5 Things About Me

Photo of Jen, blond curly hair with glasses and wearing a red shirt, smiling for the camera
I meant to do this post last week, but part of it is kind of a big deal, so I’ve been puting it off.

  1. I love color.
    You might not really be able to tell it by my clothes all the time, but I love olor. It’s hard for me to pick a “favorite” and it was even harder for me to decide on my brand colors. The only color I don’t like to work with in crochet is black because it’s hard to see the stitches. (More about that later.)
  2. I love to crochet.
    This one should be obvious from all the things I post about here. I can knit, but I preer crochet. It works up faster and I can do more with it. I know if I practiced knitting as much as I have crochet, I would get to that point to. But when I love the versatility of crochet so much, why?
  3. I love to write.
    I have several books published. And by “several,” I mean 13. Some are onl ebooks, but they still count. I need to get back to more writing. Once upon a time, I thought there was no way I could write nonfiction. Then I had a friend talk me into it. She had to talk hard, too. And now sometimes I find it difficult to get back to fiction because I have so many ideas for nonfction and can write it faster.
  4. I live in Oklahoma.
    I was born and raised in Ada, Oklahoma. It’s a smallish town in south-central Oklahoma. I moved to Tulsa for an internship, to Dallas for a job, and to Eureka Springs because I LOVE that town. But I always come back to Ada. There are many reasons why, but I do love it here too, and it is becoming a more active/artsy town.
  5. I am legally blind.
    And here it is. This is the thing that has had me putting off this post. I can’t drive. I don’t drive. By all medical intents and purposes, I should be totally blind, but I’m not. And I am so very grateful for that. But why is this such a big deal that it would cause me to procrastinate on this post?

It influences how I do things. How I do everything. Including crochet.

I’m going to start including that in my posts. How does my eyesight influence how I crochet? Does it influence the hooks I choose? The yarn I work with? Does it influence how I make my stitches?

The answer to all of these is yes.

My eyesight influences everything about my life in general and crochet specifically. By not mentioning it before now, I feel like I have been doing some of my readers a disservice. I am going to start including tips on how I do things to help others who also have vision problems, whether they are legally blind or have some other visual disturbance.

For that matter, I feel like everyone might be able to benefit from some of what I share.

And I will share more of that.

Meanwhile, what do you want to know about crochet that I might be able to help you with? Your question might be the topic of a future post. If you don’t want to leave the question as a comment, you can send it to me in an email.

Welcome to 2020

Happy 2020

I wanted to take the time to say Happy New Year.

This month, I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge where I will be posting every day in January. My aim is to re-establish the blogging habit and introduce some changes that will be coming throughout the year.

I will dive in tomorrow, though. Enjoy the day.

Ultimate Blog Challenge banner

When Worlds Collide

Last week, I had too many things going on, so I had to rearrange some priorities. I had an outpatient procedure on Friday so health came first.

Well…

Health should always come first and I try to do that, but sometimes I’m better at it than other times.

But because of that there were some things that got lost in the shuffle. I didn’t get my blog posts done or my newsletter sent. I also didn’t get my column done.

Oops!

When worlds collide — whether health, hobby, work, etc. — don’t feel like you’ve failed when something has to be put on a back burner. We’re only human and we can only do so much.

I still crocheted, but I didn’t talk much about it. I figured I could catch up on that this week. Not only that, I realized that I need to get a little ahead in my posts, newsletters, and columns so that I can (hopefully) avoid such problems in the future.

Does that mean it will happen that way?

No. Of course not. I’m only human and plans do sometimes fall by the wayside. But it does mean I will make more of an effort to stay ahead of my commitments.

That’s all anyone can ask of themselves. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Try to do better.

That’s true of all of us.

Be kind to yourself.

What Are Your Distractions?

A person working on a laptop where you see the laptop and just their hands and forearms.

I can generally work with anything going on. As long as I have headphones or earbuds, I can drown out pretty much any annoying background noises. Sometimes, though, I can’t.

Today is one of those days.

The TV in the next room is too loud. I’m tired and my mind keeps wandering. Random bits of conversation filter through.

What do you do on days where everything is a distraction? What distracts you?

Today, I’m keeping on keeping on. I’m chipping away at my to-do list. I’ve made some phone calls, sent some emails, and now I’m working on this post. Later, I will work on some crochet and do some planning around that.

I have one more phone call to make and some book edits to work on, too. So I would say that despite the distractions, I’m making good progress.

What about you?

What Does Yarn Taste Like?


Before you start wondering, no, I dont want to eat yarn. Though some of the colors are yummy enough that they look like candy.

I have a dog — technically, my dad has a dog — that apparently likes the taste of yarn. I try to keep it out of reach so she can’t get to it, but it doesn’t always work.

I had an appointment in Oklahoma City yesterday. When we got home yesterday afternoon, it was almost 100dF. When it was time for dinner, we didn’t want to heat up the house by cooking in the kitchen. We went to town to grab a quick bite. We got home and there was yarn strewn all over the living room.

