Saturday, December 30, 2006

JoAnn Rocks my Socks and my new pants!

Okay so I finished up the sewing that I started yesterday and have really caught the bug (I have yet to take pictures though so you will have to wait on that). I went to JoAnn's today to get you know, just a few things.... some eyelettes, ribbon, and cording.... and lo and behold they were having a 60% off sale on all "bottom" fall fabric! There was some lushious dark blue denim and chocolate brown corderoy on sale for under $2 a yard! I mean, that just doesn't happen every day. And how convienent too. I was just saying to Jason before we left, "I would really like to try my hand at making pants, they can't be any harder than these 19th century corsets I've been making...." Also, I just junked up my last pair of jeans. So I bought enough denim to make a pair along with a skirt... Nice jean skirts are so hard to come by. I'm really hoping that between making my cloths and getting stuff off the donate pile at Encore (stuff that we don't accept because of missing buttons and things like that) that I will be able to supply my own clothing completely.... except maybe undergarments.... so I can Craft a Better Tomorrow.... Maybe that should be a website... in fact it may already be... hold on, I'm going to google that. Okay, so here is the status... there are no websites per say, but it is a phrase that has been used by 4 people. Hmmm.... anyone want to craft a better tomorrow with me?
Okay so enough of that. I'm going to leave you with more pictures of Indiana because I'm really starting to ramble... but that's okay too, this is my blog and I can ramble all I want, but seriously, enough is enough. Goodnight.

Sew U, Sew Me a new one!

Well, tonight was full of sewing, but I will talk about that more tomorrow when I have the photos to prove it. So instead here are some more pictures from my trip to see my good friends the Cory's.

This one I think I'm going to make into a painting, I really enjoy this image a whole lot.

And that is just about it for now. I sat down... and got really tired... I took some night time cold meds and I think they are starting to make me sleepy. Goodnight!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Long time no post!

Okay folks, I realize that I disappeared there for awhile, but with good reason I swear. Mainly no internet access for almost two weeks and then coming down with a really bad cold. I have been taking lots of pictures while on break and will start posting a few everyday while I'm continuing to settle back into my apartment and working on feeling better.

First I do have a couple updates and good news and whatnot:
1. I was able to graze by with straight A's this semester despite my nervous breakdown and having to withdrawl from a class.
2. Yarn is on the way for dyeing and I have walnuts soaking in a dye bath so the dyeing should be starting soon.
3. The Quilt Block Swap will be starting up again January 1st.
4. Crafty Leftovers will be starting up again the first Friday of January and I will start posting patterns every Friday instead of just every other.
5. I recieved a bunch of great stuff for Christmas: Fabric to books to cds to books to slow cookers to books to awesome knife sets. And my sister came through with a drying rack just in time for my dyeing too. Thank you to everyone and I hope you had a very merry christmas!
6. I have a few great New Year's Resolutions that I will announce after new years.

I'm sure there is something I'm missing, but it will have to wait, my mind is all cloudy and full of snot so on to the pictures!

These pictures were taken in Indiana right before the Christmas season. I just love the way Deb switches over to the holiday season. The window is up year round, as well as the flowers. I have a whole lot more pictures and will post some again tomorrow. I am not running spell check because I am just too tired and am going to crawl into bed with some tea post haste. Have a good night! Sorry for the long disappearance!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Day Today

Here is today's fun. I started out sewing a whole lot to finish my sculpture project....
Here it is at about half its size.... Total size: 12' by 8'

This is what I put it over.... the plaster cast I mentioned awhile back.
Here is the final painting that I turned in tonight, our assignment was to take a product and make it into a holiday using a limited pallet of 4 colors from nature and 4 from a movie still... so I chose parker brothers and they are having a Block Party.
And then I went and took some night photos by the lagoon:

And now I'm at home sitting in my chair posting this blog and sipping some tea.

