Is My Knitting Mojo Back!?

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Gentle reader,

I don’t know about you, but I go through these awful, restless phases where I find it difficult to even do and enjoy the stuff I love. Sometimes it’s just me being a dumb poop, and sometimes it’s because of other things going on in my life. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me, depending on what the thing is; like, with video games it doesn’t bother me because I generally don’t feel productive when I play video games, as much as I love them. So, if I go through a phase where I just can’t sit still long enough to spend an hour or two beating in zombie faces, then I’m not gonna be too mad about it.

But then there are some things that I feel are VITAL to my entire existence and when I go through phases in which these things don’t come easily to me, I go balls-to-the-wall, flat out crazy.

When I lose my knitting and crochet mojo, I’m basically a miserable shell of a human, and I just managed to break a spell where I knitted maybe twice in four or five weeks, and those two times were pathetic so they basically don’t count.

Prior to my crafty dry spell, I had started the Copenhagen Hat by Rachel Brown because a) I was legit actual obsessed with it and wanted to make it NAO, and b) I really wanted to tackle some fair isle and show it that it’s not the boss of me. I figured this hat would be the perfect way to jump in – two colors, traditional star pattern, nothing too small and fiddly so I have plenty of space to manage my tension. And, bonus, I could learn an i-cord cast-on while I was at it. YES. WINNING TIMES.

And then, my mojo decided to forsake me.

I’d gotten my i-cord cast-on finished – which took me FOREVER, but, I had made steady progress – and then… it just kind of stopped.

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Remember Me!?

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Gentle reader,

Hello, my name is Raynor and I’m the Shy Lion. I write a blog about crochet, knitting, and crafts with occasional interludes…

I thought I’d better introduce myself to y’all again since it’s been legit actual FOREVER since I’ve posted here (and if you’re a new reader anyway, well, the intro still stands. Welcome! Pull up a comfy seat, and engage in some crafty behavior and we’ll have a swell time).

I mean, I’m fairly sure it’s no news to anyone that life doesn’t always go according to plan. My plan had been to take  easy, casual, no-brainer temp contracts so I could devote most of my energy to writing super neat fun posts for Le Lion Du Shy (that’s French for The Shy Lion), make things for my Etsy store, and generally just be a total nana.

Well, I’m now working full time for a big online department store and it’s so full on (for me) that when I get home, my brain is all mushy and I just want to play video games and eat candy. Exciting, right?

So, my casual temp contracts turned into a legit six month contract with more responsibility and expectations than I would have thought any sane person would ever give me (don’t get too excited, I’m still a total peon. Let’s keep things in perspective here, I’m basically an eight year old in a thirty year old body, so y’know… grown-up stuff = drainer), and I’m working on an online store… just not mine. So, not entirely how I planned it, but, I have money in my pocket and I’ve met a whole bunch of really rad, neat, and all together ace people and I heart them.

I got a secure job with great people, so I’m very grateful. But, sometimes I feel like I’m tripping balls and I’m like “Wait… how did this all happen?” It’s so far from what I thought I’d be doing!

returnofthelion 1Here is me and my super fave, Yen, goofing off in the office after a late finish. She’s the wind beneath my wings.

That is why my wee poor blog has stood in solitude without much attention from me for the last while. I have a massive backlog of things that I’ve photographed to write posts about and my plan is to start rolling them out. So, I’m not dead! I haven’t forgotten y’all, my lovelies, my puddings, my pals. There are rumblings of future activity, promise.

Meanwhile, my Etsy store may look a bit empty at the moment, BUT, I’ll be teaching again soon! Hurray! I have some classes lined up at The Handmaker’s Factory. Check ’em out! Class details are listed on the “Classes” tab, so if you’re in Melbourne and you wanna learn, go have a sticky beak. 

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To tide you over in the meantime, here is my cat in a dress. You’re welcome.

 What have you been up to!? Tell! Tell!

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Pepsi Max Kick: A Review In Pictures

Gentle reader,

Here’s a thing you may not know about me: I don’t drink. Nor do I smoke or have a ghastly drug habit. But, I do have nasty habits that aren’t good for me. One of those is soda. I LOVE soda. I try really hard not to drink too much – with varying degrees of success – but, I love, love, love it. I rank my favorite sodas in the same way a fancy-schmancy wine taster might compile a best-of list for a hoighty-toighty magazine.

