Monday, March 30, 2015

Yarn Along (a couple days early)

Working on Wednesday mornings has really cut into my knit-blogging-time, let me tell you...
This week, however, it's Spring Break and I have all the time in the world.

After 14 years of knitting, and 12 years working at yarn shops, I have a sizable yarn stash and it is a goal of mine to begin knitting that down over the next year.
I pre-ordered Botanical Knits by Alana Dakos over two years ago, and when it came I was so excited to choose a pattern and cast on. However, I got busy and now, finally, I am starting my first project Autumn's End.
This sweater is knit from Tracie yarn that I snagged in a clearance sale a few years ago.
I'm loving the knitting. The yarn has a great bounce, and the pattern has an easy repeat.
Though, since the season finale of The Walking Dead was so awesome last night, I had to do a little triage on a few of the lace repeats this morning.

I have been on an Autobiography kick lately. In the last two months I've read/listened to Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin, I Must Say:My Life as a Humble Comedy Genius by Martin Short, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Girl Walks into a Bar by Rachel Dratch and I started, but did not finish yet, As You Wish by Cary Elwes and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. My book club decided to read Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but it proved difficult to find, so we put it off for the future. I had already ordered my copy, though, and so now I'm reading that. Any annotated book takes me years to read, I get so distracted by the notes, so I'm not too far into it, but it's an enjoyable read so far.
What's on your needles right now?
Joining Ginny

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Something New

Rather than follow my usual modus opperandus for Easter dress production (that is, working late into the night before, or the morning of) I thought I'd try something new this year.
I planned ahead.
I bought the fabric months ago, it was on clearance at the New Year's sale. I cut out a bodice right away, and then it lost priority to other projects. However, this afternoon I squeezed in an hour or two at the sewing table and finished it up.
My original bodice was of a cotton broadcloth, but as the skirt is knit it made more sense to go with a knit bodice as well. I re-purposed a t-shirt, though I had to bring it in a bit, the only solid tee I found was a size 6X. I added a ribbon sash after I attached the skirt, and voila! A super fast Easter dress.

(It is nigh on impossible to take a photo in focus of a dancing-nearly-three-year-old)

The Elder's outfit is a bit of a sticky wicket. I want to make something for her, but she is SO over dresses.
I think I'll applique some flowers from my leftover fabric on a tee, and call it a day.

What's on your creative plate today? 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Big Trip

The Elder left this morning on an adventure.
At her school, the big end of the line trip for the graduating 5th graders is a bus ride up to Ely, MN for a fun-filled 5 days in the woods (in a cabin, let's be real, it's cold up there...)

 Looking at my cool, collected, mature young lady this morning I was reminded of another milestone day, waiting for a different bus.

(first day of kindergarten 2009)

My sweet lady, I am so proud of how you are growing and I can't wait for the adventures that are coming your way.

Friday, March 20, 2015

There's a Bird on Your Head

Coming up in April, another mom and I will begin rehearsals with a group of 5th graders to produce the school play.
We got a crazy idea that we could ask Mo Willems for permission to use his Gerald and Piggie books, along with The Pigeon.

He responded the same day (through his agent), with a Yes! and we were off to the races.
We chose:
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Listen to My Trumpet!My New Friend is So Fun!Let's Go for a Drive!, The Duckling Gets a COOKIE!?, Should I Share My Ice Cream?I Broke My Trunk!The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!, and There is a Bird on Your Head!

The kids will do a lot of work with the scenery and costumes, but I got a head start (along with The Elder) on the main props for There is a Bird on Your Head!
Gerald: Piggie! Is something on my head?
Piggie: Yes. There is a bird on your head. 
They are love birds! 
They are building a nest!
Gerald: I am afraid to ask...Do I have an egg on my head?
Piggie: One, Two, Three!
Piggie: The eggs are hatching!
Birds: Cheep! Cheep! Cheep!
Gerald: I do not want three baby chicks, two birds, and a nest on my head!
Piggie: Where do you want them? 
Piggie: Why not ask them to go somewhere else?
Gerald:Excuse me, birds. Will you please go somewhere else?
Birds: No problem!
Gerald: It worked!

