Tired-but-happy Tuesday

Sorry folks but you’ll have to wait until next week for the Suit of Pentacles. I was at a convention all weekend, including running two games, and I am still wiped out. It was a resounding success (well done to my dear friend Anna), something I suspected when my one-card pull for the weekend was the Three of Staves/Wands- successful cumulation of enterprises.

Anyway, so tired. So I’ll keep this short and sweet and grateful:

Things I’m thankful for right now: the Best Beloved (who took very good care of me this weekend) tea, a warm bed, early nights, newbies having a good time in my games, laughing with friends, enthusiasm, healing, moving forward, the borrowing of a deliciously warm and snuggly fleece-lined cloak from my best beloved, shenanigans with my friends, meeting new people, Pin Up Girl’s Erin dress, snuggling, shoulder/neck/head rubs, spontaneous Bohemian Rhapsody, loom band bracelets, the Parlour, SARK, recharged Kindle with new Francesca Lia Block goodness, friendly bus drivers, the Post-Punk Kitchen, having limbo music stuck in my head, big strong men cringing away from me because I had an open tub of glitter, knitting, taking a round off to set up for a game and more importantly nap, paneer makhani at the end of a long weekend, getting portrait photos with my man, seeing people play roles I’d written and it being just how I’d imagined, and delicious sleeeeeeep. 

And finally, a snapshot of what one of my flatmates is like:

*Flatmate W runs up behind me.*

“Ellen! Ellen! Ellen!”

*I turn around from where I have been walking with the Best Beloved.*


“[Best Beloved] was looking for you.” *grins*

“You, sir, are a helper!”

Monsterful Monday: My Arcana Courts 2: Cups

Another week has come and gone, and it was a big week at that. Before I start in on the Cups in my life, special gratitude goes to the movers, Air New Zealand, my Best Beloved for assembling my bed and wardrobe/bookshelves AND taking delivery of all my stuff the day before I arrived, my lovely new flatmates and new work colleagues who so far seem like good people. 

http://bit.ly/1o5GjVC  published under Creative Commons- http://bit.ly/1mhaR6eKnight of Cups by Cassandra Santori Queen of Cups by Cassandra Santori King of Cups by Cassandra Santori

So. Cups. 

Love. Beauty. Emotional richness. Overflowing feelings. I think these people are forces of nature in your life, whether a whirlwind of inspiration, or “receding and returning gently or passionately, or moving lovingly like the tide” (from ‘To love is not to possess’ by James Kavanaugh). Cups people surprise you with joy, with support, with artistic and creative passion. 

My page/princess/daughter of Cups is, as I mentioned on Thursday, Anna C, at the moment, for her planting the seed of inspiration and encouragement to keep going at Acro. She’s full of zest for life and it’s infectious, it makes me want to live to the full just as she does. I’m so grateful to have her shining a light on the path for me. 

My Knight of Cups, well, there are a few. Those people who, when I say ‘oh I’d love to do this when X happens’, reply ‘but why do you have to wait for X, why not do it now?’. Like a former work colleague, J, who when I mentioned the idea of reception bingo (the Offbeat Bride site is a secret compulsion. Not so secret now.) pointed out that I could do the same thing for my birthday, and even prettied up the bingo cards for me. I had so much fun with them and it’s thanks to her. I’m so grateful to those people who push me to live that bit more wildly, to follow my passions and not wait for permission. I’m so lucky and grateful they do. 

The Queen of Cups? Well, at the moment, that’s groups of people too. My fellow Witchbabies at the Parlour. The knitters of the Tiny Owl Knits group on Ravelry. These are wonderful, nurturing, supportive groups. When I, or anyone else needs it, they’re there with (virtual) hugs, good wishes, good energy, and unfailing support. From random acts of kindness to craft swaps to tarot readings, we buoy each other up with love and beauty. In my eyes everyone in those groups is a Queen of Cups, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.

The King of Cups, the triumphant achievement of love? Well, even though the magnet card for my Best Beloved is the King of Pentacles (more on that when I talk pentacles!) I think of him as my King of Cups as well. Yes, I know, I’m a hopeless romantic. But he brings so much love and happiness, I finally feel like I’ve got it right, like I’ve found what so many people look for. I hope, too, to be my own King of Cups one day, as I’m still a work in progress when it comes to self-love, awareness of my own beauty, and mining the depths of my own emotional richness. I’ll get there. And as I do, I’m so grateful to have the loving presence of my Best Beloved in my life. 

How about you? Who are the people in your life that you’re thankful for? Who brings that special Cups energy into your life, and how? Let me know in the comments!

