I need to ease up on myself.

I guess I have actually done some studying today, although it wasn’t what I intended.

I’ve slightly changed the pronunciation of my chosen name, along with its spelling in kanji.  It, oddly enough, fits a question that came up yesterday, as regards another one of my names…I could either have it read “Spring Light”, or “East Light”.  The second reading is closer to the meaning of one of the names I’ve sought to replace with something similar.

I’m thinking that it’s best to shy away from the ultra-masculine “Kage” names, though at an earlier time in my life, I would go after those.  It just wouldn’t look good if I ever traveled to Japan and had the name of a (male) great feudal lord in my name, you know…whose name is also, coincidentally, used by a number of online roleplayers…

…and, I am, eventually, planning on legally changing my name.  But I’m not sure exactly how I’d enter my first name on forms, considering that in the method of Anglicization I’m using, there’s an apostrophe.  (The actual pronunciation has a glottal stop, meaning there’s a staccato right after the first syllable.)  I would then, in my daily life, be going by one or another shortened version of my chosen middle name.

What I’ve found interesting is that the old Japanese-English dictionary I used to use is now compatible with tablet computers; so I was actually able to write in the kanji using my old graphics pad and stylus.  (I reinstalled this recently, even though I will probably have to get rid of it when the upgraded OS comes out.)  From there, it was easy to find what I was looking for!

Of course, to do this, I’m thinking that it helps to know the stroke order (which I was able to intuit for some kanji), and the site is almost completely unnavigable without being able to read kana.  One would be able to see the forms, but not read the readings or know which pronunciation to use — kanji change their pronunciation dependent on which words they’re used within.  And without knowing kana, it’s just a mess of squiggly and angular lines.

*smiles*  So yeah, I guess I did a little good.  🙂  I even successfully read a bunch of things in kana today.  Go, me.  😉

I’ve also been reading in two of the art books I’ve borrowed.  The book on color, in particular, makes me want to paint — which is probably nothing but a good thing.  🙂  I love playing with colors!  It’s the main reason I ever got into beadwork…which I still haven’t been doing.  For some reason, today, I got back the idea to take up knitting, though that would likely be a nearly total waste of time for me.  I just have some pink laceweight yarn that would look nice in a rippled shawl.  It would take forever to knit, though — and I don’t have an easy way of threading rescue lines in with my circular needles.

(I forget what those are called — lifelines?  Basically, if you’re knitting lace, you can thread a line of unwaxed floss in through a row of work so that if you severely mess up, you can take the needles out and rip back all the stitches up to that line.  The line preserves the stitches in that row and orients them correctly to reinsert the needles — which matters, because twisted stitches show up in the finished product, and affect the tension of the finished product.  Why lace, you ask?  Because I didn’t know how hard it would be.)

Well, maybe it wouldn’t be a waste of time, if it got me doing something, other than sleeping.  I suppose there’s a gendered component to that, as well…which could be…well, some kind of reinforcement of something that I probably shouldn’t speculate on.  One of the books I’m reading, though, says to think about drawing, not making a drawing, and that kind of Zen-type working method is extremely present in knitting.  It’s just …really tedious work, or alternately, meditative.

I did get to the point today where I started to have nightmares while asleep, which shows me that I have really been sleeping too much.  Fun dreams are OK.  Scary dreams…not so much.  I don’t know why the Harley Quinn twins were hanging off of Grandma Maxine from those Hallmark cards, but I think it’s related to clips of the last Silent Hill game I saw.

Then there’s that acrylic throw blanket that I began at least two years ago, and never finished.  It’s just not a warm thing.  Pretty, yes.  Heavy, yes.  But not warm.  And it’s probably going to pill, and I can’t shave it because dimensional crochet.  I think I recorded some info on that, over on another blog.  At least two years ago.

I’m just finding myself…eliminating activities depending on whether I see them as dead-end hobbies, or not.  I don’t want to get to 35 and find out that everything I’ve been doing for the past 10 years is stuff that one would do if they were a married homekeeper with spare time and a secure income stream.  You’ve gotta kind of have a relationship for that to work, and I’m…just not that social.

The best I can hope for from the beadwork avenue is publishing my own patterns, and/or kits, and/or teaching classes on how to make beaded jewelry.  I never did show any of you my work, eh?  Let’s see….

Design, (c) S. Fujisaka, 2013.
Something I made before I got discouraged…

BA-HA!  So that graphics program does help!

This is a pattern I made by screwing around with beads and cord.  I’m not sure if anyone else has stumbled across it, though I’m sure someone has, and I just haven’t found them yet.  Or, they aren’t online.

The thing about this is that…with my art skills and my writing skills, I should be able to make patterns and sell them.  (I should also be able to help others make patterns, as well.  DESKTOP PUBLISHING, BABY.  And those patterns could be copyrighted, as versus a product made from those patterns…)  Actually hand-producing these things doesn’t make sense in my country, because of the high cost of labor and relatively low cost of materials.

Sure, you’ll need some things like Alligator Tape to protect your hands if they’re soft…and, well, a macrame board, pins, beads, cord, skill…but it’s really not hard to do — for me, at least.  But then, I’ve been beadweaving since I was about 14.  I moved out into macrame because of the question of copyright law; it’s much easier to create an original design with knots, for me, than it is with bead-weaving (though I’ve done some of that, too — the new Czech two-hole and four-hole beads are really expanding design possibilities, at least for beadweavers [the holes only allow one pass with the cord I’ve used for knotting], and the field with these is still young).

The main issue with selling kits like this is the entire copyright dynamic, which probably then bleeds into quality control and branding — depending on whether it were possible to copyright handcrafts at all…whether it is or not, I have no idea.  I should probably just write the U.S. Copyright office, or visit them online, or something.  I’m just kind of scared that they’ll tell me I’m doing something unethical (which is, again, the reason I dropped beadweaving).

But now that I think of the startup costs, and the time spent in design and parts acquisition, not to mention resolving errors, this is probably not as inexpensive as it seems.  The trouble is that I’d currently be underselling myself at $30.  $40 is more reasonable — then I’d be breaking even with labor and materials.  The thing is, like with any other handmade good I’m thinking of, the majority of the price is labor.  I could up the ante by using more expensive/fancy beads (e.g. Apollo finish — which is what, a year old now?  Two?), but whether that will be appreciated or not, is not something I know, from here.  Especially as I don’t even know the longevity or durability of many “fancy” colors and finishes, like Apollo.  However — it would be worth it to ask, and I’d get experience in some form of Business by cold-calling or writing Toho, for example, and asking them for some kind of brochures about durability, UV resistance, green manufacturing, etc.

What I do know is that it’s possible for me to make really, really beautiful — and original (to me, at least) — stuff.  And I have enough materials to do this now, without dealing with buying new stock (at this point, a lot of my stuff is vintage, given where I bought it).

But anyway…that’s something I was doing before I became discouraged about the entire questions of legality and tax codes and economic globalization and brand image and marketing.  But — I have, really, dreamed about working for a niche magazine publication which deals with beadwork.  It could be really cool.  I could also begin to teach classes…that could be really cool, too, especially given that macrame has the advantage of avoiding pricked fingers (unlike beadweaving, when done with most needles).  And, I probably have enough skill and experience to work for a bead store…though maybe not the right temperament.

I should probably re-join my Bead Society and try and actually make it out to the meetings, this time…it’s not an entire waste of daylight.  Unlike, hibernation…

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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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