Just One Anna – Still Too Many Hobbies

So here’s a problem. I have three… okay four… okay five main “hobbies” (not crafts, but organizations and people) that I spend time on. I devote every Friday night to study group, every Saturday night and every other Sunday afternoon to D&D. I devote an occasional weekend, plus crafting time, to SCA. I take voice lessons every Tuesday. And I play video games on weeknights and most Saturday afternoons. All of these things take time. I want to be good at all of them. I want to keep doing all of them – or, in the case of the SCA, increase my involvement (I miss my SCA people).

However, there are only two non-work nights in a week. And I’m committed pretty much all weekend some weekends. And I have friends and people who are counting on me at all of these things. And I LIKE doing all of these things, and want to keep doing them, or do them more.

But… I can’t. This week I need to prepare handouts for study group, write a ritual for study group, read for study group, do my wizard chores in WoW, and finish rolling up a new pathfinder character for our Outrageous Dinosaur Campaign. I also need to continue to clean out my craft room so I can use it for SCA crafts again. My Sunday D&D character could use a few hours spent on background work, plus I need to work on her gear with our DM since we’re getting to a break point and I need to spend some cash on upgrades. My WoW characters could all stand to have some stories written about them. At least I can practice singing in the car.

And really, it’s gotten to the point where I’m just so overwhelmed that I don’t do anything, and then I feel like a flake for not doing what I said I was going to do.

So in the quest to make some serious decisions about my hobbies in 2015 (since “is it fun” is way too broad a category), I am going to try to prioritize for things with tangible results (not necessarily physical, but tangible) and skills that make me a better human. If it makes me more creative, more skilled, more compassionate, more thoughtful, more spiritual, or more knowledgeable, I’m all in. This puts study group and SCA and voice lessons higher up on the list than D&D and video games, but will hopefully leave me time for all of them, because they all tick at least one of the above boxes.

And no, I’m not quitting anything. No flailing at me. Just … making myself some priorities. We’ll see how well they stick.

So far, it’s working pretty well. When I have the energy, I’m doing more productive things, and when I don’t, I’m farming up transmog gear in WoW. Not a bad situation all around.

SCA Arms Passed at Laurel

About a year ago, I decided I wanted to register a device (at that point, no AoA, so it would’ve just been a device and not arms – now it’s arms!).  With a lot of help from the local herald geek in my barony (Hi Melissa!) – who really gets credit for this one, as it was her idea – I picked something that was simple, period, and which had a lot of visual interest without being busy or covered with “thingies” (I like the thingies on some sets of arms? But I couldn’t think of any thingies that I liked and which represented me without being too busy).

Anyway – it passed Kingdom about 6 months back, with complements from one of the people that is notorious for being grouchy about non-period arms.  I figured that was a good sign.

I found out this morning that it passed Laurel Sovereign at Arms, again with complements, and the device is officially “mine”.

Per pale azure and argent a chevron rompu counterchanged

What that means?

  • Per pale means it’s divided in half from top to bottom
  • azure and argent means blue and white/silver
  • a chevron rompu is the shape (click for a plain chevron rompu)
  • counterchanged means the colors swap places across the center line

My persona – Anne atte Rydeforde (basically Anne who lives by the reedy ford) – is a late 14th century lower noblewoman. She’s of enough stature to have pretty dresses… but not enough to have very many of them.  I think this suits both of us just fine.

A new SCA advertisement

Lysts at Castleton 2009

Lysts is one of the premiere high-persona events in Ansteorra (The SCA kingdom in Oklahoma and Texas). There is only one tourney field, so everyone gets to see all of the fighting, and the local Baronies show up with pavillions and food to sponsor fighters. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m really hoping that in the midst of all the house stuff, I can manage to go this year.

People in the SCA often talk about The Dream – those moments where, even though you know you’re a reenactor, you feel like you’re really there. This can be one of those events.

I should’ve painted my face too…

So my usual illumination stuff for Monday nights got canceled today.  Instead, I went to go hang out with the fiber arts people, who have been having fun with raw fleece.

I thought I’d be safe, since they’ve already washed the fleece and would be dyeing tonight.

I was wrong.

I now have a vat on my back porch (ok, it’s a bucket) full of barely washed fleece, indigo, and the water that we washed the fleece in – yes, the dirty stuff.  I’m apparently to let that sit on the porch in the sun for 7-10 days, stirring daily, in order to create an organic fermentation/chemical reaction that will bind the indigo (a non water-soluble dye) into my fleece.

So I’ll have blue fleece.

Otherwise, I’ll have dingy fleece and a really smelly bright blue mess.  We’ll see what happens.  Come to think of it, right now what I have is dingy fleece and a really smelly bright blue mess.  I have blue-ish fingernails too.

I also got some uncarded wool, which – at first glance – is going to be a lot of fun.  My wool cards create small rolags (rolag = fluffy bit of carded wool in a little tube), and I’m trying to spin this at a thick DK/thin worsted weight off the rolags, spinning woollen.  This means I get about 2 drops per rolag, sitting down.  However – the hand washed, hand combed fleece really does spin a lot easier than the commercially prepared rovings, I think because it’s not so compact – the lanolin might help as well.

Also, I’m not having to spin from the fold, since the rolags are prepared for spinning woolen.

Spinning takes a lot longer when you have to card all the wool first.