Crafty Stories

I like to tell stories through the creative arts. I may be slightly obsessed with books, movies, TV shows, yarn and fiber. Wanna hang out?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Information about me for Swap Spoilers

Hello, future swap spoiler! I thought it'd be handy if I posted a bunch of information about me all in one spot, so here you go!

This information might apply to Instagram or Ravelry swaps, I'll try to make it wide enough in scope to work for both.

Basic information - how to stalk me online:
- I'm blogging here right NOW, but I almost never do, so just really read this post and then ignore the rest of the blog (unless you're interested in seeing the yarn I used to dye).
- On Ravelry I'm StoriedYarns.
- I'm @StoriedYarns on Instagram
- I'm jessecreations on Pinterest
- I've got an Amazon wish list here.
And, that's pretty much it. I don't really spend any quality time on any other social media sites, so it's best to stalk me in one of those places.

Handmade Items I'd Like to Receive:
First of all, let me just say that I love handmade as a general rule, so go for it if you've got an idea that's not on this list! I'm just trying to give you some ideas so you have a ballpark if you're looking for one. Here are some handmade items I'd love to get:

  • Wallet - I keep meaning to make myself one and I never have gotten around to it. I like the longer/bigger style, with plenty of room for cards and a zipper pouch for coins, if possible.
  • Sewing machine cover - I've got a standard-issue Brother machine, and a cover for it is one of those other things I never get around to making.
  • Wall art - I have a home office/studio area where I love to display things that inspire me - embroidery, cross stitch, art prints, mini quilts, you name it.
  • Bags - I love bags and frequently switch them out. Totes, purses, zipper pouches, knitting project bags, whatever. My preference would be for a large-ish purse or tote size, or a clutch for more "fancy" times.
  • Shoes - I seriously love those customized Toms style shoes; doesn't matter to me if they're actual Toms or they came from Wal-Mart. I wear a US 8.5 ladies' shoe size.
  • Jewelry - I don't have pierced ears, so please avoid earrings, but necklaces and rings are all good. I tend not to wear a lot of bracelets, but I do like them. Anklets would also be cool for the warmer months.
  • Pottery - I love coffee mugs, and pretty much anything else pottery-related. Usable, decorative, whatever!
  • Smelly-good stuff - candles, soaps, lotion, lotion bars, lip balm, wax melts. 
  • Neck accessories - scarves, shawls, shawlettes.
My Preferences:
Here are some additional things about me that you might find helpful -
  • Scent/fragrance: I prefer "clean" scents, woodsy scents, spicy scents, and florals. Not a big fan of fruity or sugary sweet stuff.
  • Colors: Right now I'm loving grey and navy, plus coral, light lemony/butter yellow, mint. I have long been a fan of orange, purple, and teal. My wardrobe also consists of a lot of black.
  • Home decor: My house is an eclectic mix, so I don't have much of a theme. Living room is tan/brown, slate blue, mulberry, and I'm trying to incorporate some butter yellow in there. Ditto with dining room. Kitchen is burgundy, olive, mustard, and cream. My bedroom is cream, orange, burgundy and teal. In my home office, anything goes - I'm going with inspirational/rainbow/colorful in there. 
  • I drink both coffee and tea, though coffee is usually just once a day and tea might be more than that. I like black teas, with or without spices (like chai). Not a big fan of fruit in my tea.
  • I also love chocolate, any shade except for the super-dark stuff. I don't like raisins or fruit in my chocolate, but any of the following are okay: nuts, caramel, sea salt, pretzels, mint.
  • I don't collect things. I have a small shelf in my home office, but it's pretty well full, and so I prefer not to have a lot of stuff that just kind of sits around without a purpose.
  • Favorite types of yarn: fingering weight to worsted, wool or wool blends or other natural fibers. I prefer to steer clear of acrylic both for wearing and for knitting.
  • Fabric: I love fabric of pretty much any kind. If it's apparel fabric I'd like at least 2-yard cuts just so I can make something decent with it, but for quilting cotton anything from fat quarter on up is great, or a bundle/collection of precuts.
Things that Make me Go Geek (in no particular order):
  • Young adult literature
  • Board games, both played with other adults and with my kids/family
  • South Park
  • The Muppets
  • musicals
  • Supernatural
  • Sherlock
  • Downton Abbey
  • Other British period dramas (Call the Midwife, for instance)
  • The West Wing and pretty much anything else those actors do
  • Doctor Who
  • Firefly
  • Star Trek
  • fabric, especially if it's bookishly themed or goes with any of the above-named fandoms or just has a cool, graphic print to it
  • yarn
  • spinning fiber
Let's see ... what else?
My word for 2015 is Captain - I'm trying to incorporate that into my life. Being the Captain of my own ship, so to speak, taking control of my life and what happens in it, what I do with it. Being cool under pressure and acting, not just reacting. Realizing that I'm responsible for my own life & happiness, and it's a good thing to put on my Big Girl Pants and get stuff done. I've got a Pinterest board for it you can find in my account there.