My semester is offically over and I'm going to go christmas craft it up with my friend tomorrow who's in Oak Park... it should be fun! Goodnight!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Art and Sewing

Oh boy, just my luck. I'm just about finished with all of my sculptures, and my sewing machine breaks. I have a wonderful Singer that I received when my Grandma passed away. I have much sentimental attachment to it. And it really is becoming like one of those old cars that you love... But that just keeps breaking down from one thing or another. I was able to fix it, kind of, and I'm starting to think the day to get a new one is fast approaching. Any ideas on what would be a good machine to get? At this point I don't think I need anything fancy. Just straight and zig-zag stitch, maybe a button hole capability. The thing that stinks is that it is not really the machine that is even breaking... it is all the little rubber parts. Mainly the foot paddle. And my machine is so old that I cannot find replacement parts for it. So it goes.

Anyway, back to the sculpture bit. This is one of the works that I did for my beginning sculpture class. The really neat thing it that you cannot hear is the audio. I took recordings of TV shows and overlapped all of them so it is kind of a jumbled mess. The audio was then slowed down so it is really kind of creepy and weird. Also, the speakers are inside the TV's and the sound is turned down low. There, but indistinguishable. I guess it's my commentary on the slowing down of our minds because of the negative use of TV's as bed time stories. The assignment was to create a paradox... Which for me was TV bookends holding up children's books.

The other piece that I am doing involves the plaster cast that I did of my crawling form. I am piecing a bunch of fabric that I have acquired from my grandma, mother, and myself. The pieced fabric will drape the crawling, weighed down form. (I really was weighed down too.... Plaster is heavy, especially when in a crawling dynamic pose for 2 hours). It is my reinterpretation of a sculpture by.... Shoot I can't remember her name, I need to look that up... Which was the assignment for this work. It really turned into a comment on domesticity in women's lives today. How they are expected to have a career and still be a full-time homemaker.... Thankfully for me, Jason has never pressured me like that... Responsibilities are pretty equally divided. It is still a common problem in our society... And that bothers me.

I'm also working on that sweater for Catalina yarns this week. I have all of the back finished and the rest is well underway. I'm on skein 3... So about 1/4 of the way done... Not too bad considering I just got the yarn on Tuesday night.

Oh I finished my fiber arts piece last night too... I'm not too fond of the documentation so I might set it up again and redo it.

Okay, so I realize that it looks a lot like an explosion of fabric all over my apartment... So I will explain the assignment a little bit.

We were instructed to create an instillation in a space we considered Home. The instillation had to deal with our own concept/feelings/idea of home.... So that is what I did... Home is a tangled mess of fabric for me... hehe... No that's not the point of this piece. I started out with the fabric from my grandmother and cut it into strips, sewed them together, then my mom's, and then my own. This one long strip I piled and spread all throughout my apartment... The implication is that my grandmother and my mom's influences have permeated all of my "home" and hence my fabric which the piece ends with. That is why there is fabric in the sewing machine being added on. That is where the work starts/ends depending on the way that you look at. I guess... A continuance of generational crafting, haha.

And with that I will leave you, I need to get back to knitting that sweater. Have a good night!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stocking Stuffers!

You should buy some handmade stocking stuffers... I know you want to!

So if you would like a catnip pillow, a travel tissue holder, or a crocheted dish cloth, just e-mail me at They are all priced at $5 each or 6 for $26.50 (mix and match). You can specify colors or I can surprise you. I accept paypal and personal check. All orders will be sent out in 2 business days by priority mail... Unless it is unusually large in which case I will let you know how fast I can get it done and sent out. Definitely in time for Christmas if you order now.

You can get the crocheted dish cloths in any of these colors:

And here is a picture of my kitty for good measure:

Have a good night!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wish List Time!

Okay, so all of those folks out there wondering "what would Kristin like for Christmas?" I have the perfect answer: My Wish List! Now, I know that you are thinking, well if I buy it off her wish list she will know what I bought... Not so. I have done my last additions to the list and I promise from this day to after Christmas I will not peek. Promise. Now if you are still inclined to buy something that I have listed, but not through my list, don't! Amazon is not fun to return items to, so just trust me that I won't peek and buy it off the wish list. Don't ruin my holiday cheer by making me do returns... Thank you!

