Hey, friends, family, whomever reads this - 

I'm still slowly getting back to normal.  The other widows I've spoken to tell me I'm actually doing great for almost 9 months out, though the progress still feels glacial.  As many people have told me, though, I'm trying to be kind to myself and just be patient with the sadness and the slow progress.  It is progress, though!

I've actually been doing TONS of crafts (I try to do something every day, and I can't always bring myself to do my research work, so I work on crafts instead), and have learned lots of new things - weaving and leatherburning (inscribing designs with heat into leather, like woodburning) come to mind most quickly.  I've also been doing a lot of thinking lately about opening up my own Etsy shop.  DeForest had been nudging me for quite a while to do so, and lately other people are really doing so, too.  I've had several people ask if they could commission leatherworking from me in the last few months, and several others note that my sewing skills are getting quite sharp, and others tell me that I'm good enough that I should start charging for my art.  So I might open a little shop soon and see how it goes!

One of the first things in the shop will probably be a downloadable PDF pattern to making my SCA hood, which will include neat variations about how to make it with a liripipe (the long tail you see on some medieval hoods) and how to make a piecework leather version of it (I made an amazing leather and fur hood for Winter Revel in January - pictures will be posted soon!).  It will be easily printable on 8.5" x 11" paper.

I also really love customizable work.  I'm going to be tinkering with leatherburning small images and quotes into leather scraps, and might be putting up offers to do customizable work on those, too.  Also, I really like the piecework leather dice bag I made, and I think I could price that at a level that would both be able to sell and tempting enough (time and materials wise) for me to make it.  I've looked at what others are offering out there, and no one is selling piecework leatherwork like I am, that I can tell.  Maybe my friends are onto something when they tell me that my pieceworking is really awesome and I should sell it.  :)

Anyway, those are some of my current thoughts.  I have a bunch of pictures of things that I hadn't posted from before DeForest passed, so those projects are able to go up.  I mislaid my camera some months ago, so I only have crappy cell phone pictures of some of my recent projects, but those will go up at some point, too.  Also, a lovely friend has an old camera that she said she'll send me soon, so I can get back to taking photos of things.

Life is still really hard, and I'm a good ways away from stable yet.  But things are heading in the right direction, and I'm excited about seeing if I can sell some things.  So, yay.