Tag Archives | creative

Crafty Cool


5 geek craft projects to make your own

The best way to justify a day in front of Netflix is to be knitting/sewing/making while you do it. Instant ‘I’m being productive’ vibes, while you binge so many shows that the plots get confused. Were the clones in Orange Is the New Black, or Orphan Black? Was I just crying at Riverdale or the Vampire Diaries?

Bonus: make people stuff & they think you’re clever and creative. It’s quicker & cheaper to knit up a zombie hat than it is to attend university.

So, today I bring you the very best in knit & crochet fandom. You’re welcome ;-).

1. Knit your own Death Star

The one time you want holes in your knitting, or else how will the rebels get in?
This pattern from Nicole Kostelec is free on Ravelry, aka the best knitting site around.

2. Hook up with the Firefly crew

Behold the cuteness of Lucy Collin’s Firefly amigurumi! Why not buy the patterns from Etsy here, make all of them and send them to me. Please. I can crochet but I’m too lazy. I also love her Adventure Time cuties.

3. Fake a Futurama face

In the future, we won’t need Zoidberg costumes because the sea-levels will have risen and it’ll be ‘Evolve or Die’. Finally us humans will have our own tentacley crustacea thing going on. Til then, why not knit this Zoidberg balaclava and mittens? They’ll call you futuristic. They’ll be right.

4. Bring Your Own Brains

Pessimists among you may dispute my ‘in the future we’ll all have gills’ theory. Perhaps you think it more likely that a zombie plague will wipe us out before we get to evolve to Zoidberg heights. Knit yourself a zombie brraaiins hat and go to war against the zoidberg-balaclava people. Fight! Fight! Fight!

5. Dream with Doctor Who

Me, I’m a pacifist, more about the theorising than the fisticuffs, so I won’t get involved in the dispute. I’ll be at home, snuggled under my Doctor Who quilt. Night night. Sweet dreams.

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Editing The Dream Feeders

A witchy bar in the mountains of Switzerland

Found this witchy bar in the mountains of Switzerland

Edits & self-doubt

I cautiously went back to my Dream Feeders edits this week, after 5 months away. That’s how long it took to go near it without flinching. Even after reopening the Scrivener project, it took 3 days for me to actually look at the contents.

And…

I think it’s going to be alright. I think I’m going to be alright. I think I can finish this without going mad. Maybe?

With fresh eyes, and a rested brain, this feels manageable. Big, and complicated, but not beyond my reach.

I can see how i got tangled up – the start of my edits list makes sense, and my optimism grew while reading it. ‘Hey, this might be more than just finishable, it might even be good!’

Then, blam! kerpow! my notes-to-self turn into a black lump of confusion & lostness, & I’m not surprised I ran away. I might just delete those notes, rather than try to unpick what I was trying & get trapped in the same messy worries as last time. Bravo, self-doubt, you did a tremendous job.

Reading: Borne, by Jeff Vandermeer

borne by jeff vandermeer, illustration by keith negley

Borne illustration by Keith Negley

I chose a Jeff Vandermeer novel for my holiday read, because I always get gripped & absorbed and can read for hours. I hate airports and there was a 4 hour train journey to follow the flight, so I took Borne.

I hadn’t factored in how creepy his stuff is though, & forgot that sometimes I’m obsessively page-turning Vandermeer stuff because I’m too terrified to look away.

So my holiday reading experience was an odd mix of stunning Swiss scenery past the windows – model villages, alpine flowers, snow topped mountains – and Vandermeer’s warped, dark-tech version of the future in my e-reader, alive with mutant children and giant, flying bears.

I finished reading on the midnight coach from Heathrow, and without spoilering I’ll just say that the shadowy, slippery landscape & lights of a late-night motorway (combined with very little sleep) was a suitably eerie backdrop.

Verdict: do read it (I rated it 4/5 on Goodreads), but maybe not in the dark…

Borne print (& other cool illustrations) available from Keith Negley at Society6

Writing advice I liked this week

The creative process will always have downs. It’s part of the cycle. Everyone gets them, and it doesn’t mean you are failing. The next part of the cycle will come along soon if you just keep going.

That’s my paraphrasing of Joanna Penn’s interview with David Kadavy on the Creative Penn podcast:

Joanna: ‘It happens every time and you have to go through that part…it is a cycle…this creative process, it has these stages and it’s not like you can skip any… One of those stages is fear and anxiety and it seems to happen wherever you are on the journey unless perhaps, you’re a sociopath.’

David: Yeah. ‘And if you are, then hey, go for it.’

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