I often self-identify as a Vulcan, and I really think I could dig living there and being part of a society like that. It's not that I don't have emotions, but I don't like being ruled by them, and I often have a hard time relating to other humans. I'm kinda like Spock, I guess - human heart, Vulcan soul? (Also I seriously <3 div="" especially="" in="" quinto="" role.="" spock="" that="" zachary="">

Crafts I enjoy, in no particular order: sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting (sometimes), cross stitching (sometimes), spinning yarn.

I hope that helps!! Remember, whatever you make, I just really appreciate that you put together a swap package just for me!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Nerds Craft it Better - An Open Letter to my Swap Spoiler

I'm participating in the #NerdsCraftItBetter swap on Instagram right now, and I wanted to write a letter to the person who's sending me a package, to hopefully help with the inspiration side of things. So if you're not that person, you may as well just ignore this post. Rest assured, I'll go back to not-blogging right after this is done. :)

Dear Swap Spoiler,

First of all, THANK YOU! I'm so excited you're going to be making something for me, and I'm telling you right now that I will love it no matter what! I just thought I'd put together a post that would help you stalk me online and learn a little bit more about me, because I know that as I look at my own swap recipient's profile I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure where to start!

So, first of all, you can find me online:

Instagram: @StoriedYarns
Pinterest: jessecreations
Ravelry: StoriedYarns
Etsy: StoriedYarns (Please note that a lot of the ITEMS in my favorites are mostly for other people or things I'd want to show my clients, but you'd be mostly safe in my favorite SHOPS.)

Anywhere else, I really don't spend any quality time and anything I post there wouldn't be too helpful for you, I'm thinking.

On Pinterest you'll see I have a TON of boards that I share with other pinners - those are work-related and you can mostly ignore them. The ones you'll really want to pay attention to are the ones for previous swaps I did, the one about colors I love, and the one called "This is me, geeking out."

I am a fan of so many things it'd be impossible to name them all! For examples you can actually see my former Etsy shop, where I dyed yarn inspired by characters from my favorite stories (books, movies, TV, etc.). In general, I love:
  • Star Trek (all variations, but particularly the newest reboot, TNG, DS9, Voyager). I self-identify the most with Spock (esp. Zachary Quinto's version) and I love the Vulcans in general. I also really dig Tuvok, the Vulcan who is ALL about the mind melding and is kinda spiritual and cool.
  • Doctor Who. I love the newest ones, not the classic episodes/doctors. I think my favorite doctor is Eleven, and Donna's my favorite companion. I also really love the Ponds and River Song. I don't have cable so I only catch up with the good Doctor when he's streaming on Netflix, etc. so I'm a season or so behind.
  • Supernatural. Again, I'm a little behind. I was caught up before last year's season came to Netflix, but now I'm re-watching it with my husband so I haven't seen season 8 yet. Everything before that is all good. I can't decide on a favorite Winchester but I heart Castiel in a big way, and also Crowley. 
  • Sherlock. LOVE him. I also love Mycroft, and the relationship between the brothers (especially the way their lips curl up on one side when they talk about "other children").
  • I used to be a high school English teacher (and before that, an English major). So I love classic literature and young adult literature pretty much equally. Also a big fan of The Dresden Files series.
  • The Muppets. I grew up on The Muppet Show, my favorite Christmas movie is A Muppet Christmas Carol, and Gonzo is my favorite Muppet. Also love other Henson creations like The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.
  • Downton Abbey. Violet is my favorite character. I watch a lot of other British period dramas, too - I think my favorite of those is Call the Midwife. 
  • Britcoms. I especially love Gavin & Stacey, the Catherine Tate Show, and The Miranda Show.
I tend to prefer slightly-more-subtle references. For instance, I won't wear a T-shirt with Daniel Radcliffe's face on it but I will wear one that says "Hogwarts Alumni" or something like that. 

Here are some general types of handmade things I would enjoy receiving - I'm trying to incorporate a variety because I'm not sure what crafts you're into, but in general I'm into HANDMADE as a concept so I will love whatever you make me!!