Here are some other non-amazon things that would be cool Christmas presents:
1. A Swift (it's the thing that you put a hank of yarn on to wind it... i need one!)
2. A scale, digital, at least 5 lbs+ capacity, you can get it off for a decent price.
3. Coffee maker with a timer.
4. Coffee in general, decaf and regular are nice.
5. Any and all teas
6. Reusable cloth tea bags for loose leaf tea on the go
7. Socks, I need thick warm socks.
8. Scan Disk drive for my camera
9. Gift certificate to Lowe's, Dick Blick, The Yarn Exchange, Borders, the Quilting Corner in Ames (they have lots of neat fabric), the Bike Shop here in DeKalb that I can't remember the name of.
10. One of those fancy blenders that is also a smallish food processor, those are neat too.
11. House plants for shaded areas that are low maintenance.
12. More Socks!
13. More Sock yarn!

Okay so I know there is a lot on that list and the Amazon list so I just want you to know that I only expect to not get one of those things... Everything else I better get.... Okay so I'm being really sarcastic there. The truth is that I have no expectations about Christmas and I am just one of those people that would be happy just getting to see my family and friends and that is it. Anything else is a pleasant surprise. Have a happy Christmas crafting season by the way!

I finally finished the bath mat from Mason-Dixon Knitting... But I will post a photo of that tomorrow. I also made another crocheted wash cloth! My goal is one a day in a different stitch every time... That way I will learn new stitches and be a crochet wiz in no time at all.... Plus they make for great stocking stuffers!

That's all for tonight, have a great week and see you all tomorrow.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I have quite a few things to report today. First off there is a new pattern up on Craft leftovers that you should check out.I finally received my yarn winder today and promptly wound the sock yarn that I dyed last week.
I also received a package from Sister Diane of the CraftyPod! The Christmas Digest! It's filled with a ton of great stuff including puzzles, stories, stickers, and crafty ideas for the Christmas season! Thank you Sister Diane!

I went nutty crocheting yesterday. I love the fact that I can start and finish multiple projects in one day in crochet. I made a dishcloth:

And a tea cozy, which I'm thinking about wripping out, but I thought I would show it to you all none the less. I still need to put buttons on it, but I'm not going to do that until I decide to whether or not to frog it. I'm not happy with the bulkiness of the white yarn.
So okay, I'm not a crocheting genious, but I do really enjoy it. The main reason why I have not crocheted more is that there is a complete lack of good quality/modern crochet patterns. They all look well... frumpy/from the 80's/for hippies only or a combo of the three. So I'm setting out on a quest... along with my friend Andrea who is helping with ideas and what nots... to create crochet patterns that are updated and modern. I have a stong inclination that crochet is best for household items, but I do have quite a few clothing items in mind as well. I've been told by quite a few people that this does need to be done. We really do need a revolution in crochet like there has been in knitting! I have looked around quite a bit and I found a site called CrochetMe that has more modern patterns, but they are just one site! We need one hundred sites! Where are the Crochet Lists?! Where are the crochet in's!? Where are the crochet books that make me happy and inspired!? So.... I'm not sure about the sites and the crochet in's, but I'm going to start focusing on crochet in my pattern writing and who knows, maybe I'll even write a crochet book! So there!

Also, in January I'm going to start posting patterns on Craft Leftovers every Friday instead of every other Friday. I am finding that I miss the challenge on Fridays when I don't write one, so, every Friday it will be.

All and all it's been a good day for me, despite the fact that I was not able to be in the Salon show and sell some paintings. I made a whole lot of stuff, cleaned my apartment a bit, and got my tire fixed. It just so happened that the place that I took my car to was a block and a half from the yarn exchange! So instead of waiting in a room at say farm and fleet for 2 1/2 hours, I got to sit around and knit and drink coffee! It is something that I used to do just about every Saturday (the knitting and drinking coffee at the yarn exchange, not the getting my car fixed), it was pretty nice.... Unfortunately I came down with a migraine today, so maybe not driving to the QC was a good thing, it's subsided now, but it's still just below the surface... I think I'm going to call it an early night.

I'm hoping to get another dishcloth crocheted up tonight before bed so I will end this here.

Have a good crafty weekend!

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's a Blizzard out there!

Okay, so first I want to show you a picture of the yarn I dyed up on Monday. I really just love it. It is kind of a short yardage, about 150 yards between the two skeins of bulky. I think some fingerless gloves or house booties might work, maybe another scarf or a hat... any ideas as to what I should knit out of this? The gauge is about 4.5 stitches/inch.