 

My favorites are the Pepsi family of sodas and my bestie, Panda, also has a well-developed Pepsi-fancy. Recently, Pepsi released a new drink – presumably to compete with the “power drink” market – named “Pepsi Max Kick”. I was ever so excited. I ran out and bought two cans and I sent Panda a message:

I got two! One for me and one for you (which I shall drink in your honor – thought maybe not all at once in case my head ‘splodes)

To which she replied:

YAY I WANT A RUNNING COMMENTARY PLS

Well, naturally, I complied with her request, and I did so in pictures. And so, gentle reader, for your consumer information, I present you a pictorial review of the beverage “Pepsi Max Kick”.

 

It all starts with a “ksssshhhhhtt”.

Mmm… tastes like Pepsi Max, but, like… more.

You may also notice that I forgot it was still winter and decided it would be a good idea to shave my head. O_O
Oh, Little Stupid.

I approve.

I DO love you, Pepsi! Don’t ever leave me!

Twice the caffeine? Indeed!

ILUVPEPSIMAXKICKPLZKTHNXBAI! SRS BSNS!

The excitement took its toll.

Please also take note of my extreme lack of neck. I’ve always wished for an actual neck, alas.

It’s THAT good.

What? That’s it?

Swift onset withdrawal.

Grief and acceptance.

In conclusion, I would like them to start selling Pepsi Max Kick in 2L bottles. I don’t even care if it shuts my body down one organ at a time… such a sweet way to go…

In seriousness, it tastes just like Pepsi Max, but slightly more flavorful. I didn’t really go bonkers on it, it’s not that intense, but I’ll qualify that by saying things don’t seem to quite affect me as easily – it’s like trying to drug a buffalo. But, I think it provides a good alternative for a caffeine boost to people who, like me, don’t drink coffee and think power drinks taste like fetid cat urine.

Also, please note that this was in no way a paid advertisement by Pepsi…. but it could be! If you’re reading, Pepsi, have your people call my people, we’ll do lunch.

What’re your habits that you can’t kick even if you know better? Sharezies! Don’t let me suffer alone! Hehe ^_~

Instagram Catch-Up! Gettin’ Snappy Wit’ It

Gentle reader,

So, I have a whole bunch of stuff to share with you over the next week or two. One of those things will be my Bendigo haul which a few people have tried to hurry me up on. Tomorrow I will snap them! I promise! In the meantime, I hope an Instagram Catch-Up will tide y’all over.

So, one of the things I’ve always been a bit self-conscious about with my blogging is the pictures. I look at my fave blogs and their pictures are so great and fancy. But, the thing I’ve learned is not to let these things get you down or to start being all bummed out, but to be inspired and use these things as motivation. And I mean, once you stop learning you may as well be dead, right? Well! I decided I was going to just take pictures as often as I could. Since my proper camera and I aren’t on speaking terms at the moment, it’s been mostly me and my iPhone.

I’ve tried out different apps, I’ve tried to snap things from different angles, but most of all, I’ve tried to keep my eyes open. I mean, I’m sure some bloggers go looking for amazing things to snap, but I think most of them just look at everyday stuff with a different perspective. That’s what I used to do when I used to write all the time, and costume shows, and keep a journal, so I says to myself: Raynor, I says, just open your eyes and see what speaks to you. So I did!

I decided to start with my journey to work. It wasn’t too hard on this particular day. It was super cray-to-the-azy foggy on this morning when I left my house. By the time I got to work, the fog had shifted, and it became really crisp and bright and cool. When I put these pics together, it reminded me of The Wizard of Oz going from black and white to color. I thought it was kinda fitting – going from my dreary suburb to the beautiful public parks I work across the street from.