Ellie had somehow got one of my yarn bags and took it to the living room where she empied it and played with the yarn.

This bag had a shawl I’ve finished for my Grandma but not given to her yet. The yarn is bison down/silk. Thankfully, the shawl was still intact and there were no holes in it. Well… No unwanted holes in it.

She almost got my pretty Furls crochet hook out of its case. The hook is fine. The case is a little worse for wear.

I thought that bag had been out of her reach, but apparently not. I just have to get smarter than the dog again.

Do any of your pets have a taste for your supplies? Or have you ever had a pet that did? Leave a comment and let’s chat.

7 Methods to Cope When Life Gets in the Way

Last week was interesting. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say there are times that life gets in the way. It feels like it jumps up and slaps us in the face.

What do we do about it? Especially when things are going pretty well and we’re humming along, doing what we do.

Here are seven ideas to cope.

1. Keep on keeping on.

Sometimes the disruption is minor. We can keep on going like nothing happened. That doesn’t mean we aren’t stressed out about it or that we’re not disappointed, but we can deal with it without much interruption in our lives.

2. Take some time off.

This is what I had to do last week and why this post is late. Only you can determine how much time you need to take off. I decided that the rest of the week was right for me. It turned out to be the right decision for me. Maybe one day will work for you. Maybe a week would be better.

At the end of the week, I was ready to get back to writing. To my way of thinking, that’s how you know when you’re ready to get back to whatever you do. However, if you don’t get back to that point relatively soon, there might be something deeper going on.

3. Meditate.

I really can’t say how well this does or doesn’t work. I intend to meditate but either fall asleep or just don’t do it. I do have Insight Meditation Timer and enjoy the relaxation music to go to sleep, so that is a resource to consider.

4. Rest.

Maybe to cope with stress or unexpected events, you need more rest. Go to bed earlier. Get up later (if possible). Take a nap (again, if possible). Don’t just try to power through.

5. Escape (literally or figuratively).

Reading and watching movies are forms of figuratively escaping. A literal escape is a vacation or weekend getaway. Just don’t escape to the point of running away from whatever is going on so you don’t have to deal with it.

6. Be kind to yourself.

This should go without saying. However, I know we are our own worst critics. Goodness knows I am!

When you’re going through hard times, the temptation is even greater to be hard on yourself. Try to avoid that. You really didn’t screw up. The world isn’t going to end because of what is going on (even if it does feel like it). It will be okay.

7. Remember it’s (usually) temporary.

The world might feel topsy-turvy, but it will be back on its axis tomorrow. Take a breath and remind yourself (every five seconds if needed) it’s temporary.

Sooner or later, your world will right itself and your creativity will return

Leave a comment and tell me what works for you. Do you do any of the things on this list or something different?

5 Reasons to Be Kind to Yourself

I get it. You don’t come to this blog to hear about self-care tips or anything like that. But did you consider that engaging in self-care is important to your creativity?

It is.

Here are five reasons why I believe you shouldn’t ignore self-care. (And I’m talking to myself as much as to you as well.)

1. Stress.

Think about it for a minute. When you;re stressed out, overwhelmed, or sick, your creativity stops. If you view your creativity as just a hobby, you might think this isn’t that big a deal. It’s more important than you realize. Why is the next reason.

2. Creativity itself.

Yes. Creativity itself can be an important part of self-care. If you ignore the creative aspect of our life, you’re cuttig yourself off from a great source of inspiration and relaxation. Even if you’re a professional creative, creativity is an important part of your self-care. Maybe more than if you have a more mundane/traditional 9-5 job.

3. Mental well-being.

I’m not a counselor/psychiatrist and I don’t pretend to be. I haven’t done the research into endorphins or seratonin or anything like that. I’m going based on how it works for me and second-hand reports from friends. Doing something creative can help your mental well-being. Recently, I had to have physicl therapy for tenodonitis in my left wrist. I had talked to the therapist about things I do, including writing and crochet. He said that I might need to slow down for a while, but he wouldn’t ever say I needed to stop completely, especially for something so important to my well-being.

4. Socializing/sense of belonging.

There are some groups that exist around getting together to do or talk about a creative outlet that you enjoy. I am a member of writers’ groups and knitting/crochet groups that get together for this exact reasons/. There are many more, I’m sure, around other creative pursuits. I mention this because although alone-time is good for self-care, so is interaction with other people. Especially if you work alone most of the time.

5. Self-Indulgence.

I hestitated to mention this one. i don’t want you to think that self-care is a bad thing because it encourages selfishness or anything like that. But sometimes the best reason to do self-care is because it’s something you want to do. You want to treat yourself to a mani/pedi or a massage, but such things seem indulgent. So do it. It’s refreshing and you’ll feel better afterward. Feeling better will lead to you doing your work better and being more creative.

I know there are more reasons to do self-care than these, but for the sake of berevity, I thought I would stick with five.

Question of the day: What is your primary reason for prioritizing self-care?