Saturday, December 01, 2007

Don't taunt the perfectionists (hey SIL, I'm looking at you *g*): I'm catching up on a back issue of Gift of Stitching (which is a very good magazine, actually) and the July issue has a pattern that would drive any perfectionist BATTY. The text says, "I Celebrate Even My Mistakes," and it has what appears at first to be a symmetrical circle of flowers and leave around it. Except, there's all sorts of mistakes throughout it. So far, I've spotted a misspelling, one curlicule missing, at least two areas that don't start where they should, etc. I love it, but I don't know that I could stitch it. It might be a good reminder not to get caught up in perfectionism, though. That's not there all is to life.

Posted at 02:46 pm by Allura

Stitching Rotation

So, tell me about your stitching rotation or if you have one. I'm starting to think about changing how I work on things, so I'm curious to hear what other people do. Right now, I just have two projects, a travel and an at-home (on the stand) project. If you're not a stitcher, how do you decide on other hobby projects? All those things you "want" to do, but don't have a deadline.

Posted at 02:39 pm by Allura
Comments (1)  

SBQ: A Somber Question

This SBQ's question has a story behind it and is quite a bit longer than usual. You can find the entire story here. The heart of the story are these questions:

What would your stash tell others about you?

What would you want done with your stash when you die? Would your family know what to do with it or what its value is? Is it organized enough for them to do something with it? Anything particularly valuable in your stash that should be handled differently?

Also, have you ever bought stash from a stitcher that has passed and how did it make you feel?

My stash would reflect mildly eclectic tastes, but overall there's a lot of fantasy designs and a lot of BAPs. It might be really odd to other stitchers because I don't have a full set of DMC or any other floss, nor do I have much fabric. My husband would understand at least the basic cost of everything, although my parents wouldn't. Only two of my friends are specifically cross stitchers, although another might be interested in my handful of blackwork stuff. So, hopefully, they'd split things up. Anything not wanted by them, I'm not sure I care if it's sold or donated or what. It really depends on the circumstances of my family at the time. If the money's important, it can be sold. If not, maybe donated to a charity of some sort or simply freecycled. It's actually relatively organized, so that aspect of dealing with it wouldn't be a problem. As there's nothing particularly valuable other than retail cost (Nova's expensive, for instance, but it's certainly available in general), I don't see that that's an issue. I could hope this might encourage additional family or friends to take up stitching if they hadn't done so before then, but other than that, you know, it's just stuff. If I'm dead, do whatever you like with it. *shrug*

Oh, and as far as I know, I've never bought stash from a stitcher that's died. I've certainly never gone to any sort of estate sale.

Posted at 12:06 pm by Allura

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Crap Crap Crap

I was on the computer, cat snuggled in arms, when I realized something wasn't right. Dammit. Othello was having a seizure of some sort. He's had this before, it's what led me to take him to the vet at the beginning of the year. He sorta freezes, and wobbles, back & forth. He stretched his neck out a lot, too, but I'm not sure if that was the seizure of trying to get more scritch. The whole thing is just...odd. He's had 2-3 other ones maybe, but this was the longest since that first one. I just don't feel the vet gave me a satisfactory answer. I have an appointment for the other cat for a checkup on Friday, so I'm going to see if I can get the appointment expanded or swapped to get Othello in. Meanwhile, I hollered for my husband in a panic, and he grumbled the whole way. Admittedly, he WAS sound asleep. But I don't appreciate him going BACK to sleep when I tell him what's wrong. I was all set to go to the emergency vet. On the off chance he's having a diabetic episode (not that he's been diagnosed with that, but I also don't know he was TESTED for it), I got them a can of cat food and got him to eat a bit.

