December 31st, 2016

The Librarian

Something I'm incredibly thankful for ...

I belong to a group within Ravelry called "Selfish Knitters & Crocheters". It's part venting space, part support group, part a meeting of common minds. Mainly it's based on the fact that so many non-crafters see any crafter that they are related to, friends with, or just happen to see on the street as somebody who should be cranking out free (or horrifically underpriced) handmade goods for others on demand. Heavens forbid that somebody should dare to have a hobby that happens to result in useful things and actually get to enjoy it.

Wish I were joking but I'm not. New, just-learning crafters are especially vulnerable ... they proudly show that they've finally mastered the thing enough to have produced a few error-free rows and are bombarded with orders to make things. For the most part with unrealistic expectations of time and skill and no offers (or completely ludicrously cheap ones) of recompense for materials, tools or time. And far too often these newbies still lack the most important skill of all ... the ability to say no. They end up overwhelmed by demands and deadlines imposed by others and their new relaxing hobby turns into a hated nightmare.

The lucky ones discover or are directed to the SKC group, where the motto is "We make what we want, when we want, for whomever we want." The idea isn't that you only make stuff for yourself though that is the case for some members. The idea is that it's your skills, your time, your materials, and, most importantly, your choice. The group isn't really about selfishness but about promoting the importance of self-interest for one's own health and sanity ... something frequently called "selfish" by those demanding goods and services for nothing in return (hence the group name ... it's meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek). This is the place where people get advice on and support for setting boundaries, ways to say no (or yes or maybe), standing one's ground on those boundaries and declarations, and analyzing the personality types/relationships involved to choose the best method to use for all these things.

The group has its own vocabulary developed over the years: "gimmiepig", "demandypants", "voluntold/voluntelling" and quite a few others. Members share successes and joys along with frustrations and problems ... it's a community of people who "get it" no matter what because of the overall shared mindset.

The issues aren't unique to knitters/crocheters of course. We have members who are or know musicians, artists (painters, sculptors, etc.), artisans and crafters of other types (woodworkers, metalworkers, jewelers, weavers, sewers), computer folk, skilled trades (plumbers, carpenters, mechanics) and the problem is everywhere ... often with the added aggravation of the attitude that if you do it for a living then you should do it for your family and friends for free (or for a next to nothing so low it's insulting). After all, you're being asked to do it in your free/down time not your working hours and you like doing it/are good at it so why should you expect recompense? (or rest?) You name the skill/abilities and somebody somewhere figures they're entitled to it for nothing. :-(

All of this just to lead up to ...

THANK YOU MY FRIENDS. FOR COMMENTING WITHOUT DEMANDING. FOR NEVER EVER EVER LINKING ME TO (or even mentioning) THE FAD ITEM OF THE MOMENT (mermaid tail blankets, messy bun hats, dragon scale mitts, unicorn hats, and the multitude of other things that most of us would rather cut off our hands than make ... and if you don't know what any of those are then you score extra bonus points for having good taste). FOR BEING CIVILIZED BEINGS WHO KNOW BETTER!!!

LOVE EVERY ONE OF YOU!!!!! ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺
The Librarian

Meme-along

Doing kejn's first sentence from each month of the year meme because of the amusement potential if you read it as a story.

January: Just occurred to me, as I'm currently in the process of folding clean laundry, that I STILL fold pillowcases in the manner I was taught as a child.
February: ... because I've just successfully edited two webpages to have fixed navigation bars on the right.
March: I've just posted a new book list over at catdesk ... reading treats galore!
April: This was inside (okay, once again, it was actually in a boring old shipping envelope that nobody wants to see)
May: Discovered this one-off half hour show yesterday, thanks to it beginning after the end of one of my regular shows: A Sense of History, written and performed by Jim Broadbent (who was, once upon a long time ago, the Spanish Infanta's translator in the first series of "Blackadder").
June: "I don't really like torturing Puritans ... you can never be sure they're not secretly enjoying it."--Satan, "Old Harry's Game"
July: HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!!!
August: "Do stop trying to show the occasional glimmer of intelligence. It's like finding caviar in a cheeseburger."--Absolute Power, series 4, episode 1
September: Hadn't realized how long I'd gone without posting.
October: It has been a crazy, hardworking summer, taking up many evenings and weekends, with the payoff of assistant and I having developed a faster, better method of handling starter collections by zigzagging between two softwares (we had eleven new school libraries to stock ... seven are now finished, one in progress, and three to go! (assistant and I are now anticipating the luxury of watching those last three pretty much build themselves now that we've done all the extensive set-up work ... Yay!)
November:
December: I haven't forgotten the pink sock of insanity, it's just that my hands needed a break from the stresses of dense twisted stitches on a small scale.
The Librarian

Dreamwidth trial run

I've copied the contents of my LJ catdesk account over to Dreamwidth, just to see how the whole importing thing works. New booklists will continue to appear here at LJ; the Dreamwidth thing is something I've actually been contemplating doing as a backup (because backups are GOOD things and have saved me many a time in the past) but just hadn't got 'round to until now (time on my hands plus more than one LJ friend posting about using the site as a just-in-case = sensible precaution finally taken)

Won't be friending (or connecting or whatever the heck they call it over there) any of my individual buddies with The Dreamwidth Catdesk account for the plain'n'simple reason that I never did so in LJ; Catdesk was originally created due to people wanting to share the title lists I was posting in my personal LJ account with bookloving friends and family but hesitant to do so because they didn't necessarily want said friends and family backtracking to their LJ accounts (this was back in the days when most people did prefer to leave their accounts public so they could "meet" and interact with fellow spirits but there might be just enough content to identify them to a not-so-fellow person from real life who had a path to follow ... and the various privacy and who-can-see-this-post settings weren't as good back then as they are now).

Once I've fiddled about with DW a bit more I'll copy my personal account over as well and will let you know when I do. Hopefully able to use the same username of my tripled initials as it's so convenient (you can find me anywhere online if you're in the know that that's what I use). Already bemoaning the fact that there's no lifetime accounts there; I've got quite spoiled here not having to remember to budget for renewal. Yeah, I know, first world problems ... ;p
witcher

Witcher love (aka You won't see THIS in LotR)

Witcher and other male character who's become a regular get into disagreement that turns into rolling on the ground fight. Only to suddenly let go of each other going ow!ow!ow!ow!ow! Because fairly diminutive younger female character has had it up to here, whipped off her belt and is letting this pair of soldier/warrior types both have it until they break it up and is quite prepared to start in on the pair of 'em again if either makes one move towards the other that isn't an apology because she is not putting up with this shit from either of them.

Note that this isn't something that is a regular occurrence in these books but the the result of tensions that have building up over a couple of novels finally coming to a head ... all reactions quite realistic for the characters even though it's nothing any of them have done (or shown any signs of doing) before. Proof of good character development that it all makes sense and is simultaneously funny as hell (in the middle of tense scene) and dead serious.

Waiting until March for the next instalment is suddenly going to hurt twice as much as it was a few hours ago.

P.S. I've just decided I really need a Witcher userpic ...