Sunday, October 29, 2006

down and up again

So sorry no posts for a bit here, I've been trying, but I don't know if it is just me or blogger, but everytime I have gotten an error, and now I'm not sure what really has been posted and what hasn't, so I'm starting fresh. I will start regular (blogger providing) posting on Wednesday evening. I have a paper due Tuesday so no distractions tomorrow.

There will be a new pattern over at crafty leftovers this Friday!

Have a good week!

Monday, October 23, 2006


Okay, so I was planning on a longer post but I have had a bit of a crisis: I went to officailly drop my french class and they won't let me! It turns out that I missed the withdraw deadline by less than 48 hours! So now I am in French again and have to finish my homework tonight for class tomorrow morning! plus study for my art history exam! I am appealing my case to the dean on Thursday, but until I find out for sure I need to do my homework! So ugh! I was looking forward to less stress and instead I find myself full of it! I am not going to be able to post on Wednesday because of cramming, but will on Friday. Sorry! Have a good week, I sure hope mine gets better.

editted in: So I have stopped freaking out and realized that I wouldn't normally start working on my french homework until today anyway, so really not so bad. Also, I think I'm just going to stick it out. This semester has flown by so I'm sure the rest of it will as well..... and something that made me emencely happy. I checked in on a craftster post I did awhile ago on crafty leftovers and check this out... someone made my pattern! and it was their first sewing pattern! And they still understood how to make it! How exciting/encouraging! Okay, so back to homework... I just didn't want everyone thinking that my life was all doom and gloom today. I guess, this not being able to withdraw from french class must have happened for a reason. Have a good week!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ups and Downs

Okay, so I realize that readership often depends on regular posting and well, i blew it with crafty leftovers.... I was late posting patterns and had a heck of a month trying to pull it back together... and because of it everyone that was reading, well, isn't. And it's kind of sad, I was feeling sorry for myself and I posted my pattern today thinking "is anyone really going to even see this or care" or "has anyone even looked at the site today" so I clicked on the site meter icon on the bottom of Crafty Leftovers and lo' and behold I saw that someone had found my site through another site.... so I was curious and wanted to see if it was random or if I was mentioned somewhere.... I was on someone's frequent blog/site list! I was right under Wee Wonderfuls and Hello My Name is Heather! I read those all the time, so to be included in the same list, well, even if I am at the bottom, makes me pretty happy. So thank you person out there who added me to your list. It made my day!

I don't really have much to report. I haven't really made much since Wednesday and don't really have any projects planned for the weekend because I will be spending time with my family for my Dad's birthday. (I get to see Jason too, horray! I haven't seen him in 3 weeks). I am working at the Yarn Exchange tomorrow, which is always nice, I hope I can remember all the passwords for everything I need to remember them for.... fingers crossed.

I did finally get my book back, which is great, just seeing all of the wonderful projects makes me inspired. Plus I always get nervous loaning out my books, it seems I rarely get them back.

Well, it is way passed my bedtime, so I am going to go to sleep now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I feel a rant coming on....

...But I swear I will try to suppress it until after the progress photos. So here they are:

I've been trying to pick up and finish old projects, so dug into my bag and found one sock + one cuff of a sock. So I finished up the heel flap and have been working to finish my first pair of properly fitting socks!

Here is some more of the same yarn that I will combine with the same Cotton Fine - Rue yarn. I hope they turn out as well as the first pair!
Then I also picked up and looked at my wavy line sweater, figured out where the heck I was, and then realized that I would like to get a second opinion on what to do with the shoulder seams. I think I should just put it on some extra yarn and then do a three needle bind off when I get the front finished.

I also started on the heel flap of my xxl trekking socks.

And because I did all of this work on my existing WIP's, I didn't feel so guilty taking my sweater with me on the Chicago trip, I got a whole lot done. I almost have the back finished!

I also finished two quilt blocks today for the swap. Unfortunately, I was not supposed to be participating, but it came to my attention that one of our members, was well, a delinquent... And two different people sent their blocks to her, but she never sent them her's.... So I am making 4 blocks this month and sending them out to the people who had their blocks stolen. Now, I realize that stolen is a harsh word, but when you sign up for a swap, and then take someone's handmade goods without returning the favor, that is stealing. So these are the blocks I whipped up, I took a whole lot of photos and am going to be making a tutorial for the swap out of them. I'm going to start out with the basics and move into more complex techniques.