Then I decided I should try taking some pics of myself. I mean, it’s kind of a bloggy/Instagrammy thing, isn’t it? Well, I don’t particularly love taking pics of myself. I’m not emotional about it either. But, I thought, why not, and if anything perhaps taking snaps of myself might make me be less of a scruff-bag and put some effort into my appearance. ^_~ Well, I had mixed results. The bottom right one came out super nice in terms of colors and everything, but I don’t even know what’s going on with my face. I SWEAR I thought was smiling somewhat naturally at the time, but clearly I was mistaken because that’s a veritable case of stinkeye right thurrr. Don’t even ask me to explain why. I can’t.

The pic above it was taken by The Beard when we were out for dinner. I think not having to take the pic myself and the prospect of stuffing my snackhole with pancakes and maple syrupy bacon banished any possibility of unintentional stinkeye.

Lastly, I am completely mystified how people manage to take halfway decent pics of themselves in mirrors. It’s the single most awkward thing I’ve experienced in recent memory with the exception of just day-to-day socializing. Look, I understand that being a hottie with a naughty body would make the process a LOT easier than being the human personification of Fizzgig from The Dark Crystal. But even that aside, holding the camera in a way that it isn’t too in the way and still being able to press the button? BLERG THAT’S HARD! I did the best I could, and in the end I had to run it through a bunch of filters before I was even remotely happy with it. Ignore the photo in general, and just take note of the green overalls please and thank you. I ❤ them like whoah.

Now, this diverges a bit from my photographic journey of improvement. But here’s the thing. I used to write all the time. I mean ALL the time. If I didn’t have pen and paper handy, I’d start to feel like I was losing grip on sanity. But, after I quit theater and started working full time, it slowly died off. And I MISSED it, y’all! A whole lot! But, for me, it’s not the sort of thing I can force. It kinda has to tell me when shizz is going down. And then, this last week, it was like “Oi! Raynie! I’m ready! Get yo’ pencil, fool!” and this came out. I almost didn’t share it, because it’d been a while and I’m not as confident in my writing as I was back then, but I figured, what’s the point of writing something down if no-one’s going to read it? So I did share it, and peeps liked it, and so I’m sharing it again. And I hope YOU like it too! If not that’s cool too because words are a subjective thing and it just may not be your jam. I still heart your face!

Today, I met up with the incomparable Kate to run some errands and go shopping. Also, she had a parcel for me but that’s another story! We went to some pretty cool places. Now, Collins Street in Melbourne has some pretty shi-shi shops, and the first one we went into one that had the most amazing plaster moldings, cray chandeliers and a massive glass ceiling (top pics). I’m usually a pretty happy chappy to go shopping with lady friends and being a bag-holding, advice-offering accomplice, but I had to duck out of the shop and get some snaps. I must have looked mad. Later, we went to a shoe store that had these fat, smooshy looking flowers in glass bottles hanging from ropes. I thought it was super neat, but don’t ask me what it has to do with shoes. I was sold. Later, one of the arcades we were in had the open area above the food court full of floating umbrellas (the first pic in the post). It took my breath away, but I’m sure I didn’t do it justice,; it was so surreal and awesome. And such a simple idea. Oy! My skin prickled!

Probably one the biggest lessons I’ve learned since my personal challenge to improve my photography (yeah, yeah, sure, it’s just my iPhone), is that Melbourne’s beautiful, manic, changeable weather means that snapping the sky is almost always a good idea. Maybe that’s just me – I’ve always been obsessed with taking pics of clouds – but a few times I was like “Did I take that!? Gold star, Raynie!” A few of these I took through the train window, and I kind of like the imperfections you get from the reflections in the glass.

I’m gonna keep being a snap happy little odd person. I’m really enjoying going through all my pics and deciding which ones I like and which ones I don’t and why. My addiction to iPhone photo apps has only intensified also; trying to see if I can salvage a pic by making it all retro-fied and such. So, I hope you enjoyed that in lieu of some craftiness. And if you have any photo tips or advice, I’m all ears (well, I have two ears. If I was all made of ears that would be totes gross – but potentially an ah-mah-zing pic – and anyway, I’ll be using my eyes but I digress). Meanwhile, that pic just there is of my buddy at Thread Den. He lives on a way-high-up shelf and is all kinds of creepy, but that’s why we’re tight, y’all.

What’s your favorite thing to take pictures of? Clouds? Finished projects? Your kidlets? Sharezies!