doctor Who RPG. We are hoping that the one that we ordered has the David Tennant cover. I don't really want the Matt Smith cover, I like David Tennant better. MUCH better. =o) I did however pick up a Doctor Who novel, which I will read no matter who the Doctor is. I also got a couple of blank notebooks for a really good price. Lily got a ton of books. Some Magic Tree House books and a couple of Fairy Books. Her favorite, though, would be Junie B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. If you haven't looked at the Junie B Jones series, you should. They are very funny.

All in all it was a good day off. Have tomorrow off, too. Deciding whether or not to head back to Joann's. Patterns on are sale. As for now, have to get ready for work.

Have a good day all.

Thoughts for Monday

Somedays, I feel like that.

I am so glad that the holidays are over. Well, the large portion of the holidays. I can deal with New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Not open as long at work and one of them off. Not bad. Now it's just return central and everyone is cranky cause I don't have anything in stock now. Should have thought of that before you bought them. That's my opinion.

Looking forward to Tuesday. My day off with my little girl. We're gonna go spend gift cards. Nothing like spending gift cards. That's one of my favorite things to get for Christmas. Nothing like going shopping without spending your money. =o)

She's gonna hit up Barnes and Noble, Build A Bear, Target and Justice. She's all excited. I'm going to Barnes and Noble and JoAnn's. We're going to go pick up Daddy at work and go get Mexican for lunch. Looking forward to that, too.

On another note -
I started reading a new book today called "Stones, Bones and Ancient Cities" by Doctor Lawrence Robbins. It's about great discoveries in archaeological history and the origins of humans. I'm not very far into it, but it's really good so far. I like the way he writes. It's easy to read and very informative without being too much. But I realized something as I was reading - something that I learned in school was not right. We were taught in my Anthropology class in high school that Richard Leakey discovered Lucy in the Olduvai Gorge in the 70s. But in reality it was discovered in Ethiopia by Donald Johanson in 1974. Not exactly the same thing. I also learned that Lucy has been estimated to be 2.9 million years old. Much older than my class learned. I find it very interesting how school books aren't really right.

On a cooler note, I read the following passage "Leakey's first expedition to Olduvai included Hans Reck, A. Trindell Hopwood, who was a leading authority on fossils from Britain, and Captain J. Hewlett, a noted hunter In addition, there was staff of 18 Africans. ... Leakey's description of the 1931 Olduvai expedition is punctuated with excitement. He reports that their camp was surrounded at night with the glowing eyes of hyenas and lions. On another occasion during the trip he relates that when Reck and Hewlett were on duty with a water party they had a pitched battle with some lions, while on another occasion I was charged point blank by an angry rhinoceros and had to kill in self defense". The imagery involved in that passage led me to think about how great of a plot for an adventure story/RPG this would make. I noted archaeologist, a photographer, a hunter, and some other scientist, along with a gaggle of natives go searching for some long lost city/creature/being/or something such. I know that this is pretty normal for a plot, but I am sure that something could be tossed in to make it crazy. Which reminds me of a GURPS Adventure game that I played in once. We went searching for Mokele Mbembe. That was fun. Ahhh...the days when I had time to do things like game.

Maybe some day soon.

I hope.

Merry XMAS!

Another Christmas come and gone. I do hope that everyone had a good one and that all is well out there in cyber-town. Part of me is glad that it is over and done with, but another part of me is so sad that it all seems to boil down to who has the most stuff. Being in retail, I see it on a regular basis. Families come in and yell at each other about who gets what and then somebody cries and storms out. I asked Lily what the meaning of Christmas was to her, and she said (I'm paraphrasing here), "Christmas is about giving to others. Getting presents is nice, too, but giving to others is nicer." I think she understands more than most adults do.

Speaking of gifts - Lily really enjoyed all of the stuff that I made for her. In fact she's running around in her alien/robot skirt right now. She also got a new pair of slippers, a new coat, a Batman Beyond action figure (I think that is her favorite Batman of all of them), some Liv doll stuff and a hot pink keyboard that records what she plays. She's been singing and dancing most of the day. She also got some gift cards which are burning a hole in her pocket. Then again, I know how she feels. I can't wait to go to Joann Fabrics and get some stuff that I really don't need. Heehee.

Actually, I started working with Polymer clay and I am having difficulty with getting it to soften up, so I am thinking about getting a clay machine - looks like a pasta machine. I actually have a pasta machine already, but I don't want to use it for clay just in case I want to make pasta at some point. I don't know. Then again, I may want to get some fabric or some decor for my Steampunk costume. I'll figure it out when I get there. =o)

I also got a gift card to Barnes and Noble, but I am not really sure what I want. I am considering a Doctor Who book, but I am not sure. The last time I looked they only had the ones that I checked out from the library already. Nothing wrong with adding them to my collection, though. I also want one of the fancy notebooks that they have up on the bargain books. I like those best for writing my story ideas and such in. Not like I do anything with them, but I do love to write. One of these days maybe I will do something with one of them. We'll see.

