Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Pita's Again

So awhile back I was procrastinating in as many ways as possible and came across a book named pita the great. I decided that instead of writing my research paper I should make flat bread. They worked out really well so I made them again for Jason today. Unfortunately they did not produce the pocket like they should have because I was lacking a rolling pin and wax paper. I lost two of them to paper towel sticking problems. Oh well. They are still tastey and Jason is devoiring them before dinner is even ready.

And here is a picture of Molly looking kind of ticked off. She was watching me take pictures of the pitas, so I took a picture of her too.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Somewhat Cowl Finished!

So, I finished by June 1st like I said I would and here are some pictures to prove it.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ambitious Indiscriminate Reading

I just finished reading a book called What Happened to Art Criticism? by James Elkins and could not help feeling a little hopeless that I would most likely remember what he wrote and some of the main points that he made, but I would not be able to remember that is was him who wrote them or the name of the book they are in. This is a sad state to be in. My memory is so poor when it comes to authors and titles that while writing research papers and just random essays I have a large amount of knowledge that I cannot use because I cannot remember who attribute it to.

In Elkins conclusion he states that "Each writer, no matter what their place and purpose, should have an endless bibliography, and know every pertinent issue and claim. We should all read until our eyes are bleary, and we should read both ambitiously... and also indiscriminately - finding work that might ordinarily escape us."

It was this little half of a paragraph that made me think hard about how I do read ambitiously and indiscriminately, but I feel often to no avail because I cannot remember what goes with what and where my ideas start and the author's end.

I have for a long time now wanted to keep a running list of books that I read and what I felt about them. I have tried it several times, but always run out of room or loose the notebook I was keeping my list in. So for the same reason that I started blogging about my craft/art things, I am going to start a blog about what I read. It is the perfect format for me to keep track of things and the archive will work as a "finished reads" index because the title of each post will be the title of the book or article that I am discussing.

Because I have a constant list of books that I am reading at any given time, I usually finish one a week. I am planning on posting one review a week with other smaller posts scattered around about other literary things (like books I buy, library lists, events, and other random things I find).

I'm very excited about this project and I hope that in among all the reading and writing going on I will improve my own writing so it will someday be more coherent and organized.

The name of the blog is Ambitious Indiscriminate Reading, there is a link in the sidebar permanently, and the address is http://ambitiousindiscriminatereading.blogspot.com. The first review should be up by tomorrow evening, so check back then if you wish. I really hope to get some feedback from this project too. Let me know if you've read the books I am reading, if you think what I am saying makes sense or is a load of junk. I want to know how you felt about the books that I review dispite what I may say.

That is about all for now. I may put together a more craft related post later, but for now the laundry is calling me.

Until next time!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Cat Attack!

Jason and I have an indoor cat named Molly (mostly his cat because she live with him in Ames, but I helped rescue her and help him take care of her as much as I can from afar). She loves to go outside, but we really can't trust that she will come back or not get killed, so we take her on walks like someone would their dog. She's become quite a good little walker. We decided to take her for a short walk the other night because it was so nice out and kind of hot inside. We were going along just fine and she dropped, tail flat on the ground and looking pretty scared. I bent over to see if she was okay and when I glanced up there was a huge cat (I mean small long haired mountain lion really) coming at us from between the parked cars. I have been around cats my whole life and have seen many cat fights, but usually if a person comes up and makes a noise, the other cat tends to run off or at least stand down. You can imagine my surprise when this cat not only kept growling and hissing, but continued to approach. Molly has only hissed once in the year that we have had her so to hear her start to growl and hiss back was really surprising too. The other cat moved in for the attack and Molly crouched down for the defense... The big cat sprang, but before he could get a claw on her I grabbed her up and out of harms way (this cat would have kicked her butt, she may be young and with claws, but not only has she never been in a fight, but she was on a leash which is kind of a disadvantage). The big cat was pissed! He then decided that if he could not fight with Molly, he would pick a fight with me! He lunged at me, claws out, and thank goodness I was not wearing a skirt! He grappled onto my thigh and waist hissing and spitting what I'm sure were nasty cat words. Jason pulled him off and we ran away... Yes, two full grown humans ran away from a cat! I set down Molly when we were closer to the house and looked at my arms, they were covered in claw cuts from my fingers to my shoulders. All in all Molly was fine, but I ended up with 4 wounds worthy of band-aids and many more long scratches.

Here is a picture of how it went.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Book loot!

