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Showing posts from October, 2015

Gathering Ideas

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Weaving and fashion are two of my favorite topics. I was always the child who wanted to know how something was done, ultimately to see if I could recreate it myself. When I learned to sew clothes at the age of twelve new possibilities opened before me, but I quickly realized I didn't have the necessary skills to create what I wanted, To a point, I still don't, but as problems arise, I learn how to navigate them and try something new.

When I'm working on fashion, one era I return to is the Ancient Times, partly because the clothing is suited to handwoven fabrics. Granted, all fabric up to the Industrial Revolution was handwoven therefore even the brocade and velvet of the Renaissance was handwoven, but the current topic is the Ancient World.

I tend to gather the ideas from two general fields: historically accurate and historically inspired. Normally, I begin with a vague idea of a style I want to emulate. Sometimes I can find a pattern for that item. Case in point, the pho…

Wednesday Wake-up

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7 Days to NaNoWriMo

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Sunday begins NaNoWriMo, and I've been preparing for most of October for my novel. Last year, I winged the novel, and made the deadline, but this year, the novel's set in a culture I know very little about, so I've had to do some research leading up to the November 1.



What are some of the things you need to consider as you enter into NaNoWriMo? I can think of five things that helped me start down the novel path. These are all elements connected to the story, and are useful to have in place.


Main Cast: Having the primary characters at least fleshed out (gender, race, age, occupation, goal) helps settle down the atmosphere of the story. You might have a goth college cheerleader and an unemployed workaholic, but their goals are going to be different. If one is the protagonist and the other the antagonist, their goals will most likely clash. POV: Point of View is not necessarily the main character's point of view. One of the best examples is the Sherlock Holmes series in wh…

Ancient Inspiration

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I freely admit to loving ancient fashions. To me, I like the look of the flowing garments or the elaborate outfits because, for the most part, they look comfortable. When I discovered handweaving, especially the fashion aspect, I had new respect for ancient fashions, and wanted to include the patterning into my own repertoire.

It's been a work in progress.

When I found Women's Work: the First 20,000 Years,* I was more than pleased over the discovery. Barber's book focuses primarily on weaving, the history and social aspects. A few items touch on the fashion, but it isn't her primary focus.

For me, however, finding out how items were made helps explain the reason behind the structure of the clothing. Sometimes, people's views of the process seem to be off slightly - for example, I read an article where the author described the reason for the loose fashion of ancient times being the result of people not wanting to cut their beautiful handwoven fabric. Believe me - if…

Wednesday Wake-up

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Sticking With It

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Have you noticed the "You Know You're a Writer" motifs on the Internet?

I have to admit I have more ideas floating around my head in any given time than I have people I talk with on a regular basis. Ideas tend to foster ideas, and any number of them might suddenly break forth with the right amount of information to create a story.

Add into the mix all the novels, stories or plays I've started and haven't finished then I have even more items. Fortunately, most of these items sit patiently in the background content to be ignored until their moment has arrived.

One element of writing I find difficult is knowing when to stick with the story, or when to back off. In fact, I recently had this problem with the second novel in the Shamrocks series with Orfhlait. I wrote one book, which I was planning on having as the second book, but turned out I needed the intermediary novel (planned on being released later as 1.5 novel). As I started writing the novel, I also realized …

Fiber Friday - Double Double Toil and Trouble

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I purchased double heddles for my rigid heddle loom about five years back, but haven't gotten around to trying them yet. The biggest reason was simply confusion, which often leads me to not try something. Personally, I dislike attempting something I'm not good at, and by good at I mean I understand what's happening.

Back in August, a lady at the Saturday Artisan Market asked if I made baby wraps, which I didn't, but wanted to try. When I spoke with the lady who owns the weaver store, she said the weavers who do baby wraps use a 24 epi which I didn't have on any of my looms. Until I remembered my double heddles, and realized that 12.5 dpi twice equaled 25 dpi, and my reason to experiment was born.


In the photograph (and even looking at the warp) everything looks green, but it's actually two different colors - peacock and mustard. It's warped up in a log cabin weave, so I'll have to see how it looks when it's woven, but it should be interesting.

The h…

Wednesday Wake-up

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Plot and Character

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Happy Columbus Day, everyone. Hope you're enjoying the lovely fall weather (unless you happen to be in the Southern Hemisphere where I hope you're enjoying the lovely spring weather).

It's almost the halfway mark to NaNoWriMo, and I have yet to sign up, but I will soon. One of the ways to help you prepare for NaNoWriMo is to flesh out the structure of your novel. There are two primary types of approaches to writing a novel one is plot-driven and the other is character-driven.

Plot vs Character Driven
Plot-driven are those novels which the plot line is the most important element. Genre fiction such as mysteries, romance and action-adventure often fall into this category because the characters don't matter as much as Action A happens to lead to Action B which concludes in Action C.

Character-driven are novels where the character is the most important element and situations revolve around the character's actions. Most of the literary genre falls into this category.

Anot…

Fiber Friday - Mug Rugs

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Just a note - tomorrow is the last Saturday Artisan Market for the season. Hope many of you can stop by Buffalo NY's Canalside.

Speaking of Buffalo, I'm working on a new idea, which will be debuted tomorrow at SAM.


This is one band in the mug rugs I'm making. Buffalonians love their Buffalo, so the mug rugs have bands with Sabers' and Bills' colors. Eventually, I'll start making ones with other cities on it, once I see how everything goes.

I've made mug rugs before, but usually they haven't done as well as I had hoped. Partly because I knitted a few and the mugs tended to topple over (very bad situation) or they weren't large enough. In the new design, they're large enough to hold a mug and a dessert plate - perfect really.

So what are mug rugs? Well, the definition is as varied as people. For some, a mug rug is simple an larger coaster suitable for a mug. Others define it as something large enough for a mug and a cookie. Others define it as a p…

Wednesday Wake-up

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The First Step

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  Laozi, Ancient Chinese Philosopher What is it that you want to do?

At my church, we've been discussing the topic of faith, and how to grow stronger in our faith. Granted, not everyone in this world is religious, nor is everyone reading this wanting to grow in their faith, but we do want to change our lives for the better.

Each of us wants to become a person different than what we were yesterday whether that means more kind, more creative, more independent or something else. For me, becoming a better writer usually tops my list. I want to create the novels people love, and write the things which inspire others to write.

One of the things I look forward to is having someone come up to tell me that reading one of my books changed their lives - how they looked at things, or encouraged them to be a writer. Do I want to make millions of my books - sure, why not; but reality does indicate I won't. I can, however t…

Autumnal Inspirations

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Happy October! This is my favorite month of the year because there are birthdays and Halloween - what could be better? Also, for the most part, the weather's nice - always an added benefit.

I love having an excuse to wear scarves since I make so many of them, and need to model them (oh, wait, another excuse!) Personally, I tend to wear the cooler colors (blue, green and purple), with my favorite color being purple, specifically aubergine (eggplant), partly because I like the color, and partly because I like the word aubergine.

The warmer colors (red, yellow and orange) tend to be colors I rarely wear, but I like Halloween. The scarf above was one I wanted to attempt to make, and the first foray into Fibonacci number sequence. I learned a few things from it, and have attempted other patterns more recently.

One of the best parts of autumn, for me at any rate, is seeing the fall colors. I live in the Northeast, so Fall Foliage is everywhere, and it provides a way for me to see color …