And then here is my sculpture project for my beginning sculpture class. The whole point was to cast something. So I cast a spool of thread.............. 42 times. I have now been labeled obsessive compulsive by my classmates because I wound them with thread as well. Whatever, it wasn't too hard at all. I definitely know how to make a plaster cast! It looks a lot better in real life, there is more anger and frustration conveyed, the thread is more tangled too. I'm not sure what to call it, I'm not sure if I need to call it anything.
Okay so, the quilt block swap thing was the rant I felt coming on, and I think I was pretty to the point about it, not too long of a rant.

Now Chicago... Unfortunately I don't have any pictures because, well, I didn't take my camera. I figured that our dear president wouldn't tolerate stragglers, and boy was I right. She is a power walker that happens to be about a foot taller than me so I, and everyone else, was struggling to keep up. The cool things that happened were ... I think I hear the ups man! I've been waiting for my book to come all day!.... Okay, no ups... The Chicago Cultural Center, that was one of the really amazing things. There were quite a few different exhibits, but the really the exhibit on Ukraine early 20th century painting and the other on women's role around the world, portrayed in easily over 100 pieces, were the best. Breath-taking. Go check it out if you are in the area, it's free too! The MCA was pretty great, I'm not even going to try to explain the main exhibit or the performance, they were so... Well... Interesting/well done. I would like to go see the exhibit again, it was so much, too much to take in at once.

No one died/got lost/hit by a car, so that combined with a whole lot of art was the first Ars Nova successful trip that I have organized! Hot dog!

Well, I need to get some stuff done, and I've given up on UPS for today so I'm going to run my books to the library and do homework.

Oh yeah, does anyone know a good area to live in Chicago?

Have a good day!

edited in: Okay, so I know, maybe I'm being a little overly anxious, but seriously, my package has still not come, and to rub it in my face, someone just got a packaged delivered to them downstairs... but then again, you can't really see the apartment numbers, so that might be my package down there, but i'm not going to go look, no i won't snoop around checking the apartment # on packages left at other people's doors.... jeeze... i just want my fricking soup cookbook, it was my last impulse buy before I swore it off! I just wanted to make some soup!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday time!

Well don't you just love those days where you have that "what am i doing in my life and why?" question running through your head all day? It's good I realize, but what an inconvenient time to have a day where there was no avoiding self evaluation.... and evaluate I did.... Nothing too crazy, just making actual decisions on things that have been in my mind for awhile now. To sum up the whole thing: I am an artist and I just need to stop denying it/making "rational" career back-up plans.

So I have decided to embrace it, which is exciting. So how am I embracing it? I'm only going to get a minor in art history instead of a duel degree... plus I am only going to take 3 years of french instead of getting a minor. By doing this I will finish my undergrad in a year instead of two... and the last year I will only need to take 3 classes over the course of two semesters. Which means that I can concentrate on getting my portfolio ready to apply to grad school. And this means that I will be able to finally make the final push to an MFA in Art Theory and Practice... which is, after all what I really want in my life. I'm looking into the program at Northwestern University.... but they only have 12 students in the program at a time and I'm hoping that I can cut it. I know I can, but I don't know if they will know I can.

Also, depending on Jason and other things like jobs and what not, I may move closer to the Chicago area next summer, which I feel is also a move in the right direction, it depends also on where Jason is able to find a job. But still, out of DeKalb is good I think.

Why was yesterday and today an inconvenient time for this? Because I have an essay due tomorrow in my Advanced French Grammer and Composition class.... so it goes. Life does these things.

Anyway, with all this self-evaluation, I wasn't able to take pictures of my work, so progress photos will have to wait until Wednesday.

I will also let you all in on how the Chicago trip went as well.

Have a good day tomorrow!

ps - thank you so much for the super nice, making my day comment and emails that I received over the weekend, they really made me feel better about working towards being a full time artist and an in general crafty person! Thank you!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Trip Ahoy!

Well tomorrow is the big Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago trip (MCA trip). I'm pretty excited/apprehensive/nervous/excited... Did I mention excited! It's the first trip I've organized for Ars Nova and I'm really hoping it goes off without a hitch... Hopefully. There are some certain people who are being a thorn in my side, but I'm going to just put that aside, bring my knitting, a sandwich, and just enjoy my time in the Windy City. We are going to end the day with a theatrical performance called Super Vision at the MCA, which is so exciting! My friend from Oak Park (Deanna) is going to meet us up there and it's always good to see her. So keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well.

