Surgery, Adderall, and Fiber Arts
Hi, friends! Sorry I haven't sent this out in a while. I had one almost ready, and then... I never quite finished it.
And now I've broken (/shattered) my right wrist, as I think most of you know. March 31st, and then had surgery three weeks later. There was one week to determine I needed surgery, then two more weeks with scheduling. I typed the first draft of this on my phone, which was my easiest way to write, which was… frustrating. These days I've actually gotten pretty good at writing by (left) hand. And I can type on a real keyboard again.
So what's saving my life in all this, aside from keyboards?
I'm very grateful for smart and talented doctors and nurses who are helping me heal, eventually hopefully back to full function. My wrist is feeling MUCH better these days. I'm even wanting the cast off finally!
Adderall for ADHD.
It's not perfect, nor have I had the kind of angels singing experience some people seem to, but when it's working I feel more like myself, less overwhelmed and overloaded by my kids and their noise and touching. When it's not working I'm irritable. Or on the really bad days, I’m pretty much hiding under my blankets in the fetal position. I'm hopeful if we bump up the dose a little, that will help. We'll see.
Fiber, fiber, fiber, yarn. All I ever want to do is sit and spin or crochet, or ooh and ahh over WAY more lovely colors and materials than I can afford, dreaming of playing with them, mixing and matching, so on... Felting, sewing cute little animals, learning to needle felt...
I mean, I have a broken wrist and I STILL CAN'T STOP SPINNING. It's possible I may have a problem. 😆
But then, after my first post-op follow-up and being able to come closer to making a fist than the surgeon necessarily expected (after my splint was off, before my cast was put on) (“Have you been practicing?” “A little”), I think maybe the spinning was some decent beginning physical therapy. Yay! NO, I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM, NOTHING TO SEE HERE. 😂
Um, yes, on the other hand, fiber arts, yarn crafting, whatever you want to call all the fiber things, well, it's supposed to be good for mental health, so that's good at least. I must say I have REALLY enjoyed the textures, too. Superfine Merino is so soft! Merino/bamboo/silk is so soft, smooth, and shiny!
I keep dreaming about starting a little shop. I'm not completely sure how realistic this is, but what with the spinning with a broken wrist and the bulk of this particular newsletter being about fiber arts even though I got a plate put in my arm recently, I’m guessing that means I really do enjoy spinning and crafting quite a bit? 😆
Which, if I'm going to have a shop on my website, I should get that website finished and up and running, heh. I want to use a Pay What You Want (PWYW) model, to make it easier to spread joy and mental health to anyone who could use it! The platform I'm looking at using, Selz, supports PWYW, and you can put in minimum prices. I'd put in the notes and/or the minimums the cost of materials, and encourage those who can afford to pay a little more to do so, for the sake of those who can't, and to make it easier for me to pour time into this instead of into a "real job."😁 But even selling different things at cost would give me an excuse, I mean, a WAY to build my stash of lovely, lovely fibers!
It's funny with crafting, especially coming to it later than many, because there's always so much that people give away for free, as a hobby, out of love, baby blankets being the classic example. But then I browse fiber arts and needle felting on Etsy and find these gorgeous and adorable miniature felt animals going for about $80, with many glowing reviews of satisfied customers. So yeah, $5 seems ridiculously cheap after that, even if mine aren't as amazing. And yeah, reading about pricing when you account for not just cost of materials but time spent making, time spent marketing, cost of non-consumables like the Selz fee…
I'd like to encourage and give to people, but also make a LITTLE bit of a living at it. But also I don't mind making less than minimum wage when I'm doing something I love that I can even do while sitting outside watching my kids play in the cul-de-sac. 🤷
Of course the broken bone and surgery came with medical bills, even with what passes as good insurance, and I wouldn’t mind offsetting those bills just a little bit, either.
::tries to remember if Medically Complicated Baby’s bills have all been paid off yet, now that she’s 3 1/2 years old:: No yeah, she’s been paid off for a while now. Other than the occasional ultrasound or other test to make sure she’s still fine. It’s good. We’re fine. Everything’s fine. *whistles*
Also I have a big family of origin, to put it mildly, so if I always give everything away to you guys for free, I might bankrupt us, er, I mean, I don't think I'll be able to afford any more cool materials. 😁 Not the good, non-acrylic stuff, which is important to me after learning just a little about the damage the textile industry is doing to the environment and to the health of workers in other countries.
And anyway, if I give you gift cards to my shop for Christmas, you can pick out your very favorite items yourself. Instead of giving you a penguin when maybe you really wanted purple yarn. Or a pig wearing sunglasses. So there’s that.
Selz doesn't support pre-orders per se, but says, “…if you want to hold a pre-sale or pre-order of a product in your store, we suggest that you list your new product as a pre-sale or pre-order by adding these details into the title and description of the product,” so basically, if you're not messaging me asking, “Can you needle felt me a mantis shrimp?” but instead looking at a product listing for a crochet bag with different color options, you would pay up front, and my listing would make clear if it's not currently in stock but made to order, and tell you when to expect it to be finished and ready to ship. Just like people do on Etsy. [And I would limit the number of such items in my Selz inventory, so that I'm not (best case wish fulfillment not withstanding) overwhelmed with more orders than I can manage in a timely manner.]
So! All that to say…
Do you knit or crochet, and do you find it soothing? Would you be willing to spend five dollars plus shipping on a half ounce of gorgeous handspun yarn, if the fiber to make it cost me $6.50/oz. with shipping? What about an adorable little animal to give to a friend who's struggling who you know would love it? Or for yourself? Or would you pre-order a personalized commission, paying perhaps the rough cost of materials, and I get leftovers to add to my stash??
What do you think? How can I best serve you right now? I want my writing and any hypothetical shop to be all of a piece, in one spirit, to encourage you. Are there any topics you'd like me to write about? Would you rather I focus on the writing, and forget the making? Any particular mental health needs you're feeling? Do you want me to keep this shorter, and stop asking so many questions? :)
I think I want to change the name of this newsletter to Saving OUR Lives, because yes, it's about what's saving my life, but only as a starting point. I want us to talk and share and brainstorm together about what's saving all of us.
What's been saving your life lately?
Love in Christ,
P.S. Speaking of medical bills, who wants to buy something for Laura? Laura, what would you like? What would the girls like? Do they ever watch Puffin Rock?
Hey Marcy! I love this! I recently visited an alpaca farm -- and spent a bundle! Making scarves with the yarn (the most expensive scarves I've ever made) is therapy! I hope you'll charge enough for your time, but I completely understand that it's a pleasure not a chore. (And they're turning out adorable, too!)