  • Wall art - I work from home so my home office is prime real estate for displaying my freak flag on the wall. Currently displayed in that space: pictures my kids have drawn, profane signs and postcards, motivational quotes, book page quotes/art from some of my favorite nerd-doms, a poster of Wednesday Addams, a papercraft TARDIS, some zombies an Internet friend made me, a needle felted owl another friend made me, and a Lego Hamlet minifigure (I'm super bummed I never got Shakespeare to join him). Art prints or small sewn/quilted pieces, embroidery, cross stitch, etc. all welcome here.
  • Bags - I love bags and purses. For an everyday purse I need something large enough to hold my wallet and keys plus a small makeup bag and a small knitting project bag. I also use larger tote style bags for other things, and I really like smaller messenger-style or cross body bags. I could SERIOUSLY use a new wallet, one with lots of card pockets and some sort of zipper compartment for coins. Knitting project bags or zipper pouches are also welcome.
  • Spiral-bound notebooks, journals, etc. I'm kind of a "paper nerd" and I also love fun pens.
  • Pottery - coffee mugs, bowls, containers for other things, yarn bowls, whatever. I love the stuff. I also love any other type of coffee mug, like if you wanted to decorate one for me.
  • Yarn! If you're a knitter then you might want to send me handspun yarn, hand dyed yarn, or maybe even just yarn from your stash for my extra item. I'm a fan of any wool or wool-blend yarns, fingering weight on up to bulky. I'm also a spinner so I'd also love wool/fiber. If you're not a knitter then don't worry about this one. :)
  • Wearables: I prefer girly-cut T-shirts or other clothing types of items (I'll list my sizes below). I also love jewelry, especially necklaces or rings. I do NOT have pierced ears and I only wear bracelets if they're super lightweight/delicate because I type all day so it's annoying to me to have something clunking against the keyboard. I love scarves, especially infinity style or square/kerchief style. 
  • Bath and body stuff - soaps, lotions, lip balms, salves, creams, or even candles. I love scented stuff, particularly spicy/woodsy or fresh. Not a fan of fruity.
  • If you're super gung-ho I'd love a quilt, but that's definitely not what I'd call "medium" so please don't worry about it.
  • I'd love to add another apron or two to my collection - preferably a more "full coverage" or full apron style, not a half-apron. I don't LOVE to cook but I do enjoy baking and I'm messy when I do it.
  • I love stuff with quotes on it, either inspirational quotes, funny quotes, or quotes from any of my favorite nerderies.
Other Stuff I enjoy:
  • Tea and Coffee. I usually drink one cup of coffee every morning, and then a cup of tea in the evenings. My favorite tea is Stash Chai, but I like other black teas (regular or with spices). Not a fan of fruity teas. 
  • Chocolate. I love everything from white to dark. I don't like fruit or raisins in my chocolate, but I like it plain or with caramel, peanut butter, peppermint, sea salt, almonds, peanuts, pecans, pretzels, etc. Not a fan of spicy stuff, bacon, weird fruits, etc. in my chocolate.
  • Lotions, lip balms, soaps, candles, wax melt cubes.
  • Nail polish. I'm in an ongoing battle with myself to permanently stop biting my nails, and nail polish helps with that. I prefer darker colors (purple, burgundy/black cherry, dark blues, greys, brown, black). If you've got a good topcoat recommendation I'd love to know about it, too! 
  • British crafty magazines, sewing magazines.
  • Notebooks and pens, mechanical pencils.
  • I might enjoy small-ish hair accessories like bobbi pins or hair elastics with stuff on them. Not a big fan of headbands or other hair stuff.
  • I've thought for a while it might be fun to have an ear cuff (especially since I don't have pierced ears) but I haven't ever tried one.
  • Fabric! I'm a sewer and a quilter, I love it all from apparel to quilting cottons.
My Sizes:
  • I wear a ladies' US 14 in most clothing. I've got a 40.5" bust if that helps. I tend to wear a L or XL in girly-fit t-shirts. I don't usually wear unisex style tees but if you send me one that's L or XL I can probably sew/tailor it to fit me better.
  • Shoe size is US 8.5; my foot is about 10" long. Normal width.
  • My wrist measures 6.5" around.
  • My ring finger is 5.4cm around and my middle finger is 6cm.
  • My head measures 23" but I don't usually wear hats (I'm forever on a quest to find one that fits me and looks good but so far no luck).

Ok, I hope that's all been helpful and not too overwhelming! Again, I will love WHATEVER you send, and I'm so happy to get to know you once the swap is over!!!