Washcloth All The Things!

Two things. Washcloth two things.

And so I’m back… From outerspace… Well, kind of outerspace. The outerspace of my mind? We’ll go with that. Router issues are all cleared up, which… YAY! I missed out on doing the SMS Giveaway this time because by the time I realized that it was probably that time, it was already over. Sadness. So I’ll be doing that again in the spring!

So I finally got these patterns done. Not only done, but done and published up on the intorwebs. I’m a little late (again) with the Christmas one, but it’s Christmasy! December has zoomed on by. The 15th already? For reals?

Anyway. Dishcloths. I’ve done two.


Ooooooh


Aaaaaaah

Patterns can be found on Ravelry!

I will be getting my fabulous uterus purse pattern online soon, just as soon as I get the lining tutorial worked out. Lining a crochet purse is easier than it sounds, and you don’t even need a sewing machine, so long as you can handsew a running stitch.

EXPLOSIONS?

Ok. So I’m a gamer. Wheee! My favorite video game ever of all time (right now) is Borderlands 2. I am hooked. And my favorite character in my favorite video game ever is MISTER TORGUE. I’ve been making noises for a little while about making some just-for-me-totally-for-fun fan-art. So… This happened.

And I have to be honest, I haven’t had this much fun crocheting something in a long time. I was SO EXCITED ABOUT IT (as friends on Facebook could tell you- sorry!). So excited.

I went through my usual, “Uhh, I sure hope this pulls together at the end ’cause I’m kinda not thrilled with it right now,” but it totally did. I LOVE HIM.

For those familiar, yes, there are several detail differences. I blame that on my chosen media and the scale. But I couldn’t wait for the sun to get up high enough this morning to take pictures, I was ALL EXCITED OMG.

So. Mister Torgue. I EVEN MADE HIM A TINY HEADSET!

So excited.

Accidental Vegan

Nothing crafty today, more bake-y.

Ok. So I’ve talked about my dairy allergy, right? If you’re new- hi, I’m Joy, I have a dairy allergy. Anaphylaxis (as my husband says, it’s the best kind of phylaxis!), etc.

So my love of sweet foods has necessitated a lot of my own baking because, just TRY finding things that don’t have, “MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF.” They’re out there, but… Urgh. When I wake up in the morning and go, “I WANT SOME DAMN COOKIES!” it’s easier to pop a tray in the oven than to go and spend half an hour reading labels. And muffins? GOOD. LUCK. I live in a small town in the South. I can’t even find dairy-free notcheese.

So what happens when you go through your ingredients and get to the fridge and go, “UH OH! NO EGGS!”? Side note: A lot of my inner monologue/dialogue is in caps. It really, really is. Anyway, no eggs. Do you sink to the floor, throw your hands up in the air and yell, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” Well, you could. Please record it if you do.

OR. You could use egg-substitute. And I’m not talking about eggless egg powder or whatever that REAL vegans use. I am not a real vegan. I’m only an accidental vegan when my refrigerator demands it. I go to Chef in You.

You may or may not have been aware that eggs perform different tasks in different things. Apparently they do. The helpful link describes what different role eggs play in different baked goods and what you can substitute them with. Personally, I have used plant-non-specific vegetable oil in muffins (we get off-brand and it’s mostly soy with “contains one or more of the following”) and cornstarch+water in cookies- both successfully. Big note with the cornstarch! I made oatmeal cookies and the dough was quite a bit looser than I was used to. HOWEVER. They baked up just fine.

SpOOOOOOOOOOky Dishcloths

Well, not that spooky. Maybe only 5 O’s worth of spooky.

Anyway. Halloween sneaked up on me just like it does every year. It’s not like these things have been happening at the same time every year as long as I’ve been alive or anything like that. *cough* And I realized, “O SNAPS! I WANTED TO MAKE HALLOWEENY DISHCLOTHS.” When I talk to myself in my head, it’s usually in all caps. I’m a caps lock kind of person on the inside.

So I made some.


A spoooky ghost and a spooky pumpkin. Yeah, that’s 5 O’s all together. They were a lot of fun to make up. I’m actually in the middle of a pancreas dishcloth right now because these intarsia-style things are so fun!