Oh, and did I mention I HATE the crap that is their dry food? The can's ok, although it's a bit fatty looking. Both are Prescription Diet k/d and the dry is just...yuck. I'm paying more for crappier ingredients than I was giving them before. I understand taking some of the load off the one cat's kidneys by less protein, but he's still a carnivore. They need meat. And the other cat, the one with crystal issues, is getting way fat, even for him. So I'm going to attempt to quiz the vet on why they're getting this stuff and what the benefit of it is over, say TJs canned food. Or even Fancy Feast, which is apparently a better one. Oh, and to make my unease compete? Read this . The vet that wrote that specifically calls attention to the kd (dry) as being a poor choice and making things worse mostly due to the lack of moisture. I want them on an all canned diet, but I'm concerned about how much we travel. But I need to weigh convience vs health. I think I'm going to end up with a cat sitter....

Posted at 02:15 am by Allura

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I found this meme and thought it would work well to wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday:

  1. Where will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this year? Thansgiving itself is at DH's father's house, and the next day is another dinner at DH's brother's house. Oh, they all get along, it's just that my SIL wants lots of leftover turkey. :)
  2. Will you travel to get there? 4 hours/250 miles or so, 4 states. Since we left Thanksgiving mid-morning, there wasn't much traffic at all once we got off Rt 1 in NJ.
  3. How much time, if any, do you have off work for the Thanksgiving holiday? Well, I don't have an active project right now, so I'm off. DH had Thursday-Sat off, but needed to work on Sunday.
  4. Are you going to be cooking? I brought a pumpkin pie for Thursday (and I was the only one who had any, but that's ok because it's what I wanted), and I made green bean casserole for Friday.
  5. Will you have turkey or something else? turkey!
  6. Do you ever go out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner? Once. I liked it ok, but my mother HATED it.
  7. Do you eat Thanksgiving dinner earlier, later, or at the same time as you usually eat dinner? One was at 5:30-6, about normal for me. The other was at 3:30, early but normal for family holidays.
  8. Will you go to a church service on Thanksgiving day? Nope.
  9. Will you, or have you ever, volunteered at a soup kitchen serving Thanksgiving dinner? No.
  10. Do you enjoy cranberries? Yes, but I forgot to bring the can again. No cranberries on Thursday, but Friday we had cranberry-orange relish (too orange for my tastes)
  11. Will you get a free turkey from anyone this year (employer, grocery store bonus program, etc.)? Nope. Didn't buy enough close enough.
  12. What are you thankful for? So many things. My health keeps improving, my business keeps growing, my husband, my family, in-laws I *like*, cats seem healthy, etc.
  13. Will you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade? Yup! Watched a bit Thursday morning on CBS - blech. SIL had recorded it so we watched it Friday at her house, this time on NBC - much better.
  14. Have you ever actually gone to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC? Yes, my aunt & uncle took me once when I was younger. Those balloons are scary. Oh, and where I went to college (Stevens Institute of Technology), they used to blow up the new balloons on a Saturday before Thanksgiving, so I got to see those all the time then.
  15. Will you watch football games? Blech. No
  16. What is your favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition? Watching the parade between doing stuff. I miss being at my parents' house, though.
  17. Will you help do the dishes after dinner? Err...I was bad, I didn't help. At my mom's I would have because she would have said, "Dry this."
  18. Do you like pumpkin pie? So much that I made it to make sure I got one. Good thing, since there was pumpkin-coconut flan, pumpkin cheesecake, and pecan tassies, but not pumpkin pie. I would have been sad.
  19. Is there someone you wish you could be with this Thanksgiving? I miss my family, but I can't be in two places at a time, and we go there for Christmas. Logistically, it works out better this way.
  20. Will you go Christmas shopping on “Black Friday” or are those people just crazy? Crazy! If I go at all, it's later in the day. Didn't go this year.

So, yeah, it was a good Thanksgiving. I OD'd on my niece and her sweetness. :)  It was a very relaxing weekend for us, partly because I forgot my asthma med and avoided any heavy activity to compensate *rolls eyes*. I had a good time, I just still want that time machine, so I could go to both familys, you know?