In other news, I've been so tired that I haven't been able to work on my own paintings lately at all, so I'm hoping, by posting this underpainting, it will get me to take some next steps and show you some actual progress.
I found the picture I took of the fabric that my friend Deb sent to me a bit ago (thank you again by the way).
I also started knitting again, I haven't for about a week (gasp)! So I'm working on the heel gusset on my second sock (I'm finally getting over the second sock syndrome), put another inch on my sweater (only two more inches to go til the shoulder shaping), and pulled out the wavy line sweater and I'm going to start the front. So lots of knitting progress, I will post some photos of that and Chicago on Monday.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Here is more of me loving this time of the year. I rode by the "secret garden" (this woman sets stuff out from her garden on a picnic table and you just leave money in the coffee can). I love it by the way, I get all of my fresh tomatoes, asparagus, zucchini, green peppers, and now gords from her. Only 10 to 25 cents each. I was so excited. Can I really eat these though? Or are they strickly ordimental... I have no idea, if anyone does, let me in on it. Also, with more dyeing escapades close at hand I decided that I'm going to make photo references for all of my dye stuff collecting. Like an identifier source book. I did make swatch cards for what I dyed the other day and wrote my process down in case I want to get similar colors again. I'm going to make a source card for the onions too. I will write on it where I can get it, what colors I have gotten with what fabric/yarn and mordants. With stuff collected out in the wild (only stuff that is all over the place) I will make identifier cards with photo references, where I have found it, what colors with what fabric and mordants. I figure it will be a good reference for my area because every area is different after all. And lord knows I'm not going to remember where I got half the stuff. Anyway, these are the pictures that are going into the book.

I also just bought some iron, tin, and copper mordants from The Woolery and am hoping to receive them later this week and will try them out over the weekend. My professor said that I could use the school's facilities as long as this other girl Michelle (which just happens to be my middle name) is there. It's understandable because this is my first fiber arts class and she doesn't know how much I've been doing for this. Plus Michelle is using walnuts to dye paper right now and she was wondering how an iron mordant would effect the color/fastness of the dye. I also picked up some yarn from Stick Chick Designs, she sells really nice undyed yarn really cheap, she seems really nice in general too and wants to see pictures when I'm done. You should check out her etsy shop.

Anyway, I'm going to go collect some dye stuff, go to an Ars Nova meeting, go to class, and then come home and finish my sculpture and french homework, so I better shove off.

Have a good rest of the week and craft it up!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Dye ahoy!

Alright, so exciting stuff is going to happen. I just order some mordants for plant dyeing and am going to try it out later this week (if it comes in time to work with it). I will be using Walnut hulls and dyeing some more organic fabric and yarn. This time though I'm going to try some wax relief too.

Here are shot I took the other day with Jason. It was a lot of fun.

Well okay, I lied, only the second picture was taken when I was shooting with Jason, the other images are from my site that I am going to be doing an instillation piece at, or for you art people out there it will actually be a site specific instillation dealing with secluded/private space and it's impact on the seeds of ideas.... yep.

The rest of this past weekend was mainly spent doing research for my south east Asian art history paper, which was actually really enjoyable, but no pictures of that. I also hung 75 Ars Nova Art and Craft fair call for vendors flyers with my friend, which took a good hour or so. Tonight I have been winding red thread around plaster casts of spools of thread. It's for a sculpture project I'm working on. I was hoping to get it done tonight, but I was only able to get 14 wound out of the 45+ that I have to do... yikes and this is due on Thursday? I'm definitely feeling a time crunch.

Did I mention I love fall by the way. I like sitting here with my laptop, cup of tea, and a sweater around me. Love it!

It is supposed to snow on Thursday though and I'm really not so fond of that.

Have a good week!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Found and Found!

Well I finally found my cord to my camera and it's a good thing too, I needed to take some more pictures for an art project and it was full with no way to get what I had on there off! So I'm just going to show you what I was working on today and then on Monday I will do a backlog post (which is pretty much me out in the park having fun! I love this time of year, the colors are great!)

Okay so today's overall running project what my first shot at dying with onions. I thought that I was just going to get some really faded browns, but instead they dyed up into khaki, rust, yellow and a lush, well, so mop cotton isn't the best thing to try to dye so it just kind of looks like a dirty mop. The wool, linen, and cotton twill were great though. With the dirty mop cotton, well I'm going to make it into a rug, so it won't look dirty when it really is! Ha!

Here it is in the dye bath. It kind of looks like a spaghetti soup or something.

