What’s New In Luvvies – 11/16/18

Things have been super crazy around here lately. In addition to working overtime at my regular job and some fun activities away from the house, I was laid up for about a week with a massive migraine, which really put a damper on my order fulfillment and preparations for the December Steel City Con. My migraine hasn’t fully left, but I have been trying to push through as much as I can.

I get so much joy from crochet, but sometimes I do wonder why I decided to make this into a business. I’m an accountant, but I don’t always have the best business acumen. I’m trying to learn, but sometimes I get swept away and caught in the stress of the business and not the relaxation and joy I get from the craft. I am working to make this a more equitable split.

Once the worst of my migraine (finally!) left, I was able to get caught up on a couple of rush orders….two of which were new patterns/designs and two that were tried and true.

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Under Pressure

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As I mentioned recently, I just returned home from Rhode Island Comic Con. I learned so much from the convention, had great times with friends, and helped some luvvies find their new mommies and daddies. However, on the flip side (the business side) things didn’t work out exactly as I had hoped, as I didn’t even make back the fee for my table, let alone for the hotel and gas money to travel there. While I try to chalk the loss up to experience and getting the business out there to people who might never have found me, the accountant in me is stressing. Why did I do this again? Why did I agree to take on a business? Why didn’t I just keep this as a fun hobby? Read More…

Sometimes tastes change

I reached an interesting conclusion in the past week – I’m finding that my crocheting tastes have changed.

It’s not so much a fundamental change – I still use the same hooks and notions, and I still hold my yarn and hook the same way, but my taste in crochet patterns has shifted.

I guess that’s part of the journey – the learning and experimenting phase. But when I started, there were patterns that were my absolute go tos, like my little moose friend.

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There is nothing wrong with the pattern – and the one that I just completed for an order turned out to be one of my cutest yet (in my opinion), but there was just something about the pattern that I wasn’t feeling as I was making this. It is a reliable pattern with consistent results, but it left me a little flat.

The flip side to this conundrum is I remember back to when I made my first moose – back when I was learning the first steps in amigurumi. I remember how complicated this seemed. It must have taken me a week (or more) to make that first one; and, there were just so many things wrong with it. He’s still adorable – and so loved, Desi plays with him often – but he wasn’t perfect, and I didn’t quite have all the tools (literally and figurative) to make him yet. Compare that to when I made this little dude and it was maybe two nights, and he is a lot sturdier than my first version.

But the change in pattern taste has been happening a good bit recently. I don’t know if it is because I’ve been leaning toward patterns only by one or two designers and they have worked up so consistently and wonderfully that to go to something else is a little foreign. I don’t know if it is just the mood I have been in recently.

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I’ve worked up countless patterns from this designer – although again, it was more in my earlier days of working than recently. Last night I decided to play with this to try to make a Superman luvvie. The pattern is easy enough to interpret and it used the same stitches I’m used to in my stuffies, but I just wasn’t thrilled.

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He turned out sweet, but I couldn’t get over the fact that the head was bigger than the body (although some of that could have been overstuffing on my part), and his head just wouldn’t sit right on his body. He found a forever home relatively easily in Rhode Island, but I just didn’t feel like he was my finest work. Whether that was due to general tiredness and stress, or if it was just the pattern wasn’t my favorite.

I understand as we learn and grow, our tastes change. Things that were challenging in the beginning become second nature – and that is a good thing because that does show growth and increased confidence. However, so many patterns that I have made and loved, I worry that I will not feel the same about them in the future. I put so much of myself and my heart and love into my creations that I have a sincere worry about this. If I don’t feel this connection to the pattern, I worry I won’t feel a connection to the plushie and that will carry over to the new mommy and daddy.

I haven’t been making patterns from this designer as long, but I do feel a true connection to the completed works. Maybe it is because at least for the tatty teddy bear and the voodoo doll that they aren’t meant to be perfect…there is room for imperfection; so there isn’t that same level of expectation. Although with Marril, he is a recognizable Pokemon and that didn’t strike me with fear as I thought it would.

Then, there are tried and true patterns. I have made the items multiple times, and every time I make them, I feel as connected to them as I did the first time. What is the difference? The pattern’s difficulty didn’t change – in many cases because of the repeated practice it has gotten easier – but I still feel the same enjoyment each time I pick up my yarn to make them. Does that come down to a satisfaction with the end result? I don’t think so…as I mentioned before I still love how the moose turns out, I just don’t like the process of making him. Is it the number of pieces that are required? I know the moose has a ton of individuals pieces, but so did the lion bookbag and the tatty teddy bear and I’m happy with them.

It is such an interesting investigation into the mind to uncover what could be behind this change. It’s not even that I have made something too many times. It’s just certain patterns don’t speak to me the same way. I’ve experienced this to some extent when I’ve first purchased a pattern, and then find out that I am just not happy with how it works up – but, it is entirely different to have this be a successful, tried and tested pattern, and suddenly be turned off it.