So Jason and I went to the ISU surplus warehouse today and I found some amazing stuff. Mainly there was all this scientific experimental stuff that I would like to just have around for still lives and photo references, but that is not a good enough reason to buy any of it. Jason might actually be able to use it for what it was made for or for parts, but that is his department not mine. They did have a range of affordable dining service stuff that I wanted a ton of, like these little saucers... But I have enough dishes. Jason did decide that I needed a insulated pitcher to put my hot water in for tea so it won't go cold, or coffee for the same reason and it was only $3! What a deal. I also scored 5 books at 25 cents each, amazing price, and that is what I have pictured here.

This is a German book that I found, why the library decided to get rid of a book printed in the 1920's I will never know, but I don't mind adding it too my library. The font look pretty old and I love the illustration on the front. I think I might photocopy it and make a monotype print from it. Jason's old roommate just got back from being in Germany for a year and has become fairly proficient in speaking/reading it, so I'm going to ask him to translate at least the title for me.

This is an old book on drawing outdoor (which for the record I already know how to do), but I do have a fondness of old "how-to draw/paint/make art" books. This one has some pretty nice illustrations.
This is a French book I found called Image de l'homme (image of man or man's image). It is actually a student version so there is vocab in the back and footnotes for complex parts of the text, even if it is dry reading, it would be helpful to my studies so I picked it up too.

I also found a book on historical images of Pakistan... It has amazing illustrations and old looking maps in it... A whole mass of visual references and inspirations. I can't wait to have time to read some of the text.
I also found this book about Leo, who is a late bloomer and his parents are waiting for him to bloom and than he finally does. It reminded me a lot of when I was a kid, not the drawing part, but the reading and writing and messy eating (I am still a messy eater). My mom used to call me here little mum (the flower), because she said it just takes me a little longer to bloom, but I'm just as beautiful (mum's are one of her favorite autumn flowers). I wasn't able to read more than a word or two together until I was about 10 year old, but by age 12 I was reading complex books by adult standards and even now I hold reading very dear to me and read everything I can, fiction and non-fiction alike.

I also want to show you a picture of Jason and I's lovely little lady.... She has no feet! Oh no!
She's actually been pretty sick lately with an ear infection, but after being on some meds for 2 days she is doing a lot better. The infection was causing a lot of waxy build up, sneezing, and coughing. She also got her shots, but she was about the best cat I've ever seen at the vet, Jason didn't even realize that they had stuck her because she stood so still. What a good little kitty!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bookmarks on sale!

Well I was a little late with posting the bookmarks on etsy, but they are up today. You can go to my store to check it out. They are laminated, which I wasn't sure about doing at first, but it actually looks really nice and will help them to hold up over the long run. Here are pictures of them

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Marking up some bookmarks

So I print my first set of bookmarks up. They will be up for sale at my Etsy.com store (Kristin.Roach.Originals) for $1.50 plus 50 cents shipping and handling. I will be posting them tomorrow (they need to finish drying). Here is a picture of the unlaminated set and a test print.
I also swung by a quilt store here in Ames, it was huge! There were so many cute fabrics and books and things and things and things... I had a hard time not spending all my money there, but I managed to escape with only a half of a yard, I think it's the fabric I'm going to focus my quilt on, green and cat's playing music! Here's a picture!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Crewel Beginnings

So, I'm not sure what the officially name of this stitch technique is, but it reminds me of the crewel work I've been doing. I found it at my parents' house this past week. I vaguely remember making it for my mom for mother's day from a kit that my grandma gave me. On the back it says "to: mom from: Kristin 1993" geese that was a long time ago, I was only 10 years old. It was about this time that I tried making my first dress too! It's strange that 13 years later I am finishing my first sweater (only the ribbing on a sleeve and the cowl to go!). I will post pictures of the sweater later today.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Vacational Bliss

Ah, the three week break, how wonderful. I've been enjoying my jobless/schooless vacation in Ames, IA thus far. It's been really productive. I've posted my pattern for sale, started a quilt block swap, made two book holder proto types, cooked, cleaned stuff, played with power tools, I'm almost finished with my first sweater (the somewhat cowl from knit and tonic), almost finished with my second water bottle sling, and tomorrow I'm going to go exploring on my bike in ames. It should be fun. It's been nice having a cat around and jason for that matter. Here is a picture I took this afternoon of him and our funny little lady (she actually likes laying like this i swear!).

I have also learned how to purl correctly, which is good and I also learned how to knit backwards. Now why would knitting backwards be useful? When making a 8 stitch strap for my water bottle sling and being to lazy to turn my work.