Posted at 12:11 pm by Allura

Sunday, November 25, 2007
What Holiday?

You Are Easter
You are an optimistic, hopeful, and genuinely sweet person.
Sensitive and affectionate, you are easily touched.
You love nature, animals, and anything cute or cuddly.
For you, every day is a new chance - no matter what happened yesterday.

What makes you celebrate: Almost anything. You love most holidays and celebrations.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The peacemaker. You can prevent any squabbles that might break out.

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Remember to include everyone

Posted at 12:31 am by Allura

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Pay = Good

A check showed up yesterday for 3 projects from one client. Sweet! Since the RPG contracts typically pay 45 days after publication, it can be a long time between the work and the check, and consequently, it can get a bit frustrating or even depressing. The answer is really to have more work, from more clients. So, with that in mind, I'm thinking about what some of my options are:

  1. More RPG clients, especially non-d20 ones, given the uncertaintly over the new licensing from WotC. I can think of a few, but I wonder if I'll be hampered by not playing all of their games? Depends if they want rules proofing, and if they do, I'll just have to make sure I include time to learn as I go.
  2. Fiction publishers. I'm going to poke at this market, but without an English or similiar degree (mine is a Bachelor of Engineering), it may get interesting. Also, they don't usually do detailed editing at the publisher level.
  3. Fiction authors. This I may have better luck with than publishers.
  4. College papers, particularly dissertations. There's a few colleges around here that to which I could advertise.
  5. Corporate documentation. A busy company might find it worthwhile to freelance larger documents out. I'm kicking myself for never following up on the pharma guys that wanted someone to proof their work since English wasn't their first language. I was too sick at the time to approach them.  But, that plus working on a letter for Manna made me realize that there might be a market there.
  6. Websites. My SiL has already commented that I could proof sites, and I certainly have the technical background to not only proof the reading, but check for links and otherwise test the site.
  7. Stitching magazines. Why not? I have a specific one in mind for this, actually.

So, what have I missed? I could get into at-home drafting work, but I'd need autocad and possibly a bigger printer. Not sure I want to get into that expense right now. In general, that would be a whole other business, basically. The important thing is clients that are going to be comfortable working without meeting me. Although...I think there's a webcam around here and I know there's a decent headset with microphone, so I could meet via video conferencing. Also,I'm not sure how to price myself on some of these other options. Up till now, I've been charging by the word, based on the count that comes in (using Word's word count feature); this way, I feel comfortable adding or subtracting words as needed. I'll have to do some research to get a feel for rates for other projects and how they're priced.

Posted at 04:01 pm by Allura

Monday, November 19, 2007
Guess what I'm drinking?

Posted at 12:04 pm by Allura

You know...

...your chest is large when the cat thinks it's perfectly reasonable to sit on it while you're still sitting up straight. And he's not a small cat!

Posted at 12:47 am by Allura

Sunday, November 18, 2007
Morning Agita

Ok, so it happened after noon, but I wasn't done with my first cup of coffee, so whatever...

Two weeks ago, I received an automatic notice about a new moderated message to my FlyingWithFibro group. That's nothing unusual; all new members are moderated until they post, so we can keep spammers out. The message says,

"hi I found a good free site that can help with everyday life-site by someone with fibro since 1999 as they share tips & info that has worked for them. Please email me if you want the weblink as I hope it helps you!" 

Sounds like spam, right? Even if it's not, it's just poor netiquette to ask people to email you in your very first post, AND it's not really on topic anyway, because the group is about tweaking Flylady while you have a chronic illness - something they would know if they had READ the intro paragraph. But, I'm feeling generous, so I reply with,

"I'm rejecting this post, because it sounds awfully like spam. If it is not, I apologize. If you have something to share, please feel free to share it with the group by sending a link, and possibly a small snippet of the article. This list is meant as a discussion site, however, so it's not appropriate to immediately start asking people to email you off list. Feel free to change your introduction post and resend it."

