The Pirate Journal Is In Use

Remember the Pirate Journal?

 

I have found a use for it.  It has become my surgery diary.

I will be having a major surgery soon, requiring an overnight stay at the hospital.

 

To say I am a little worried about this is a bit of an understatement.  I do have the utmost faith in my doctor.  But, surgery is surgery…and this is a major surgery.

 

I could have turned to my usual daily journal…but this situation felt…bigger.  It needed its own container.  I perused my selection of hand-made journals—and this is the one that wanted to be used.

 

It’s made of brown paper recycled from various packages that we received.  I learned…one fountain pen is ok with the paper.  One other fountain pen is not.  I tried writing in green ink, but couldn’t see it well enough since I was writing at night by lamplight.  An ultra-fine Sharpie works wonders, but tends to bleed through just a little bit to the other side of the paper.  This afternoon, I pulled out my favorite Bic cristal in black ink…and have had no problems whatsoever.  Which is why I always return to this pen.  It’s been a favorite of mine for years.

 

So, what’s going into this journal?  Hopes.  Fears.  Gratitude.  Blessings.  Lists.  Questions.  You name it, if it pertains to the surgery and the recovery period afterwards, it is going into this journal.

 

Will I be drawing and/or painting in it?  Probably at some point, because doing so makes me feel better.  I have also been pondering some collage as well.  I have a great picture of Rupaul that is calling to be used somewhere.  What better symbol or strength and fortitude for me right now?

 

If there is art made in this journal, I may show it.  However, given the dire personal nature of what is being written in this journal, don’t expect too much.

 

This post was more to say…here is what I ended up using this journal for and how I used it more than anything else.

 

Thanks for following along.

 

Until next time.

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Week One Lifebook 2018…Continued…

 

I’ve talked about this one before, when she was just a sketch…

There ‘should’ be all sorts of doodles all over the place…and before I started to add paint and color, there were…it was quite chaotic.  By the time I started to work on finishing the background, I decided I would feel better if it were all just painted over and left to lie beneath the paint.

My symbols here:

The Rabbit, which has been forcing its way into my life for about two years now…technically the love affair with bunnies started even longer ago…with Br’er Rabbit when I was a little kid…and moved into a pet bunny when I was a slightly older kid…and then a few years ago my angoras that I developed the allergy to their hay so I had to let them go (I placed them with a rabbit shelter–I didn’t just turn the poor boys out or anything).

The Peacock (that shape at the throat), this is another that has been here a long time and always seems to push itself forward in more recent years.

The Raven (that feather in the hair), half of my Totem animal team…where would I be without the Raven?

Mushrooms…do you see the name of my blog here?  Alice in all things, even if it is my Alyce…but mushrooms are a big thing for me in and of themselves and really, other than Alice’s tale, because they aren’t really plants–they aren’t really animals–they are something else entirely (fungus)…the whole concept of mushroom…it grows on and consumes the dead–a necessary thing to keep the world revolving…they cross-over, between the worlds, they bridge the gaps between things…and that is why they call to me.

Her word is ‘homecoming’…which fits in with my own word of the year, ‘settle in’.  With a bit of flowery flourish at the end.

This is the first one I drew, following Tam’s style and lead.  The original plan was to draw things in Tam’s style and then do it again in my own style–but things have been so convoluted…it isn’t working out that way.  All I can say though is…it is helping.  The exercises, not the art, are really helping.  The art solidifies the healing aspects (although, to be clear, you don’t have to do any of the healing bits if you are a part of any of Tam’s classes–it can be all about the art for you.)

 

Process: Journal Cover

I am slowly sliding back into my old ways, a different version of my old self.  I am getting back up on that Poetry Pony.

I am actually taking an online poetry class.  One of the things suggested is getting yourself a notebook/journal that you love, that inspires you…as well as a pen that can become your magic wand as you write.

I have pens…fountain pens, magickal pens, Bic pens, disposable pens…tons of pens…all over the place…just don’t ask for one, because whenever anyone here needs a pen…it takes forever to find one…I still don’t understand that…no pen, no paper, only when needed…any other time…pens and paper all over the place…

So, my first thought was…I’ll buy a journal…no, I’ll make a journal…no, I’ll…drive myself crazy with the ideas of what I want to do and/or want to get and never really get around to doing the actual poetic writing work…hmm…

Luckily for me, it was errand day about that time anyway…so I was able to go to a variety of stores to look at journals, which gave me a clearer idea of what was calling to me for this particular journey.

I did, in the end, buy a journal—because it is bigger than the books I typically have…and it was faster/easier/cheaper to buy this journal from the store than it was to decide on paper and then order said paper, wait for it to come in and then make the book on my own.  I was attempting to avoid procrastination with this.

However, I had ideas for what I wanted to create before I saw this journal…and – as soon as I figure out where I hid the cords and pedal for my sewing machine (I’ve been cleaning—apparently I put them somewhere “safe”) –I will be making myself one – I have the fabric set out, already washed and pre-ironed, waiting to be cut.

So—here is my thought process with this.

I want to make a journal cover, much like a Midori traveler’s journal…but…bigger.  I typically write in decorated composition notebooks, the ones with graph paper in them.  I decorate them myself, yes.  I want to be able to have three different composition notebooks at a time in this journal.  One is my daily journal, where I write, take notes, do all sorts of stuff.  One would be for poetry.  One would be for drafts.  Or for whatever else came to mind.  Perhaps it would be my written journal, poetry journal, and fiction/writing journal all in one spot…which sounds nice to me.  All three of my typical working notebooks in one spot sounds good.  Better, it feels right.