I also made a trip to Hobby Lobby for two things and happened upon the clarance section... and oh what a section it is. This is what I ended up taking home. I personally felt that I had great restraint. I was really excited about finding the megentia block print ink for 2.40! I think I will have to experiment with that tomorrow (after my ride of course). The square buttons were really great to find too, I think they will be perfect for the blouse I'm going to make when I get back to my apartment (no sewing mechine here this time).

Oh, I almost forgot! After stressing out about grades this semester and disliking my professors and thinking that I am bad at French... I earned straight A's! After all my hard work in school, at work, and at home I was able to do it! How exciting right? I guess I really do well under pressure. I was going to school full time this semester and working 20-30 hours a week, sometimes more, plus reading and knitting and other things that have occupied me that have nothing to do with school. What a relief! I thought that this semester would kill my gpa and instead it helped it.

Well, I'm off to bed... and to listen to the rain, I do love that sound. It's one I can never get sick of, it just better not rain tomorrow, I want to ride my bike!


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pattern on sale!

So I finally finished up the pattern for the water bottle sling. It is available at http://kristinr.etsy.com for $5. It's really easy to knit up, there is no finishing, and only takes about one skien of yarn to make! I put a link to the store in the side bar and a button at the top of the sidebar that says "kristin.roach.originals".

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Banner is up

So thanks to the html savy of my half asleep boyfriend who is resting his head on my shoulder I was able to get the banner up on my site. I'm a little annoyed because there is a little white line around it, but I will try to fix that later, I think it has to do with flickr more than me so I might just have to live with it until I get different hosting. Off to work on my other projects!

Grand Opening tomorrow!

So I'm gearing up for the grand opening of my online store tomorrow. I have only two things to sell right now, but that's the plan. Why? Because I'm going to introduce a new one of a kind items or replenish stock every Wednesday and I will introduce a new type of item once a month, I will decide the premire date later, most likely the second wednesday of every month, that way it will not interfere with getting the quilt block swap members info sent out the first of every month (which I will be sorting out for a few days i'm sure, those things always take more time than you expect them to).

I also made a new banner for my blog, but have yet to figure out how to actually make it my banner, I'm just figuring out how to use html, but that is a night time after dark activity. Right now, I'm going to go outside and play.... with power tools!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Painting time!

Well, so I know that I haven't had any pictures to post in a long time, so I had my friend Jill take some pictures. There are two assignments that I was working on. The first is to create a collage and than paint it to scale as exactly as possible. The second, which I am shown working on in the second picture (I will post a finished picture of that later). I have another painting which I will post later as well. I figure that I mention from time to time that I am a painting major, so I figured that I would show to you that I am not making things up.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Button Time!

I made up a button for the the swap, I think I will make a better one when I have more time. Here she be, feel free to add to your side bar when you sign up for the swap!

Rain.... today!

Well, I was supposed to be heading off to a vegan bbq this afternoon, but even though it's been nice all week, the clouds decided to spew out some rain today. So it goes, it will most likely clear up around 4pm, after the bbq is due to be over. So what to do instead... hmmm... I think I will get that package ready for my secret swap knitting, tea loving pal... long name right.. hmm that will give me a good excuse to go look at all the teas in the bins at the co-op here in town and possibly take a trip to the yarn shop (my stash is kind of small and all the yarn that isn't heading for a project is not heading for a project because it's kind of cheap crappy yarn). I'm not going to send her yarn that I got for 25 cents at the county thrift market... it's some kind of wierd acrylic/nylon, 1960's yarn from rochelle, il... oddly enough that is the next town over, hmm.... it is kind of soft actually... no, she deserves better!

Oh and I made a new banner for my quilt block swap, but i'm unfortunately without photoshop right now so I can't make it the right size, how lame. maybe I could post it here.... nope, totally didn't work, the file is just too big. I guess it will have to wait. I do have a picture of one of the squares that I made for my first ever! How exciting! The whole quilt was made from scrap fabric and old clothes, I made it for my boyfriend who lives far away in the tundra of Iowa. This is his favorite square, he took the picture and sent it to me. This square was made from some old pj's, some boxers from when I was in junior high, fabric I found at the thrift store, and the purple is fabric that was left over from a dress my grandma made for one of her porcline dolls (she made victorian style dolls and all of their clothes, so when she died I recieved all of her sewing things, fabric, and tons of lace.... I really miss her). Along the bottom of the picture you can see some green and red. The red is left overs from a baby blanket my mom made for a neighbor and the green was from the first dress that I ever tried to make. Tried and didn't finish... hehe... I made a moch up of it and spent so much time on that that I never got to the material I was supposed to be using. I should have just jumped into, but I was only 10 or so and didn't know any better. Excuse the poor quilting stitches, it was my first quilt after all.