Not bad, I thought. Gave them an out if they're not a spammer, whatever. So instead of sending a new, on-topic post, or leaving the group, I get THIS back,

"It's not a spam it's a website how someone is living with fibro since 1999 but however you feel is up to you my calling from God is to help others with fibro no matter what anyone thinks and I don't need to spam anyone to do it. You can remove me from your group their are a lot better fibro groups out their that God has put me in touch with and right people to help as I really don't care do defend myself to anyone here on earth so best of luck to your group I hope they are getting help and keep going on with their fibro and your group makes a diffrence to someone!"

Umm...ok. Your faith has WHAT to do with my expressly non-religious group? Oh, and insulting my group size, THAT's real mature and a way to get yourself listened to. At this point, I'm up for a good argument,

"Next time, send the website, don't ask people to email you for it. That sounds like you're harvesting emails. I'm merely protecting my list members. There's too many people trying to make a buck off those who are ill, and so I am cautious.

As for your religious calling, it is irrelevant to our group. The group you subscribed to is about using while ill with such things as fibro, cfs, me, lupus, etc. If you wish to participate, feel free, but keep the topic in mind. It's not a general support group; it has a more narrow focus."
No answer, so I figure that's it for now. He doesn't unsubscribe, so maybe he'll join in on the real topic. Whatever. Then this morning I get another moderated message alert, and it's from him again,
ARGH! Oh, and he's got a link to his site in our carefully constructed links section. So I check out his blog. Eh, more broken English "advice" on living with fibro. Could be useful, I suppose, but he's still not joining in discussion, just trying to get traffic to his site, the one with google ads on it...So, no. Reject and I'm done with this guy,
"Still spamming your site instead of joining in the discussion, or even, *gasp* reading what the group is about. You're banned..."
Amazingly, he replies again, with MORE stuff about his faith...
"With my trust in GOD my site will be huge to help others with fibro as I have no trust in humans! Fibro is not to just talk about on small group site more then 6 million suffer from USA !"
He just doesn't get it, does he? I don't CARE about his religious beliefs. I care about him being freakin off topic! And my "small group" is 300+ messages. Meh. Last word from me, because I'm CRANKY,
"Fine. Complain to God then. Because I don't care.
Our group has rules and a topic, and you obviously think you're too good to follow them. Belief in God does not let you ignore rules on earth. Deal with it.
You're banned and that's the end of the discussion. Further discussion will be considered harassment and reported to yahoo."
Why, oh, why do people think I even care about their faith, never mind that it's at all relevant to the discussion at hand?!?  I hate that attitude. Our group has multiple faiths, and somehow we all get along. It's important to some, and it's reflected in their actions, and that's cool. Beyond that, though, it's just a non-issue. Sheesh. I run a private group. You have to make me want you in it. This exchange? Not the way to do it.

Posted at 01:40 pm by Allura

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The personal blog of a freelance RPG editor, former engineer, wife, mom to two cats, voracious reader, cross-stitcher, pianist, gamer, browncoat, etc.

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Current Stitching: The Dreamer and Big Girl Panties

Current Editing: Crown Tales for Dark Quest Games

Friends and Family Links
  • Cross Stitch News
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  • Becky's blog
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  • A list I own, for people following Flylady with a chronic illness such as fibro, lyme, or CFS: Flying With Fibro
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    Books/Projects I've Edited:
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  • Temporality
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    For Green Ronin:
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  • Hamunaptra: Exile
  • Murder at the Vulgar Unicorn
  • Blue Rose Fast Play
  • The Black Company Campaign Setting Web Enhancement: Thieves of the Silver Spike
  • Trojan War Web Enhancement: Greater Divine Offspring
  • Book of Fiends Web Enhancement #2: Foes of the Fiends
  • Bleeding Edge #3: Dirge of the Damned
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