So now I'm going to share my adventure with you, and because I am snowed in it's going to be long winded, just to warn you.

Last night I was all packed up for class, walked out to my car, pulled out into the street and "thump thump thump" my tire was flat. Down to the rim. Well crap, what to do. So I call farm and fleet to see if they are taking any more work orders, I figured I could call a friend, get the tire off, and take it up there, or just get towed up there and wait while they fix it. It was no good though, they were all booked up for the night.... well them and everyone else in town. That first blast of cold always does that up here in northern IL. So I figure I will at least get the donut on there and get it fixed in the morning... I can't find the spare. I call my dad, he can't remember where it is either. After about a half hour of looking in the instruction manual, pulling random levers, and lots of swearing, I find it hidden in the left panel in the back (I have a station wagon). My dad tells me that our insurance has towing/changing tire in the cold coverage, so I call around to find someone who can come out. No one can, they are all booked up too.... finally at around my 3rd or 4th call someone agrees. To wrap up this part of the story: my tire gets in the back of my trunk and the donut on the front right.

My plan was to go to bed, get up early, and get it taken care of first thing in the morning before I head off to work. Well, I overslept, I have never slept though my alarm, and it seems like I remember hitting the snooze at some point, but I don't remember it going off again... but it was still on, so I guess I slept straight though it. I jump out of bed, look outside, and well crap, there is a foot of snow on the ground... There is no way I'm going to be able to drive my car in that, which is front wheel drive and my flat is on the front... I don't think that my little spare would do me much good in a foot of snow. So I called my boss and told him that I was going to be a half hour late because I would be walking (this was at 8 am and so I'm thinking an hour to walk to work)... no big deal, a nice walk in the morning snow would be refreshing... I bundle up, take a shot of espresso, put mr b back to bed and head out the door. As soon as I turn the corner a blast of cold air and sleet hits me in the face... now I suppose I should, in the honor of things that are hand knitted, point out that that I have bundled myself in three shirts, a sweater, long underwear, two pairs of socks, industrial boots, pants tucked in, my long handknit gloves, my biggest, thickest, scarf and a hat.... so only my eyes are really exposed... but still covered with glasses... which are instantly fogged and covered in ice... that is correct: ICE! So I can't see... I take my glasses off and my vision improves for a moment... only a moment though because the wind decides to carry the snow into my eyes. I could not keep them open... so glasses back on... I had to walk in the middle of the street because I could not trudge though the snow on the sidewalk, which had now drifted to past my knees. I am moving along as fast as I can, which gives me plenty of time to take in this winter scene... as much as I could anyway with my glasses covered in ice. I did take them off from time to time to make sure that I was still headed in the right direction... it sure is beautiful outside.

I get about 5 blocks from my house and there is a car stuck... well... I'm already late, why not help out... good deeds never hurt anyone... the guy across the street comes to help out too. We push while the guy rocks himself out. The driver asks me where I'm going. "Oh just the VCB," he offers me a lift (I'm still only about 1/4 of the way there at this point)... I accept and we head on our way. So I'm going to only be about 10 mins late, not too bad.... things are going good, what a nice morning... that was really a pleasent walk.... and then the irony hits... my boss calls: "so they didn't call me, but I guess they called everyone else, we are closed today." Well okay, I guess I will head back home... the guy I hitched a ride with (a security man at NIU actually) drops me off at the gas station and asks if I want a ride home... I decline and decide to pick up some milk and bread.... if I'm going to be stranded at home I might as well have some food to eat (I was going to go to the grocery store last night, but the flat tire made that not possible). I bought my food and headed back home. It was strange to see the shadowy figures emerging out of the distance, becoming clear, and fading into the snow and fog again. I got back home safe and sound and only a little damp. And now I'm sipping on some more coffee, I'm about to make some toast and eggs... all and all it really has been a good morning. I love the snow!

And that was my adventure... and unfortunately the only thing that I am not liking about the snow is that there is now no way I will be able to drive home tomorrow morning and I am going to have to drop out the show... I was so hoping to sell my paintings, but these things happen for a reason I'm sure.

And with that I'm going to wish you a happy snow day! Drink some hot choco and stay warm!