Rest

I will be taking a break from blogging for awhile. My personal life has become a bit overwhelming recently and, as comedian Katt Williams put it, I’ve got to get in tune with my star player. I’m going to uphold the things I’ve signed on to do this month and the daily responsibilities that I have but I have to cut a few things out and turn some offers down. I tend to forget that I cannot be everything to everyone and the importance of the word No. I’m very burned out and exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually. I need some time to recoup and regroup. I also need some time to focus on things I want to do creatively as opposed to the things I think I’m expected to do. I somehow got off track artistically and began producing for quantity as opposed to trying to express something. My brain has been churning out some excellent ideas lately but I need time to explore and plan. I hope resume posting in November and that I’ll be refreshed and back on track.

10/16 EDIT: I have decided to extend my blogging vacation through the beginning of December. If you should need to reach me, send me an email: paperkittyblog[at]gmail[dot]com

Wednesday WIP

I must be crazy. I just ordered the yarn to make the Sylvi coat from Twist Collective and I decided to cast on TWO sweaters this week.

The first is the Whisper Cardigan from Interweave Knits Spring 2009. I’m making it in Malabrigo Lace in Black Forest.

Whisper Cardigan

The second is the Corona sweater. I’m making it in Cascade 220 which was given to me by a very kind friend.

Corona Sweater

My travel project is a simple pair of toe up socks in Great Adirondack Silky Socks.

Silky Socks

I also have the first Hat-Heel (knitty.com fall 09) finished and need to cast on for the second. I’ll do that as soon as I free up the needles the silky socks are on. I like the pattern it is a very interesting construction and isn’t at all difficult. I’m making them in Malabrigo Sock in Archangel.

Hat-Heel #1

My last project is something I wouldn’t have ever imagined I would make. It’s a crochet CAMO afghan. Yes, I said CAMO. When a sweet little boy with big blue eyes tells you how much he loves Army stuff you just can’t resist. You know you have to make him an Army blankie for his birthday.

Logan's Camo Blankie

Monday’s How Does Your Garden Grow?

Aahhhhhh!! Attack of the Killer Tomatoes that just won’t die!! Ok, it isn’t that dramatic but the tomato plants that I had my husband mow down, came back, and started growing even more tomatoes. Technically, he only mowed over the parts that were haning out into the yard but it was the majority of the plant. Both tomato plants have sprung back and even though they gave me 50+ tomatoes between the two of them, they both have even more tomatoes growing; probably in the double digits too.

Tomatoes that won't die

The pumpkins are growing nicely. I’ll probably pick these in a week to two and carve them up for jack-o-lanterns. I hope the two green ones will have turned orange by then.

The Brain's Pumpkin

Pinky's Pumpkin

Pumpkin One

Pumpkin Two

Even though the weather is certainly fall weather, the bees are still hanging around. The oregano plant is still doing wonderfully too. I’ll be picking some to dry soon.

Oregano & the bee

Oh, the little pepper that could. If you’ve been following my How Does Your Garden Grow? posts you’ll remember that I’ve posted photos about the little pepper plant that just didn’t want to give up. For a long time, I was certain that it would die just like the other plants around it, especially after the pumpkin plant sprouted up. I’m happy to say that the little pepper that could, grew a pepper. It even has blooms on it still.

The Little Pepper That Could

The other pepper plant must be sprouting peppers of steel because every one that has grown, has broken it’s own limb off. I’m really hoping that this one will hang on long enough to start to turn. The last one that turned had a worm hole in it so I couldn’t eat it.

Big Pepper

Etsy Sunday – Dolls & Plushies

Since I’ve been unable to post my regular posts lately, I’m bringing you 10 awesome Etsy items instead of the regular 5. I hope that I’ll be back on the regularly scheduled posts for now.

You’re Not The Boss Of Her – pocomedio

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Jud – Zerumpees

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Sarah – thelittlefox

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Miki – tiddlywinks

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Ecofriendly Frida Kahlo Softie – sewsewsuckurtoe

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Belchick – The Mischievous Squirrel – sleepyking

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Hand Sewn Wool Felt Plush Aqua Felt Decorative Wren – bubbletime

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Milu – knittingdreams

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Nouma doll – bouji

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Bright fawn – TheHandworkGroup

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Virtual Studio Tour – Studios Magazine

Cloth Paper Scissors Studios Magazine Open Studio Virtual Tour

My studio is what is formerly known as a dinning room. It’s actually an addition that was built onto our house long before we ever moved in. Originally it was a porch that was closed in and another porch built on that was then closed in to make the closet. This means that in the winter it is very cold in the room. I have a large double door cabinet that I keep most of my supplies in (along with some kitchen equipment). I also have an awesome easel that doubles as a drafting table, a few small bookshelves under a built in counter top, and a large wooden box where I keep my yarn and fabric.

New Book Shelf

This is my main worktable. It was given to me by two very dear friends when they were moving into a new home and no longer wanted this table. The glass top makes a perfect work surface since I can clean anything off of it easily.

Work Table

Here, I’m making book cloth, which has to be pasted down to a glass surface to dry. I used the top and bottom of the glass. When I removed the book cloth, it was super easy to clean.

Making Bookcloth

My bookshelf makes my life easier. I needed one for along time and finally bought one this summer.  On top, I keep my ribbons and post card collection.   The top shelf is where I keep my inspiration and favorite things.  Next shelf down is things in progress, then a shelf of buttons and easy to reach towels.  The next to last shelf is my knitting books and art books.  On the bottom I keep my dye pot and my hand spun yarns.

Book Shelf

Shelf of my favorite things:
A Few Of My Favorite Things

In Progress Shelf:
In progress books & scraps box

I like to work assembly line style when I’m producing blank journals.

Breaking down paper for text blocks:
Paper & Bone Folders

Text Blocks:
Text Blocks

Covers In Progress:
Covers In Progress

Books waiting to be bound:
15 books in progress

All bound up:
30 of 34 books bound this week

I don’t own a book press so I have a makeshift one. I have lots of heavy books, Masonite boards, and a large can of pineapple juice.
Book, Book Press

This is a glimpse of my very large bookbinding tool box. This is just the top tray.
Bookbinding Tool Box

My studio extends outside this one room and on into the rest of the house when I need more space. I do most of my knitting, crocheting & spinning in the den so I can use my computer & watch TV. I use the living room as a sewing room since it has our dinning table in it. I use my kitchen to dye wool and make felt and my porch doubles as a drying rack on sunny warm days (on rainy days, the shower rod in the bathroom is used for drying).

Hand dyed wool drying

I have some furry help in all this mess too. Zoe, my black kitty, is the reason that my shop is called “The Crafty Kitten”. He loves to sit beside me no matter what I’m doing and just watch.
Zoe, my crafty kitty

Piggy usually sneaks in when I’m not looking to check my work.
"I'm helping, I promise"

Snuggies has been known to fall asleep on my feet if I stand in one place too long (usually when I’m breaking down paper for text blocks).
Snuggies

Then there is Raisin, who isn’t allowed in the studio alone because she will eat all the kitty’s food. She likes to sleep by my feet or in my lap too.
Raisin enjoying some time in my studio

I hope you’ve enjoyed the little virtual tour of my studio. Feel free to check out my online shop (which is a little empty at the moment) The Crafty Kitten.

Me working on a book