Then, my crafty leftovers project that I've been working on, well, wasn't working because I didn't have enough stuffing! RAH! So I made this instead, which is great, because I really needed a new wallet and I like this a whole lot more than any of that fake snake skin junk they have been selling. The pattern is up and posted over at Crafty Leftovers along with more pictures. Go Make One! (and send me a picture of it!)

I also whipped up some catnip pillow for Jason's cat Molly (she's my lovely little lady). And also his friend's mom wanted two, so I guess that's kind of an order, I am getting paid for them, so yeah! Go me!

And then, another really neat thing that happened today was that I got my hands on a paper display from the art store I work at (correction, the art department in a bookstore that I work at). Anyway, they are normally, well, out of my price range to say the least, and I was able to get it for $16! My studio is so much more uncluttered and the main thing is that I can see all of the paper/things that I have because they are not berried in stacks of other things! Neat-O-Tastic!....2006!

It already looks right at home and when I took the picture it was only here for an hour! Oh, and here's a close up of the drawings on the wall. I've been doing some pen drawings from just random stuff laying around and I'm going to make them into a larger piece once I do a enormous amount of them, but that will take at least another week... At least... Maybe more.

And yes, I do have random skulls and eyes laying around... well at work anyway.

Have a good weekend, hopefully I am productive the next two days as I have been today!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Still Lost... dang!

Okay, so I still cannot find my camera cord. I honestly have not had much time to look though. In fact I do not have much time to post right now, so I will just do a quick update.

I have fallen into full swing of being V.P. of Ars Nova and have been organizing and getting things done, it's all very exciting. We are going to go to the MCA Chicago for the Super Vox performance along with the massive change exhibit. We will also be checking out the cultural center. I am organizing a Spring Ars Nova Book Sale to fund a two day trip to Art Chicago in the Sping. We are going to start collecting books now, so if anyone wants to donate some drop me an email and I can get you an address to send them to. I am also cordinating a Knit In to knit a bunch of red sweaters for the Red Sweater project! It will hopefully be in collaboration with the LGBT group here at NIU (I just emailed them and haven't heard back yet) and the local yarn shop (one of the workers, two including myself, have volunteered to help teach people how to knit!) and I'm hoping to borrow some needles from them too. I'm very excited, I've been wanting to knit for this project for a long time. Anyway, lots of great stuff happening. I do have my first French Exam tomorrow, which isn't so bad except the translation part! English to French is the hardest and we will have to do a whole paragraph! no dictionary either!

I'm hoping to finally dye stuff this Friday and have everything all ready, I just need to buy an enamel pot, which I just have not had the time to do. I will post pictures when I'm done, and I find my cable.

A New Crafty Leftover pattern is going up Friday so keep your eyes peeled (most likely late Friday).

Well have a good week!

Monday, October 02, 2006


Oh boy! It's Monday! Woot.... I guess.... Anyway, I have internet on a regular basis now so I am going to attempt to keep to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting plan. I unfortunately don't have any pictures to show today because my weekend was totally unproductive.... Ha! I'm lying. I actually got a lot of stuff done, I just lost my camera cord again so pictures of current stuff will have to wait until later.... Like when I find the dang thing, it has to be around here somewhere.

So I started on a new Crafty Leftovers project that will be posted on this Friday... So no seeing that until then anyway. I also knit up a whole bunch of inches on my newest sweater, I'm almost to the shoulder shaping and I just started last Thursday! I played with some stuff called clayboard.... I think I really like it, but it reminds me of hotpressed illustration board, which I realize is totally different, but I think I will go with the illustration board all the same because it is a whole lot cheaper. I did do a bunch of pen and ink drawings of eyes and a skull and a shrimp and I think I will take them all and collage them into one big work.

I also made a template up for my sewing kits and a price list, but I need to make up the 2 other templates and add some pictures before I send it out. Let me know if you would like to be on my mailing list.

Oh the new swap just started at Quilt Block Swap, the deadline for the November swap is October 27th... You should sign up! Also, all the just made blocks should be coming in over the next couple of days... Hopefully... So be sure to check those out.

I found a picture of a nowise work in progress, here are the fabric swatches that I dyed the iterate.... I used fiber reactive dyes, just for fun. I really like the bold colors, although I'm looking forward to the onion skin dying that is in the near future... I prepared the fabric and yarn, prepared the dye stuff, and totally forgot to buy the enamel pot.... So I will hopefully get to it on Wednesday and have pictures to post on Friday. We will see how it goes.

Have a crafty week!