I’ll be curious to see if as I progress in my crochet journey if I feel this way about the voodoo dolls and other luvvies that I currently adore making. Maybe there is just a season for everything – and some seasons end sooner than others.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

There and Back Again…A RICC Tale

I always have the best of intentions, but they don’t always work out the way that I intend them to – I guess that’s why they are intentions. I meant to post a wrap up of my first Lil’ Luvvies trip to Rhode Island Comic Con when I got back, but a terrible migraine sidelined me for a few days.

There is so much to unpack from my weekend in the Ocean State…so many good memories and fun crammed into such a short weekend. However, I will try not to bore anyone to tears and will keep things as brief as possible.

The one negative to the whole excursion was I didn’t break even – not even close. I didn’t even end up making my table cost back. But, I met a lot of people – handed out my card to a lot of potential customers, so I am hoping that will lead to future business, so I am optimistic.

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Peace, Love, and Understanding

I like my Web site, blog, and Instagram to be an oasis from the harsh glare that our daily lives can throw onto us. Is this my way of trying to block out the less savory things that happen in our world? Probably. But it also is a way to help deal with those realities by having a safe place, an outlet free from that taint.

However, this weekend some of that reality came too close to home and has left a heaviness in my heart that I need to express.

There are no funny memes or happy pictures to accompany this entry; but, neither will there be any political discussion (ironic coming from a Political Science major). This is more about the human element.

On Saturday, October 27, less than 15 miles from my home people were getting up as they do every week. They were getting on their best clothes and they were arriving at their house of worship – same as always. None of these individuals arriving that dreary Saturday morning to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, PA would realize their lives could be shattered forever; or that their sanctuary was going to be violated. No, these people came as they always did to celebrate their faith and participate in some of the joyous celebrations that were happening.

I identify myself as a Christian, but I have family members (and my husband) who are Jewish. I have been to the Tree of Life synagogue multiple times myself and have been overwhelmed by the hospitality and warmth extended by its congregation. So, for a new face of a 46-year-old man to appear, it would not have been out of the ordinary….except that it was. Because instead of this man being there to be enveloped in the warmth of the congregation, he was there to tear them down. Instead of wanting to celebrate their embrace of different ethnicity and colors, he was there to celebrate bigotry. Instead of finding joy in peace and love, he wanted to promote fear and hate.

Saturday, October 27 was far from a normal service at the Tree of Life; 11 congregants lost their lives, more were wounded, including police officers responding to the scene. Eleven families saw their worlds turned upside down, and countless more saw the serenity and safety of their sanctuary tainted by hate from a man screaming vile words to degrade those who were present.

I was sitting on my couch Saturday morning, crocheting and watching television with Desi when I received a news alert on my phone and first learned of the tragedy. Sheer panic gripped my heart. My first concern was for family, extended family, and friends. Was everyone I loved safe? It took several hours to be able to get in touch and have responses back from everyone; and, in that time those icy tendrils of fear took hold -but, more than that, I was completely heartbroken. Even if my family was safe (which everyone ended up being present and accounted for and no one was at that synagogue for services), there still were so many who were not going to be fortunate.

Violence of this level is happening at an alarming rate and too often I find that I get anesthetized to it. However, happening so close to my home, and to an area that I drive through twice a day (to and from work) and that my loved ones could have been attending rocked my world. I have tried to maintain a positive exterior, especially for Desi, and I find myself retreating more and more into fandom and Luvvies to escape from the horrros for the world – and from things that I can have so little direct impact on. But, I still haven’t figured out what to say to Desi.

My daughter is nine, soon to be 10, and is on the autism spectrum. Sometimes circumstances hit her too hard, or she doesn’t know how to process them at all. For the most part, my husband and I have left her largely (but not completely) ignorant of what happened this weekend. She knows the basics, and we have told her that these acts are wrong and were committed by a man who had very narrow-minded thinking, but, I know it is not enough. As much as I want to retreat into my private sanctuary where it is pretty and happy and everyone gets along – even those Pokemon who like to fight in real life – I want to keep some of that innocence for her, too. I can’t shield her from everything, and not forever, but it is difficult for me at almost 41 to understand what would drive someone to commit such a heinous act of violence, I don’t know how to convey that to a 9-year-old, let alone for her to understand it.

With this sadness in my heart, I am continuing to prepare for Rhode Island, but I also have added fear about that. If such ugliness as what happened at the Tree of Life can occur in a place of safety like a house of worship, could something like this happen at a con, which is my own safe space?

For now, I am trying to grieve but also trying to have some light cut through the darkness. At our core, human beings are all the same – we have the same organs, the same blood, the same muscles, the same bones. Yes, the packaging may differ, and some of us may be special editions, but that doesn’t change the core. And because the core is the same – the foundation upon which we each are built, I am hoping that we can learn to find more tolerance and have peace, love, and understanding with one another.

I thank you for reading and your indulgence at this less than happy topic, we will shortly return to our regularly scheduled escape from reality. Sending love to each and every one of you.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

If you would like to contribute to assist those impacted by the Tree of Life shootings there are many ways you can help. Donate directly to the synagogue via PayPal (https://www.tolols.org/give), donate to a credible online fundraiser, or contact the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh to find out how to provide additional support (412-681-8000).