Hmmm... so I'm leaving on vaction in a day, but you will not notice the differnce except fewer posts over the weekend, but on Monday I'm going to try to start whipping my blog into shape. I will have update pictures of my projects and by Wednesday I will have my KristinR.etsy.com up and running. There is a link to that on the side bar. There is also a link the the quilt block swap. I'm getting a little better at html, it's taking me awhile to remember it, I haven't really tried too hard since highschool! (6 years ago!).

I have a few different things in the works for my store, but it's a suprise, so check it out on Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Quilt Block Swap

So I've opted to just start this thing rolling. You can find the Quilt Block Swap blogsite at http://quiltblockswap.blogspot.com! Come check it out and sign up. I have so many ideas for 12"x 12" squares it's rediculous. I am looking for some links to resources that would be good for fiber arts in general and quilting how to's. If you know of any leave me a comment. Thanks! (Go sign up to swap now!)

Idea #11!

So, I've been on this kick of ways to get use all of my scrap material and yarn. I'm trying not to buy more supplies or at least a very limited amount for the rest of the summer. So idea #11! Now this idea involves people getting involved, and i'm not sure if anyone even reads my blog except my family, but if you do and if you are out there and if you like to quilt this post is for you!

Back on track now, so idea #11, basically what I would like to do is get together a group of quilters who are not obsessive complusive and arrange a quilt block swap!

Basically this would entail signing up, making 2 quilt blocks, and send them to another quilter. You will also recieve 2 quilt blocks from another secret swap pal. At the end of the month I will redistribute the names and you will make and recieve another 2 quilt blocks. They will all be the same size, but you can use any pattern you want or no pattern at all.

Let me know what you think.... I just need a little feedback before I take a leap of faith like this.

Until next time!

My Store is Open!.... Kind of...

Well, what has been in the works for awhile now is finally being realized! I am opening a store at esty.com which you can find at kristinr.etsy.com. I do not have any items list yet. But that's basically because I'm just waiting to take some pictures of the items that I have and I am going though and knitting a pattern that I wrote to get all the bugs out. If anyone would like to do a test knit just let me know, I will send you the pattern and you can let me know how it works out. It's for the water bottle sling that I created about a month ago. I have had so many people ask me where I got it and when I tell them that I made it they ask me to make them one, which I refuse because they would expect it to be about $5 when I would want to charge like $25! So I decided to make a pattern up for it and people can just make it themselves. I'm also wondering how much I should sell the pattern for. I'm debating between $4 or $5. So to sum up:

1. I am looking for test knitters to knit a pattern that uses k2tog, kfb, three needle bind-off, picking up stitches, and working in the round on a set of 5 dpn size 4 or 2, please leave a comment to let me know if you are up to the challenge!
2. My shop can be found at http://kristinr.etsy.com and will be openned officially with items posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2006!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Little people... what an idea!

When I was in highschool and in my first years of college I used to draw these little people all the time. I don't really draw them much anymore, but when my mom went to a baby shower yesterday, an old friend of mine named rose asked what i had been up to and somehow it was mentioned that i knit a whole lot. Rose said, you know she should make little dolls of those people that she used to draw, I bet they would translate well to fiber. You know what Rose, that's a brilliant idea. I like it! So this afternoon I wipped together a proto-type pattern, filled with errors, and I should have one little guy done by the end of the week. I think I will make him a little friend and they can hang out together. I'm thinking about also doing a embroidered version too, an idea I'm borrowing from wee wonderfuls, which you can check out here: http://weewonderfuls.typepad.com/wee_wonderfuls/2006/04/red_head.html

And that is all for now, I'm going to con my friend with some dinner and see if she will take some pictures for me.

Tea Swap!

Hmmm... so! There is a woman who decided that knitting and tea is the best combination, and that other people most likely think so too... she was right! I think so! So she is going to host a tea swap for knitters. In a package you send your swap pal three things:
1. a package of your favorite tea
2. a treat to eat with the tea (cookies/scones)
3. 2 skiens of yarn from your stash... unfortunately I do not have a huge stash, but I'm sure I
can save up enough to buy two skiens for my soon to be swap pal!
I also said that I would be fine with an international buddy, so maybe I will be sending my package overseas, how exciting! Today is the last day to sign up, you should do it too! Just go to knittersteaswap.blogspot.com and send her an email with your info.