Good night to all.

A little something for your Christmas Eve

Here it is, Christmas Eve.  We're sitting and watching Dirty Jobs.  How very Holiday of us, huh?  Oh well.  I will watch White Christmas after Lily goes to bed.  That's my only real holiday movie.  There are some cartoons I like, too, but since Cartoon Network shows them a million times a day, I get rather sick of them.  I do like the Foster's Christmas Special, though.  

Doc showed me a great Holiday video that I thought I'd pass along to all of the nerds and geeks out there. 

May you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hanukkah, and whatever else you celebrate.

Only Two Days Till Christmas

I work in retail and sometimes Christmas is more of a headache than it's worth. It seems like I do nothing but listen to people complain at me because something is sold out or takes too long to order. And the entire time, in the back of my mind, I am thinking - "Well, why didn't you come in a month ago when there were a ton of them?" Oh well. 'Tis the season, I suppose.

The only thing that salvages this holiday season anymore is my daughter. I love to buy gifts for her and make things for her. She's always so happy to get something and is very receptive to homemade gifts. Going to the craft store to pick stuff out for something is one of her favorite things to do. Besides going to Build-A-Bear, which I think tops the list of her favorite things to do. There are times when I get my Jo-Ann's paper in the mail and she sees it she gets all excited and thinks that we are going there right away.

This year for Christmas I did the going out and buy her things part of it, but I made just as much stuff for her as I bought for her. I made her several skirts (one yellow with pastel dragonflies and butterflies on it; one yellow with red apples and honeybees on it; a brown flannel one cause for some reason finding a brown skirt for a six year old girl is almost impossible, a black one with watermelon slices all over it and a blue flannel one with aliens on it), a nightgown (pink flannel with fairy princesses, dragons and castles on it), a robe (pink striped sparkle flannel), a fleece poncho (brown with multi-colored polka dots), a dress (royal blue with dark blue and yellow dots which says looks like the earth and the moon) and a pair of pajamas (pink cotton with little white flowers). I also whipped out several Barbie outfits (mostly skirts because those are so easy to make), some Build-A-Bear skirts and some stuff for Fancy Nancy. Heck I even crocheted a pair of legwarmers for Fancy Nancy. Bright rainbow colored legwarmers, even. I didn't have time to finish everything though. It's hard to sit and sew for her when she's right there, either watching TV or staring at me. I still have a dress to make, a tunic top that has matching pants (which she chose the fabric for and I have to say she's has really good taste. There are three coordinating fabrics - navy blue with stars and moons all over it; navy blue with stars and moons all over it; and navy blue with fairies splattered everywhere.), a pair of Angelina Ballerina pajamas and a skirt with penguins on it. Not too bad considering the pile I started out with.

I wanted to make other things for Christmas, but retail makes it hard to spend a lot of time sewing and crafting. I did make her teacher a bracelet with little fantasy charms on it. From left to right - a treasure box (there's a treasure box in the room that the kids get to chose something from when they do good for a whole week); a ring of keys (cause every treasure box needs keys); a lion (school mascot); a pegasus; a frame with a picture of Lily in it; a crystal ball; a fairy; a royal carriage; a frog prince and a fairy box (which was supposed to have glitter in it, but I couldn't find my glitter glue). Her teacher loved it and it was a blast to make. I wanted to make matching earrings, but I didn't have time for that, too. I did however get extra crystal balls so I can make myself some earrings in the future.

I made some cat toys, too. I usually buy them toys, but this year I wanted to do something different. So I made some. Lily is being a wonderful model for the cat toys. The tan one is a mackerel and it's dead (the eyes are little 'x's') and the orange one is supposed to be a giant goldfish cracker. Ronin, our cat, loves goldfish crackers. I felt it only appropriate to make him his own toy goldfish. I had plans to make other toys, like a gingerbread man (which I may still be able to whip out), a hot air balloon ( I even drew up a really nice pattern for one, but I didn't get around to them. Maybe for Valentine's day), a piece of candy and a teddy bear. Ronin doesn't really need more kitty toys, so it's not like he's notice that they aren't there. I'll try them later.

I have been summoned to watch TV with my little bunny, so I am off. =o) Have a nice Thursday!

A Fresh Start and Not Even the New Year - Yet!