There is still some tweaking to be done, the birds fall out once the nest is on anyone's head, but I think that won't be hard to adjust.
Lots of hot glue went into the nest, it's felt wrapped around a Styrofoam wreath frame, and the birds I mostly made up.
I changed the colors of the birds from the book, they were a little drab for the stage.
I think the beaks all need a little adjustment as well, they're pointier in the book.
It was a fun project overall, and so satisfying that my vision came out pretty much as I had planned.
 Joining Nicole for KCCO

Friday, March 13, 2015

{this moment}

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
Joining Amanda this morning. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Finished Product

Looking at these, I guess we should have thought more about our kids' names.
This doesn't spell anything.
Unless you take me out of the equation, and then we have Ahab, which is pretty cool.

I guess the only solution is to have three more kids and give them a V name, and L name and an A name, then we could spell out one of my favorite screenwriter's names - Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

Or, maybe not...

Saturday, March 7, 2015

New Obsession

I have been having some trouble with impulse control lately.
About a month ago I had an hour to spare, and I had an uncontrollable urge to get a piercing in my upper ear.
I drove way out of my way, went to the mall, walked directly to the Piercing Pagoda and got it done.
It was a strange experience.

Last night I had a similarly difficult urge to deny, but since it involved no pain at all I went with it.

Again, I had a little time to kill between dinner and an event, so I popped in to my local art store.
I got some watercolor paper and a keen travel watercolor set.

Amy at angrychicken is partially to blame, since I had just read her post about botanical lettering and had art on the brain.

I decided to try out a couple of letters, and I am totally hooked.
The first one I pretty much copied from the tutorial Amy posted, since it was a J, and that's my initial. I drew the letter freehand, since I was using a watercolor pad, and the pages are glued down. I was working with a smaller piece of paper, so I compacted the design.

With Brian (my husband) I made it up, and I think it came out pretty well.

After it was finished he asked if I used plants beginning with B on purpose, but it hadn't even occurred to me, I just chose bleeding hearts because we have them in our garden, and I love my husband.

With The Elder, I went with plants that begin with A - artemesia and apple blossom.
We have an H and another A to go, I am really loving the challenge of finding plants that can work within the framework of a letter shape.

It's always been a goal of mine to be better at drawing and it was very satisfying to find a compact project with which to practice.
The life-changing part of this exercise is that I have been trying for a very long time to draw more realistic trees, and I couldn't figure out my block until I really studied some botanical art and noticed that the line should wiggle a little.
Really, I don't know if I can accurately express how this discovery made my day.
I am so pleased with how they are coming out, and I could see just doing an entire alphabet for The Younger's room.
I'll see how I feel after three more initials...

As a completely unrelated aside, did anyone else watch The Last Man on Earth? The Hubs and I just howled through the whole thing.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Quiet Afternoon

It was pointed out to me yesterday that I have been neglecting my little corner of the internet.
I have a couple of good reasons, first (and most importantly) something was up with my computer, and it wouldn't let me access Blogger.
I could still get it on my phone, but blogging from my phone is a laborious process, and I am fundamentally a lazy person.
The other reason is that I have been busy with knitting and haven't had the energy (due to lack of sleep, as a certain soon-to-be 3-year-old, still likes to come into our bed at night, and wake everyone up) to post about it.
I made a sweater for a customer, and a second sweater for myself.
The customer sweater came and went without a photo, even though it came out to short in the arms, and I had to take it back for elongation...
The sweater for myself is the Swivel Pullover from last winter's Interweave Knits magazine.

It came out cozy and schlumpy, which I like a lot, though with the way the cables wrap around (the main reason I chose this pattern) it really highlights m' yass.

Well, what are you gonna do?

The really awesome thing about this sweater is that it used up stash I have had for 5-6 years.
Also, it took a week.
That was pretty great too.
(don't ask how much laundry was done or how much tv the preschooler watched...)

There's not much more to share.
I spend all the afternoons I can in front of this beautiful scene.

Yesterday I was gazing out over the river, the soft sounds of a snoring Youngest in the backseat, and a bald eagle glided down to look for fish.
It was wonderful.
What's on your needles lately?