Patterns can be found on Ravelry, here and here.

Sparklepotamus!

Finally. For reals. But she’s done. YAY! I finished her up this morning while listening to Aqua. Which I’ve been listening to pretty steadily for the past few days. Ahhhh… memories.

NEXT UP: Um. Halloween dishcloths. Yeah. None of the other stuff I have on the go. It happened, as it normally does, that I was all, “Oh, HEY. It’s (insert holiday here) coming up!” So… Go me. Sneaks up on me every year. I have a couple planned right now, a pumpkin-thing and a ghost-thing. We’ll see how those go, there may be more.

I’m also working on setting up my own site to sell from. I have to manually input all of my blog posts, which is good because then I can go through them for links! Bad because, like, 300 of them. Good times.

Um. Happy weekend, everyone!

Etsy is a Bunch of Bull

For. Reals. Yesterday, Etsy held a “City Hall” where they basically unveiled their new plans to be Ebay 2.0. Oh, except you can sell cars on Ebay and not on Etsy. THAT’S the important distinction to make. It doesn’t actually matter if a thing is actually yhandmade, so long as someone’s hands are involved somewhere in the process at some point. This has been their unofficial policy for a while now, but now it’s actually a thing. So. Go Etsy.

As a small business seller of actually handmade goods, this is bad news. This means that your crocheted hat will now be buried under pages of this. “100000 Piece/Pieces per Week?” Can you keep up without an equivalently-sized factory? Will you be able to compete with the price?

Get your own domain. We’re talking $10.00 a year or less. Set up a site on Weebly or BigCommerce or Square or something. You’re going to have to drive your own traffic anyway, why not drive it to yourself?

The problem is… Buyers are still being told the “handmade” line. Etsy is the home of handmade, EVERYONE knows that. Except, it’s not anymore. So what can you, as a consumer of quality handmade goods, do?

Don’t feed the Etsy machine. Most Etsy shops will have a Facebook link directly on their page. Go to their Facebook page. See if they have an off-Etsy site set up, and if they don’t, send them a message (through Facebook, it’s a no-no to do it on Etsy) and ask them if they would be willing to sell to you off-Etsy. Some of them might not, but… The biggest problem a great number of sellers face is that EVERYONE goes to Etsy for their handmade goodies, so it’s very difficult to support their business OFF of Etsy. Help them out. Show them that they don’t need to sell their wares on a site where they’ll compete directly with factories. When you say, “OMG I FOUND THIS AWESOMETASTIC HANDMADE NECKLACE ISN’T IT AMAZING” and someone asks you where you found it, don’t say Etsy, give the name of the business. When you’re looking for handmade quality, or unique handmade gifts, use a search engine to find what you’re looking for, instead of Etsy.

Stop feeding the Etsy machine and support the artists and designers that you love.

I’m Still Here!

I am, I promise. Still here. I am also now 30, which is, well, the same as 29 was. What up, 30! My daughter is now 5, which seems CRAZY to me. School madness starts next year, thanks to silly school cutoffs.

As I mentioned on Facebook, I’ve been CRAZY busy creatively lately, which means I tend to withdraw a little. I’m all, “I COULD go and update Facebook, or I could just CONTINUE MADLY WRITING.” So… That happens.

Sadly, not a lot to show for it. Seriously. I still haven’t finished the hippopotamus. Eye ridges and eyes and sewing the ears on and THAT’S IT. I did get my second hat finished, finally, and it fits way better- YAY. I’ve promised Yoda and Spider-man hats for the children, a Mike (Monsters Inc) for a certain little boy who calls him Broccoli, and I REALLY need to get cracking on some Halloweeny dishcloths- and then Wintery ones. So… All the things. It’s a little overwhelming, which makes it a little less appealing… IT’S THE CIRCLE OF LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE. Just less fabulous.

On the plus side, fall is here. YAY. It’s cooler and less, you know, hotter than hell outside, which is always pleasant. AND I’ve set a goal for myself to have something concrete actually finished by the end of the week. I think I’ve got a pretty good shot, it’s only Tuesday. ;)