One of my New Year's Resolutions this year - and possibly my only one, cause I am really bad about keeping up with them - is to write something on my blog everyday. I have been really bad about it, obviously, and I want to rectify that. Not everything I say is important. Heck, most things I say are just cause I feel the need to open my mouth and let things come out. Most of the time those things don't make sense. Oh well. Nothing new there. =o)

Anyway, onto the post -

Last night, I was looking at all of these web pages for making felt food. Yes, you read that right - FELT FOOD. I mean, some of this stuff is amazing. You should really check out some of these pages because I can't believe some of the things that you can do with food.

Soft Sushi Food Toys - This lady made sushi toys out of terry cloth and felt. They look amazing.

Felt Brown Bag Lunch - My daughter asked me if it was real. It took a little bit for her to understand that it was all made of felt - including the lunch bag.

Scrambled Eggs - These eggs look amazing. She also has a tutorial on how to make a fried egg as well as a full breakfast.

Sugar Cookies - These cookies look good enough to eat. I really love the stuff on her page.

All of this looking at felt food made Lily decide on her Halloween costume. She wants to be a breakfast plate. A very creative idea for a six year old. She wasn't sure exactly how to do it, but I came up with that while I was at work.

1 -A large piece of white felt, some cotton batting and all of the necessary sewing items. Cut felt and batting into a large circle and stitch around the edges to hold it together. Stitch a little further in to make it look like the ridge on the plate. Do the same for the back. Attach ribbon to the top of the plates so that it can be worn over the shoulders, like a sandwich board.

2 - Yellow felt, white felt, some polyfill and necessary sewing items. Cut a round portion of the yellow felt to look like an egg yolk. Cut a portion of the white felt to look like the egg white that's been fried. Probably best to cut two of each and sew them together to make it a little stiffer. Don't want limp eggs. Attach the yolk to the white, leaving a small opening to add stuffing, then sew closed. On the plate and the back of the egg, add velcro fasteners so that it sticks.

3 - Brown felt, tan felt and necessary sewing items. Cut two strips of brown felt to look like bacon and tan felt to look like fat stripes. Once again, it's probably best to cut additional of the brown so that the bacon appears to be a little crisper. Not necessary to do this for the fat stripes. Sew all around the edges of the bacon and sew the fat stripes on, then attach velcro to the back and the plate.

4 - Tan felt, yellow felt, brown felt, polyfill and necessary sewing items. Cut four large circles from the tan felt. Sew two together to make one large pancake. Now there are two options here for how to make them look fluffy. Either stuff with polyfill, which will give you a fluffy pancake, but will also give you a flat edge; OR, cut a strip of the tan to sew to the edge of one piece of felt. Then attach the other piece to the strip, then leaving an opening, stuff that. This will give a flat edge and give the appearance of a fuller pancake. Think a slice of bread and how the sides are flat. Do this twice - either way you like - for two pancakes. With the yellow felt, cut two squares and one long strip. Assemble the same as the second pancake suggestion and stuff. This makes the butter pat. Set aside. With the brown felt cut two pieces that resemble a splash of syrup. Sew these together, quilting as you like. Attach these to the pancakes and set the buttery pat on top. You can use velcro or just sew it down, but do attach velcro to the back and to the plate so that your pancakes stay in place.

Now you have a full plate. Granted you can adjust these however you like. If you don't want bacon, just cut circles and strips from brown felt and construct like the pancakes to make sausage patties. For links, cut two rectangles, sew together and gather the ends, then stuff to make links. For scrambled eggs instead of fried, follow the directions from the page listed above, just make them larger.

For headpiece, I decided on an orange slice. You know how when you get breakfast out at somewhere like Cracker Barrel, they always give you an orange slice. You'll need orange felt, white felt, batting, and a headband. I haven't quite figured out how to get it attached to the headband or how to make it stand up correctly. What I did figure out is the basic design. Use the general idea found here to make the orange slice, only make it a half moon. Then attach it, somehow, to the headband. I suppose instead of a headband, you could always use one of the bridal skull caps and cover that with orange satin or cotton and then sew the orange slice onto that. Still have to work out the particulars.

As for the trick or treat bag, we decided on a cereal bowl full of cheerios. There are plenty of purse patterns available and it shouldn't been too hard to make one look like a cereal bowl. The hardest part will be cutting out and sewing on all of the cheerios.

But I still have some time till Halloween.

ANYWAY--

All of the felt food made me think of things that could be made out of felt. It was at that moment that my daughter walked up to me and asked me to cut out her "Iphone". She had drawn a pretend Iphone on a piece of paper. A spark and twenty minutes later -- VOILA! -- a felt pink IPhone. She's probably the
happiest kid in the universe at the moment.

There you have it. My day of felty thoughts.
 
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