Monsterful Monday: My life in boxes

'moving II' by Robert S. Donovan- https://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/

‘moving II’ by Robert S. Donovan- https://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/

Just keep packing

The move up to Auckland, which seemed distant even a week ago is now approaching in a manner akin to a freight train. Thankfully, this weekend just gone was that rare and shimmering thing, commitment-free. Somehow, and most of the time, I end up with most every weekend booked with one thing or another, and I’m not complaining. But with the movers arriving on Friday (eek!) to collect my things, I really valued being able to hermit it up and just focus on putting things in boxes. I’m also grateful to Scott for supplying at least some of said boxes.

The furniture I’ve listed on Trade Me has all either already sold, or been bid on (so it will be going), which is another thing to be grateful for, along with the fact that there’s plenty I haven’t had to list because it already had takers.


I can’t even begin to describe how much less stressful packing for this move has been compared to the last one and the reason for it is very simple. I. Have. Less. Stuff. CONSIDERABLY less. My-clothes-fit-in-two-suitcases-now less. I’m so glad I started getting rid of things when I did, it’s meant I’m much further along in the process than I would be otherwise.

I shall call them Squishy. And they shall be mine. And they shall be my Squishies.

Packing the hexipuffs gave me a chance to count how many I have. 220! That means I’m over halfway to a single-bed-sized snuggly quilt of smooshy goodness. It will be glorious!

Come into my Parlour (well, come into Veronica’s Parlour)

This weekend just gone I watched my first recordings of Veronica Varlow’s online tarot circle, the Parlour, because it’s something I’m interested in learning more about (and now that the Atomic Tarot Kickstarter has been funded, I’ll be getting a beautiful deck of my own). I’m watching the recordings because watching the live webinar would mean getting up at 6am on a weekend (but next week it’s on a Monday my time, I might be lucky!) So far, so fascinating. This week, she covered magnet cards- cards that appear again and again for you. For me, at least one of them is the King of Pentacles, which shows up regularly in relationship-type questions since I got together with the Best Beloved. I choose to believe that makes him my own personal King of Pentacles. There’s a great community for the Parlour too, and I can already tell I’m going to enjoy getting to know them better.

Special mentions

Extremely pink pink nailpolish, sushi, warm bed and sleep, mini skeins, my Tetris skills (coming in very useful for fitting things in boxes), Youtube playlists, helpful moving companies (who can’t help but point you at people who can), and the Best Beloved, always.

Monsterful Monday: I shall call him Squishy

Best Beloved

Another weekend with the Best Beloved has come and gone far too quickly, but has left me with plenty to be grateful for. Obviously, snuggling was high on the agenda, but we also got out and about for some great food- Sweet Mother’s Kitchen, where we enjoyed curly fries (obviously), a prawn po boy (for me), a Big Easy burger (for him- and they’re not kidding about the big!), plus milkshakes (the ‘salty dawg’ salted caramel had me sipping compulsively, he had passionfruit (to make a change from banana chocolate); and Strawberry Fare where we and some friends had a tough time narrowing down the dessert options. There was mooching in Arty Bee’s secondhand bookstore (“What would you like to do this weekend?” I ask him, “Arty Bees?” he says with a hopeful smile), strolling around hand in hand, and lots of great conversation. One of the things that keeps surprising me with more joy is how much the Best Beloved and I think alike. There’s a saying that love is holding hands and facing in the same direction, and I definitely think we are- which is a huge thing to be grateful for.

Just keep knitting, just keep knitting…

Like any good crafter I have a few different projects on the go, and I’m slowly getting them finished. I’ve been bringing a little bag with polyfil, sock yarn, needles and a crochet hook to work which has resulted in my getting a few more hexipuffs knitted for my Beekeeper’s Quilt– that really is going to be a huge achievement when I finally finish it (though my flatmate has asked to be allowed to roll around on the un-assembled pile of puffs before I sew it together). I don’t call them hexipuffs most of the time, though. I call them squishies. Because I am Dory from Finding Nemo.

I’ve also got the secret birthday/gift projects still on the go and those are working up a lot faster- but it’s hardly surprising as those don’t involve making over 300 teeny stuffed knitted hexagons out of sock yarn (but the finished result is going to be SO worth it.).

Big steps forward

Or what I hope will be. I’m so grateful I’ve got the chance to sell off my stash at the Social Wool Fair. I’ve had big bags of yarn sitting around waiting for me to find a way to get them out of my possession and into new loving yarny homes, along with a pile of books of patterns I know I’m not going to knit from again, which need new owners, so I’m excited for this weekend. The Best Beloved has promised to text me regularly with “no, put it down, you don’t need it, you’re selling yarn remember?”- what can I say? He’s supportive of the de-cluttering process, which is really lovely. Also…the Social Wool Fair has baking! Resisting all the yarn means I’ll deserve some cake, right?