First of all…I want the cover to be gorgeous.  A fabric cover, quilted, several different patterns that I have collected sewn together, perhaps in strips or squares, perhaps with circles of other fabrics added for fun and texture.

The cover must enclose all three journals, and have a fold-over flap with some sort of closure.  I am still pondering what sort of closure I would like with this.  I don’t want any bits of the comp notebooks sticking out. I think I would like a pocket on the inside front cover.  I know I need at least one pen loop, if not a couple more.  My fauxdori always has at least three pens tucked into it…and I only have one pen loop attached to it.

I had some ideas about hey, pockets, different kinds, front and back cover, why not?  Why not?  Because I don’t really use them.  And…I tend to get cranky about too many pockets cluttering things up.  It’s a weird juxtaposition with me; what can I say?

The only other thing I really want is to be sure the inside of the cover and the outside of the cover are all pretty fabrics—but are not duplicates of one another.  I don’t want it reversible or anything…I just want it to be aesthetically pleasing.

I also plan to use one elastic cord per journal, so there will be three cords attached to the cover.

I have also had visions of grandeur, with bits of ricrac and lace and all sorts of additional frou-frou to the outer cover…but although I know I will enjoy sewing and creating such a thing, the idea of using it on a daily basis, taking it out to restaurants, bowling (where I actually do an amazing amount of brain-storming), library or wherever, I think the lacy bits and frou-frou will bother me and get in my way…and grrr unto me if I get any of that bit dirty or messy.  Although, yes, this is meant to be a washable thing, because hey, it’s going to get tossed in a bag, in my purse, on a table.  My kids will dump stuff on it.  The cats will sit on it.  The dogs will find a way to stomp on it…probably after a kid throws it or knocks it to the floor.  So it has to be strong enough to take a beating as well.

I actually have a vague pattern drawn up in my journal…with all my notes scribbled along the sides.  All I really need, other than to verify the measurements are accurate—are the … cords and pedal for my sewing machine, which is currently in whatever “safe” place I put them…bless me and my well-intentioned heart.

This is the plan.  It’s all ready and in place.

Thanks for coming along with me through this process.

 

 

Week 1 Lifebook 2018

 

So, I have already talked about this piece before.

I am a bit entertained that to me the inside of that circle sort of looks like the British flag, and it was supposed to be flower petals that didn’t really pan out as nice fat petals…and I had to stop messing with it before I totally screwed it up…

This was the making marks warm-up lesson of week 1.  Nothing fancy or elaborate.  I could have skipped it, but it felt disingenuine to do so.  If I watched all the color theory videos and everything else again, there was no reason to skip the warm-up exercise.

 

Boom, Baby!

Boom shawl #3 finished

A post shared by Tabitha Low (@theknittingjourneyman) on

 

This is the third Boom! shawl  that I have cast on…it is only the second one that I have finished.

I had started a second one using Lion Brand Mandala yarn in the unicorn colorway, using size 10 US needles…and it was going smashingly…and so much faster than the first one I made using LB Mandala in Chimera on I think size 6 or 7 US needles–I use that one as a scarf.

I frogged the unicorn one before starting what I am calling the chunky boom (pictured above).  That is a lot of thin yarn, even on size 10 needles…at one point I tried to work on it at night–when I am tired and I know I shouldn’t do anything–and I dropped a stitch three rows down…it’s an a;; garter-stitch shawl–when I got up the next day and looked at it–I had a nicely picked up row of stockinette stitches there where I had dropped that stitch–but I had then worked about two inches farther one…and no way was I ripping back for that…but every time I picked that shawl up, I saw the three stitches of stockinette stitch…so frogging the whole thing out was not that much of a hardship for me…and with this chunky boom, the two skeins of unicorn that I have will now be used…for something completely different…I have no idea what.

So, how this chunky shawl came to be was…we were at a thrift store…and there were loads of bits of skeins of yarns in one bin.  I think one actually had a label…I recognized at least two of the colorways from Loops and Threads Charisma collection.   With R’s help and his knife (which we ended up not using because he is good with knots), I pulled out at least ten skeins, mostly partials, but two or three that look and feel like full skeins.

I like Charisma anyway.  I’ve used it before, several times.  Just not lately.  These colors appealed to me…so I stood there and worked out every skein I could find…and brought them home.  I wound every single multi-colored skein into one huge ball…and then…frogged the unicorn so I wouldn’t feel bad about yet another project abandoned on the needles until something else that was newer was finished…

Now, I had a good eight to ten inches of the unicorn shawl done when I frogged her–this after weeks and weeks of working on her here and there.  I cast on the chunky shawl, using size 13 US needles…and within five minutes was a gleeful creature as I had at least ten inches of shawl worked up already…and I wasn’t even really getting into it or anything.

I usually knit in the car when we go places…sometimes at night if I don’t think I will mess things up too much…I try to knit during the day when I am trying to finish something (strange brew sweater–nope, not done yet–working on the yoke now–so getting closer, yes) –so when I say I have worked on this shawl for maybe two weeks…that means a great deal.  This shawl is longer than I am tall (so more than 6 feet–I would measure to tell you for sure, but right now the shawl is in the wash–but somewhere between at least 7 and 8 feet long) — it’s thick; it’s squishy; it has a lot of different colors in it randomly and beautifully.  I didn’t weave in the ends, except the cast one and bind off tails.  So there are nine little fringes hanging off the shawl in random places…I had to work to keep each fringe tied onto the same side instead of tying them off wherever they fell every time.

There was just something calling this shawl to be more rustic, more raw.  I like that.  And I am not really a fringe person, so me saying that means a lot.  It feels good, this shawl.  It worked up wicked quick.  I had forgotten how nice it could be to work with thick yarn on big needles.

Now, back to my strange brew sweater.  🙂