Special mentions:

So far, I have not caught my flatmate’s strep throat (so she successfully kept her germs contained)- she also won a ticket to the premiere of ‘What We Do In the Shadows‘ by being awesome at crafting, so yay for her! Getting excited about going to a special screening of said film the next night with a Q&A after with Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement. And the ticket comes with a bottle of ‘Delicious Necks’ beer- can’t wait! Tasty sushi, lots of blankets on the bed, mini-skeins of sock yarn just big enough for a couple of squishies (if like me you have no attention span getting to change colours often is really good…shiny!…), the Tiny Owl Knits forum on Ravelry, my Five Minute Journal, meditation, having almost a full roster of players for the Saturday night flagship game I’m co-GMing at the Chimera LARP convention (and a full roster for the Sunday morning game), finishing sewing projects, and knowing that I’ll be seeing the Best Beloved every fortnight between now and August.

How about you? What’s giving you warm fuzzies this week?


Monsterful Monday- is it Friday yet?

I realised I haven’t explained why I call these posts ‘Monsterful Monday’. Monsterful is an obscure word I learned from a Buzzfeed list of archaic words we should bring back. I also like the word ‘curmuring’- it means the noises your body makes when you’re digesting (you know, those sounds that seem like they would be hunger but are actually the opposite)- yes, there’s a word for it! Anyway, ‘monsterful’ means wonderful, terrific, good stuff- and it seemed like a great thing to call a weekly gratitude list.

Conquering the FOMO

At least a little. If you’re unfamiliar with the acronym it stands for Fear Of Missing Out. It’s something I’ve struggled with since I was very small. Mum and Dad still remember a trip to the local pier when I was about 3 or 4, where I got to go on all the rides, and as I came away said “but we didn’t get any candy floss!”. As an adult, it’s still something I struggle with but it’s a long story and a slow process. One of the reasons it’s unhealthy is a tendency to ignore what my body/mind are telling me they need, in order to push myself to go to events. This weekend there were three LARP events- an in-character feast (think of it as live-action fanfic), a session of ‘The World That Is’ a fantastic post-apocalyptic campaign I’m in that runs a 4 hour session every few months, and a day-game (again 4 hours) for the same campaign the fanfic was for. I was intending to go to all three, but threw my back sitting on the hard floor at the World That Is session (that’s what happens when your character’s brother has been injected with a high concentration of a drug, is recovering and you’ve had to move away from the med bay with the chairs because someone has a bomb fused into their belly and they’ve cleared the area…to say a lot happens at these games is an understatement).

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I decided that what I really wanted to do on Sunday was rest up, so that’s what I did. An older version of me would have gone to the day game anyway, worrying that if I didn’t I would miss out on something important or be excluded.

I still nosed into the paper my flatmate Blair was reading at brunch, so I’m not perfect, but it’s getting better, and for that I’m very grateful.

Rude knitting

I have a couple of friends with birthdays coming up who have a hearty appreciation of filth, and it’s a great opportunity to break out the knitting projects which make it fun to answer the question ‘ooh, what are you making?’. Actually, I always enjoy answering that question, but when the answer is ‘a ball gag’, well, it’s food for my rebellious side. And yes, I really did knit one (just need to seam it). If you’re curious about this kind of project, there are two books I’d highly recommend- ‘Naughty Needles’ by Nikol Lohr, and ‘DomiKnitRix’ by Jennifer Stafford (seriously, how can you not love a title like that?). You can also (I have discovered) search Ravelry’s pattern database for Mature Content. Don’t ask me how I found that out.

Awesome friends

I’m very blessed to have many wonderful people in my life. This week, a special mention for my friend Sophie who runs The World That Is. I was hideously disorganised about letting her know I was attending, and giving her a character update, but she was very patient and kind as always, and even gave me some personal plot in the game (which I wasn’t expecting).

Mercury Retrograde

An attack of deja vu at the weekend signalled the start of the month of Mercury bats foggy-communication technology weirdness. But it’s also a chance to reflect, work on things from the past that need letting go of, revisit and reassess. I’m working a lot on forgiveness and letting go of negative charges towards others at the moment, and Mercury Retrograde energy supports that- at least from what I’ve read. I am very much a newbie at this stuff, but I’ve found Mystic Medusa in particular to be very helpful and informative. Anything that helps is something to be grateful for! And so far my computer hasn’t gotten fried (though a colleague has had to restart her computer three times this morning).

Special mentions

Yet more serendipity supporting my bid to downsize (this week it was a work colleague offering to take old towels for the Cats Protection League- not only was I able to divest stuff, but it’s going to care for animals in need of love!), writing inspiration, texts from friends keeping me cheerful, experimental cooking (yes, again- this week it was Mac and Cheese burritos), meditation, and best of all, looking forward to a visit from the Best Beloved this weekend (hence the title of this post).